My Dream of a Yoga Retreat
Theresa Polley
May 10, 2012
January 9, 2024
My Journey

I was inspired to begin hosting yoga retreats after I was invited to teach at a fitness retreat in 2004. While I was disappointed at the “un-retreat” like weekend – a full schedule with non-existent free time, very little sleep, and highly restrictive meals (no coffee, no carbs, no fun!) – I was also inspired.

Walking my dog after I got home from what I felt was a stressful and disappointing weekend, I allowed myself to dream.

I wanted to create a “retreat like” experience, inviting guests to indulge in some of my (and hopefully their!) favorite things – wine, coffee, chocolate and delicious meals cooked from scratch – all as a complement to yoga, meditation, time in nature and free time to reset.

After a disastrous attempt at co-ed retreats (involving a case of beer and not funny remarks during yoga made by one of the guys who came with his girlfriend), I chose to keep our Retreats “Women Only.” I want women to feel comfortable and relaxed and not worry about makeup or wearing pajamas to breakfast. I want women to share their challenges, their successes and their sorrows. Having men drastically changes the dynamic.

Women need their own spaces. Most women think the retreat feels like a slumber party – instant connection and comfort with each other.

As women, we come from different places, we're different ages and at different points in our life. It seems like we would have nothing in common, but as we talk and laugh together we realize we have everything in common. ~ Diondra - a repeat guest

The Yoga Retreat Makeover

I've watched many guests over the years experience the Retreat in the Pines makeover. Coming in on Friday looking stressed and exhausted. Leaving on Sunday looking calm and radiant and at least ten years younger.

My favorite part of hosting a retreat is seeing all of the instant connections made. Women who are strangers laughing and talking together makes me realize Diondra is right - we have so much in common even as we have differences. Hearing women share that they always felt alone in their struggles, until hearing another guest share what she's going through - gives me so much hope.

Twenty Years of Retreats

Since that humble beginning to today, many women have journeyed to Retreat in the Pines to experience our magical sacred space. Women have traveled from as far away as Chicago, NYC, San Francisco and Boston to experience a weekend of yoga and healing. I’m thrilled so many women choose to come back yearly, often bringing friends or family with them.

When I opened the doors, there were very few retreat centers in the state of Texas and none were women only. As the yoga industry boomed, so did the retreat business. While I have seen many retreat businesses come and go, I’m proud to say Retreat in the Pines (formerly Yoga in the Pines) is still growing strong. And while Yoga and Meditation are certainly an important part of our retreats, the sharing of stories, laughter and tears while gathered around our community dining. table is the real essence of our retreats and what sets us apart from other retreats. Looking forward to having you join us someday! You can book here.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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