The Beginning
Theresa Polley
June 14, 2011
August 16, 2023
My Journey

It was a chilly February morning in 2004. My family and I made the trip from Dallas to the town of Mineola to look at the property now known as Retreat in the Pines. Driving down the long and winding driveway through the trees, I had no idea what to expect. Suddenly there was a log home in a clearing. Smoke gently curling out of the chimney and the lights on, beckoning us inside.

It looked like home.

I stepped out of the car into the stillness of the trees, inhaling the fresh air scented with pine, only the sound of the wind in the pine trees breaking the silence. No planes flying overhead, no traffic in the distance, just glorious blissful peace. I fell in love immediately.

My family and I had been to the area several times to stay at Lake Fork and had really enjoyed all the charms Mineola had to offer. The property was being sold by Lori (my first yoga instructor!) and her husband. They had searched all over the state of Texas for a place to build a weekend home. The area where the main house now sits had been cleared to drill for oil by the previous owners. Luckily there was no oil! While there were several bids on the property, she liked the idea of another yoga instructor buying the property, so it was ours.

Our cabin in the woods started out as a second home for our family. We enjoyed holidays and weekends there and whenever our busy schedules would permit we would immediately be off to "the country,” as the kids called it. It was always hard to go back to reality, closing the gate and leaving behind the peace and serenity of our sanctuary. In 2006, we moved to the simpler pace of Mineola. My son, middle daughter and I struggled to fit in. We moved there not knowing another soul. I was teaching Yoga to the locals and very slowly made friends, but for awhile, I felt very isolated and alone. The locals considered yoga a cult and gave me the side eye at Walmart. My husband at the time, spent more time in Dallas than in East Texas. Even though I lived in “paradise,” those were some of the hardest years of my life. But I continued to host yoga retreats – shoving all of my kid’s belongings in to their closets, and bringing out my retreat decor, hoping no one would look under the beds or in the closets!

In 2007, construction began on the guest house. I came up with the custom home plan. I was designing my dream house…from the garden tub that looked out over trees to the serene yoga studio with natural light shining in to the deck off the yoga studio where I could enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. In November 2007, I hosted the first Yoga Retreat where guests practiced in the new Yoga Studio, looking out on trees in every direction. It was perfect. Before that, I led practice in the main house living room, sometimes in front of a roaring fire. And always moving furniture out of the way.

I am delighted to share my refuge from the world with you. Let it be your refuge from the world, join us for a weekend retreat: a girlfriend getaway or a solo journey.

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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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