For years I avoided yoga. I was a fitness junkie. I’d observe a yoga class at the Y - and think “I could do that at home. Basically they’re laying on the floor.” Ha.
I took my first Yoga class in the spring of 2003. My mom had just died and I was immediately laid off from my job as Corporate Sales Director of the YMCA. At that point, all I wanted to do was lay on the floor and cry.
I skipped over Beginner Yoga and went directly to Power Yoga. I found peace. And got my butt kicked. That was the beginning of a (huge) shift and an eventual life change. Not only did I find myself on my Yoga mat, I embraced myself for being exactly who I was - not an easy task.
In 2004, after teaching at a fitness retreat, I had an idea for a Yoga Retreat. My idea was exactly the opposite of what I'd experienced. The fitness retreat guaranteed no dairy, caffeine, carbs or fun. No thank you.
Wine and coffee (with cream!) and healthy yet delicious meals? Yes please. Dark chocolate and birthday treats? Of course! Retreat in the Pines was born.
Over the years of leading retreats, I've met so many amazing women and learned so much. Our retreats have evolved. It's less about yoga and more about community and connection. When women sit at our community dining table, not only do they laugh together, they have the realization that they are not alone in what they are going through. Powerful.
I believe ALL women should be able to live life on their own terms. I struggled for years as a single mom, working several jobs to keep Retreat in the Pines open, for that very reason. I am passionate about women supporting women, we deserve love and respect not only from the world at large, but more importantly, from each other.
I am so over the back stabbing I endured from other women in Corporate America, the PTO at my children's school and with so-called friends. It's 2020 and it's time to erase that from our culture. I believe we need to set the example and live our lives the way we deserved to be treated. My blog, Celebrating Women: Claiming Our Power, is one of my favorites.
I believe all women should have the opportunity to experience the life changing power of a retreat. That is why we offer our Retreat Assistance Program and keep our prices intentionally affordable. Retreats should NOT be an elitist thing.
If you think having young children is hard, wait until they grow up! In spite of the challenges my three adult children have given me over the years, I'm not giving up yet! I'm now raising Mason, he's two and a half and brings me more joy than I thought possible. I couldn't do any of it without taking care of me and without my tribe.
I'm writing my story and interviewing retreat guests to showcase the stories of hope, courage and perseverance from the pines. I'd love to hear your story.
To read more about my story of creating and growing Retreat in the Pines, read My Journey.
Acceptance and gratitude for what you have, can turn your life right now, into a life to love.
Reflect. Recognize. Redirect. Renew.