Monday, April 15, 2013

Yoga Retreat Awesomeness Recap, Part I

One day, I was reading on a website or blog and saw an ad for Retreat in the Pines. I clicked on the link for the sheer joy of it, because there was no way it would be a short trip, cheap, and close to me. I was wrong on all accounts. I immediately zoned in on the word that said East Texas. Interesting, it's close to me. I skimmed the site and then saw the classes and schedule. Wow, these are weekend yoga retreats. SCORE! Oh wait...this one is a Women's Retreat talking about yoga, laughter, and wine. And it's on a weekend where I have a Friday off. DOUBLE SCORE! Now, for the prices. I expected it to be way over my price range for what it was offering, yoga, wine, meals, a place to stay, etc. Wrong again. It was only $349 for this retreat (prices for some are $299 and $329). The only thing left to do was to find any girls that wanted to go with me. The victims to take the bait were Jules and JL. Unfortunately, Jules had to back out the week before, but JL and I were still game.

During the weeks leading up to the retreat, JL and I swapped Faceworld posts and text messages and emails about how we couldn't wait to go or that Friday couldn't come soon enough. I mentioned that if I see any Bluebonnet patches along the way, we were stopping. I promised to make sammiches for the road trip and she stopped at Hillje Prasek's for the best jerkey in the world. She is a woman after my own heart.

It was roughly a four hour trip that we made in to a really great road trip. At one point in Lindale, Texas (close to the retreat), we saw a sign for a Historical Marker. Now, we didn't stop at all of them (like we tried to on the way back), but this one for some reason magnetized us to it. When we got to the sign, we realized why. It was the Kiepersol Enterprises (KE) Cellars Winery. So, JL and I did a tasting, bought some wine, and headed out to the retreat (a man did warn us about The Pines with all their bugs). It was a wonderful and suprisingly awesome stop. We also learned that we were in Miranda Lambert's hometown and that there were several wineries around (one that she actually owned).

When did they erect this giant statue of Sam Houston on I-45 North?
Our first patch of Bluebonnets even though we could have been killed in this weird RV park and the weird guy who called our state flowers a weed.
I love these moments of Spring.

Well, Hello Lake Palestine, I never knew you existed.
This house (winery) is one of the oldest still standing houses in Texas.

We are so ready for yoga.
When we got there, it was a bunch of women hanging out, drinking some wine, eating some healthy snacks, and waiting for their first yoga/meditation class. We were shown our beds in a room with two other strange women; I just hoped they were cool (they were). JL and I are not used to being in a room full of women, but I think we handled it okay. I jumped right in to get to know people and I could only thank my backpacking trip to England for this confidence. When you are a solo travel, you have to learn to talk to groups of people or you don't really have any interaction.

The cabin where we stayed.

Finally, the first class started. I didn't understand how we could fit all of the women in the small space, but we did. It was harder than I expected on the first go around, but it was awesome. I loved the meditation tricks. Theresa really gives you helpful visuals to guide you through everything. I especially loved the Happy Husband pose. My only issue was when Zoey the dog barked at the incoming car forever during meditation. It made it difficult to mediate and I eventually gave up to enjoy the moment. After the class, we had a wonderful roast chicken dinner and you guessed it, more wine. This group of women really dove in to the conversation to get to know eachother. A big part of the group was a bridal party, which I thought was a great idea for a Bachelorette Party.

First class of the morning.
 The next day, I couldn't decide about running early in the morning. It was cold and dark, which swayed me to the no category (JL was happy). We read the wrong start time for our first yoga class and thought we wouldn't have time after breakfast, but we had 1.5 hours to kill. Oh well, we were showered and ready to start our day. The first class was a detoxifying yoga. We did cardio type moves and balancing to get rid of the wine. We also worked on our abs. It felt great, but I could have used some more. 

JL in Warrior 1.

JL and I having fun during the rest time.
The group did a hike later (more on that in another post) and then had the rest of the day to do whatever until 6 p.m. So, JL and I went to explore Mineola, TX, which is a cute little town complete with a band. We ate at La Waffalata Restaurant (btw, it is not about waffles) where we had a delicious lunch. We also headed back to Lindale to drink some more wine at the Miranda Lambert's Winery.

We found this wonderful patch of Bluebonnets at someone's house. We had to stop.

Aren't we beautiful er I mean the flowers?
They started playing some gospel bluegrass, then to some Texas country, and then we left them playing Folsom Blues. Only in Texas.
Every menu item had a La at the beginning of the name.

Our wine of choice...Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
Red 55 Winery store in Lindale.
Our last yoga session was mostly about the calm and meditation. The yoga part was great, but to be honest with you, I couldn't get calm during meditation. I didn't position myself well on to the pillow and before I knew it, we were well in to the meditation. If I moved the pillow out, I would have made a loud sound. Note to self, just lay flat on your back during meditation in a yoga style. JL awoke from meditation to find Zoey between her legs. It was so cute. Afterwards, we had another great dinner (tortilla soup) and some more wine and conversation.

The last day was filled with one more yoga class and outside meditation. My favorite part of the trip was the outside meditation. Opening our senses to what was around us, while calming our mind was just amazing. I loved hearing the sounds and smell the pine trees.

I wished I had a blanket though.

This is relaxation.

This really sums up my trip right here.

For my first yoga retreat, I had a blast. I would so go to Retreat in the Pines again. I'm even thinking about a late summer trip. It was such a calming experience. Plus, Theresa sent an email with the recipes from the weekend. Yummy! Good wine, good converstation, relaxation, and exercise in a beautiful place... couldn't ask for anything better of a girl's weekend.


These are some of our pictures on the road trip back home to everyday life. I wished I didn't have to leave.

We managed to find the first Adopt a Highway.

Conversation Me: "Did you see that Railroad Park Historical Marker?" JL: "Yes, should we?". Me: "Yeah."
It took awhile, but we finally found a great place on the side of the highway to stop for flower pictures.

JL really wanted to get the Indian Red Paints.

Indian Red Paints are just as beautiful.

A closeup of the Bluebonnets. Don't judge me...we only get these flowers a few weeks a year.
Did I mention I love the flowers this time of year?

This side bridge was dedicated to war veterans of Texas.

And don't forget...

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.


  1. In answer to the question, "When did they erect this giant statue of Sam Houston on I-45 North?", the answer is October 22nd, 1994. You must get out more, Kristi!!

    Great blog - makes me want to have a glass of wine and take a nap - er, meditate.

    1. Thank you for the info Jim. I guess I never go that way during the day. NEver saw it before.

  2. I'm pretty eager to try the Waffalata place for a "regional" dining adventure!

    So fun to get some new ideas of places to explore!

    Beth from The Beth Lists

    1. It was interesting and really good. They had a Poppy Seed Dressing that was so delicious. I wished they bottled it. THe restaurant is also part of the Burger place (can't remember the name). Apparently, they were good, too. Someone ordered burgers next to us and it smelled delicious.

      Thank you for checking out my blog!

  3. OMG- that looks amazing! all of my favorite things (except for a long car ride!)
    Let me know if you schedule one for fall & I'll sign up to get updates from retreat in the pines. =)

    1. Hey Amanda! It really was amazing. JL and I are thinking about doing the cooking retreat in July... I'm not sure I can do anything in the Fall. I hope you can make it with us and we promise to make the roadtrip fun so you don't know it's a long trip.


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