Chocolate and Yoga


For Theresa Polley, owner of Retreat in the Pines, yoga is the most obvious theme of the weekend getaways she hosts for women seeking a break from the stresses of their everyday lives, but that’s just part of the picture. 

“It’s also about wine and chocolate and their favorite sorts of things,” she explains. “Oh, and coffee. Women really love their coffee, almost as much as their wine. These are things I realized weren’t readily available at other yoga retreats,” she says. “It just seemed sensible to make them part of it.”

Retreat in the Pines dates back to 2004, shortly after Polley bought the 30-acre Mineola property as a second home. The notion of a getaway destination quickly took hold.  

“When you’re at home, you’re usually doing things for your kids and your family and probably not enough for yourself,” she says. “I was guilty of that when my children were younger. Women tend to put pampering and time for ourselves on the back burner.” 

She also embraced the idea of community building among her guests. 

“That woman bonding time is really special,” she explains. “They often develop friendships and stay in touch afterward.”

Polley teaches yoga and has a roster of instructors as well as a couple of chefs, a retreat manager and others to coordinate the activities for groups of up to 16 that cluster there. And whether they sign up for a Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat or a Yoga Nurture Retreat, she says the camaraderie is always key. 

“Some think they’re coming for the yoga, but others have never done it before. And we have women who come but never step foot in a class. It’s not really what they’re here for.” 

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