True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature was able to spend some time getting to know Yoga Teacher and Retreat Leader, Christa Mastrangelo Joyce. Take a glimpse into her upcoming retreat in Greece.

 

TN: How does the idea of “Yoga Sea + Soulscape” play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

C: A “soulscape” is the notion of a landscape of the soul. The sea and soulscape imagery for me brings together the artistic view of the outer landscape with the imaginative realm of the inner landscape. I see this as an opportunity to appreciate, meditate on, find wonder and gratitude for, both the outer and inner landscapes. This idea to me asks that we be present with all that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted and touched, as well as the notions, myths, and sensations that arise in our mind and spirit from our presence with the sensory world.

 

 

TN: Who has been your greatest influence and why?

C: I can’t possibly pick just one person! I am influenced by great poets–Mary Oliver, Rumi, Hafiz, and so many others; great teachers of yoga and philosophy–BKS Iyengar, Kim Manfredi, Sianna Sherman, Matthew Sanford, Parker Palmer, Bernie Clark, Hal Elrod, Krista Tippett, and so many more; and great loves, like my children, my husband, and a wealth of incredible friends. I am continually influenced by the guidance, wisdom, words, and expertise of those who are invested in knowing their self, knowing humany, and working to experience life’s joys and challenges with compassion and love above all.

 

TN: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

C: I think I’d be Triangle Pose. I am working at all times to find balance, ease, and well-being in the triadic parts of me–mind, body, and spirit. This often requires a strong and centered foundation, an open heart and exuberant spirit, an alert spine and mind, and a steady attention that keeps my eyes gazing upward.

 

 

TN: Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

C: I am an exuberant story/poetry reader and teller. I love being in nature–swimming, walking/hiking, meditating, journaling, and connecting with other humans. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become passionate about starting each day with a “Miracle Morning”–a term used by Hal Elrod–and have seen the abundance this practice has added to my life. I have made it a priority to practice moments of pause daily in order to cultivate gratitude. All this and more will be a part of our time in Greece.

 

TN: What is on your “Greece list” and what are you most excited about?

C: This retreat to me represents truly steeping in abundance, joy, and the miracle of life within and around us. My “Greece List” includes relishing in local food, wine, and culture. I am excited to immerse in this calm, healing environment; to swim, hike and explore, with all my senses wide open. I am especially excited to offer classes and events that provide the opportunity to come alive to this abundance. I love creating community wherever I am in the world, so the opportunity to do so will be infused into the whole of the trip.

 

 

TN: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

C: Really good quotes and poems often shape my perspective of things so this is tough to choose, but I’m drawn to this piece of a Mary Oliver, poem: “Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.” I just know there will be so many opportunities to be astonished and filled with joy on this trip. Instead of trying to plan and orchestrate every moment of this trip, or to fill every moment with doing, I intend to cultivate space for these joy-filled moments to be witnessed–that is the best work of a life-time, after all.


Join Christa and True Nature in Greece!

Yoga Sea + Soulscape

October 18 – 24, 2020

Amorgos Island, Greece


About Christa Mastrangelo Joyce

Christa Mastrangelo Joyce is E-RYT500 hour certified through Kim Manfredi. She holds an additional 1000 hours of training through her studies with Sianna Sherman, Bernie Clark, Maria Garre, Shiva Rea, Desiree Rumbaugh, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Andrew McCaulay. Christa is the owner of Jala Yoga with locations in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Winchester, Virginia. She blends her early background and knowledge of Ashtanga with a strong alignment-based infusion of Iyengar Yoga. Her teachings emphasize moving fluidly and safely, with a strong understanding of anatomy and Ayurveda, and incorporate her knowledge of breath work, meditation, and Yoga philosophy. She brings her love of story and mythology to the practice, as well as her understanding of Yin Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She works to create classes that allow people to feel at home in their body while providing space for them to become stronger, healthier, more attuned to life, and more connected to their self and to the world around them. Christa loves to share the gifts that yoga has offered her and to help each person find their own path to this joyful practice. She hopes that each person who leaves her class finds strength, nourishment, and balance, as well as the wonder of life within and around them.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature was able to spend some time getting to know Yoga Teacher and Podcast Producer, Farah Nazarali. Take a glimpse into her upcoming retreat in Costa Rica.

TN: How does the idea of “DIVINE PLAY: IMAGINE, CREATE, PLAY” incorporate into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

FN: I choose the word IMAGINE because visualization is such an important part of creation. We must be able to see, visualize, and imagine something before we can birth it into form. When we imagine the best version of ourselves, it opens up the possibility for us to step into that version.

During the Retreat, we will speak about svadharma or soul purpose. When we are connected to our soul purpose, we are able to tap into a greater force in our lives to support us especially in times of hardship. The other piece of soul purpose is that our purpose is connected to the well-being of the whole and that sheds new light on our relationships because it is in being in relationship that we are able to shine our Light.

The Retreat is also about health as a foundation for a fulfilling, purposeful and empowered life. Yoga offers so many tools and practices- not only for physical health but for mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. I am hoping the Retreat will inspire people to commit and re-commit to those practices that are health-affirming; plant-based food, sunshine, nature, movement, oceans and forests, rest, and play.

When we are on track with our health, we can examine and inquire into the deeper questions of life. With so much violence, inequality, racial and social injustice, we need as many people as possible that are healthy, connected to their soul purpose, and inspired to contribute to the health, happiness, and justice for all.

Humans are born of God and we carry within our hearts a Divine Spark. When we are connected to our hearts, we feel connected to all of life and we can use our CREATIVE capacities for meaning, purpose, justice, and harmony. When I say CREATIVE, I’m not referring to what is artistic; rather I am talking about the ability to bring into form; to create, to manifest. And, I’m not talking about manifesting our ambitions and desires that are self-serving; I’m referring to a creative capacity to bring into form events and experiences that serve the aspiration of the soul- to love and serve all of creation, equally and without reservation. This is why I choose the word CREATE.

As for the word PLAY- play is an important part of spiritual life. It gives us joie-de-vivre or the joy of living. As adults, we are often burdened by responsibilities and roles and we forget how to play and cultivate joy. Dancing, singing, and being outside offer opportunities to re-connect with the spirit inside us that is loving, playful, spontaneous, and abundant.

 

Playa Uvita Costa Rica retreat

 

 


Farah Nazarali is a podcast producer, an advocate of natural medicine and plant-based diets, and an inspirational yoga teacher who lives and teaches by example. She has been leading Retreats for several years and is a beloved teacher in Vancouver, Canada. She has a passion for creating long-lasting transformation and facilitating life-changing experiences.

In her free time, Farah enjoys ocean-bathing and forest gazing and is working on her first book- Drisht Point: A Portal to the Sacred.

True Nature Travels Blog

Receptivity

Join Pamela Nelson of PLN Yoga and Kara Thorsen of Yoga Équanimité on a journey through Receptivity: Quotes and Context. Wednesdays on Instagram at noon (EST). Each week, they will explore what receptivity means and open a dialogue with a new quote.

Pamela and Kara invite you to join them for a Yogic Exploration of Receptivity in the breathtaking Sacred Valley of Peru. Become more receptive to your inner Self through the ancient art, science and philosophy of yoga. Pamela and Kara are both Iyengar practitioners and teachers but their individual personalities and experiences will allow you to experience a full range of yoga asana, pranayama and meditation.

By becoming more receptive we are more open to receive fully with our heart and minds the joys yoga can bring – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during this amazing week.

Through the progression of the week, you will not only gain more strength and flexibility in the physical body, but let go of stress, tension and negative thought patterns that you no longer need to carry.

Exploring and moving from the external to the internal landscape is truly the art of receptivity. Set your intention for healing, transformation and becoming more wholehearted in 2020. Join us in the Sacred Valley of Peru!

“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” B.K.S. Iyengar

Receptivity

 

Follow every Wednesday at noon (EST) here:

https://www.instagram.com/plnyoga/

https://www.instagram.com/yoga_equanimite/

 

Join us in Peru!

Receptivity: A Yogic Exploration in Peru with Pamela and Kara

October 3-10, 2020

Sacred Valley, Peru

 

True Nature Travels Blog

rainforest medicine

Mindful walking through temperate and tropical rainforests of the Earth are an incredible away to awaken present-moment awareness, invigorate our pranic (subtle energetic) body, nourish our retinas and pineal glands, soothe our nervous system and remind us of our inter-connectedness with the Earth as a living being. The Japanese call this practice- shinrin yoku or ‘forest bathing’.

Farah Nazarali, founder of Drishti Point Yoga Podcasts joins us next January in leading a Retreat in Costa Rica that will include ocean-bathing, forest-gazing, and yogic practices to tap into our divine, creative powers to live an abundant and purposeful life.

Rainforest Medicine

“Nature is abundant and it is our nature to live abundantly; to love generously, to serve selflessly, and to experience the joy and beauty of the natural world,” says Farah who hopes this Retreat will inspire yogis of all levels to deepen their experience of abundance, play and beauty.

Enjoy this podcast that Farah recorded last year about the Enchanted Forests of British Columbia featuring botonist, medical biochemist, author, and forest visionary, Diana Beresford-Kroeger.

rainforest medicine podcast

Imagine your best self- vibrant and radiant health, happy and fulfilled in your heart, and on track with your life/soul purpose. Kick off the auspicious year of 2020 by investing in your health and happiness. Join us in Costa Rica!

Divine Play

Imagine, Create, and Play
January 25 – February 1, 2020

More information here

About Farah 

Farah Nazarali has been recording interviews with fascinating and interesting personalities since 2005. She created Drishti Point Yoga Podcasts, a 10-year karma yogi podcast projects that produced over 400 podcasts with renowned yoga teachers, international authors, spiritual teachers from various wisdom traditions and living Masters. For more information, visit: www.drishtipoint.ca

True Nature Travels Blog

yoga journey indiaFebruary 2019 had many astrologically auspicious dates to dip in the holy river Ganges. In fact millions of people from different spiritual paths joined together for Ardh Kumbh Mela a great display of collective consciousness to bathe in the sacred river. Maa Ganga is the essence of ancient wisdom and she offers more than just a glimpse beyond theory and plunges us into pure awareness. Some friends back home said, oh no it’s so dirty and maybe there are bodies in it, but to the faithful, the Ganges is a wellspring of life energy. The epitome of mind over matter.

On this my fourth pilgrimage to India, I finally dipped in the Ganges River – again and again and again. This act of devotion and faith helped peel away the vestiges of doubt and hesitation that had me half living the path of yoga. One foot in and one foot out is no longer an option.

yoga journey indiaThe art of living yoga did not come from more hours of study or time on the yoga mat, it was the interaction with others that guided me to experience true living yoga. Yoga is a noun and a verb. The practice of Yoga is doing what it takes for your particular nervous system and nature, to remember and live knowing that you are pure consciousness, pure awareness, Divine light; connected to all beings everywhere always. Yoga is a way of being, a way of living.

Living yoga comes again and again through experience. In India people pay more attention to the feeling or energy that you are emitting rather than the words your mind is expressing. Classroom time in India is not what a westerner would call organized or even remotely logical. Think of the students back in the time of the Vedas who would live with their teachers for years before the teaching began. Once the wavelength between teacher and student matches, then the teachings are given.

yoga journey indiaThe way things work in India is beyond comprehension. The magic of connection presents itself in ways you could never imagine yet it does indeed present itself because it is always already here, waiting for us to take off our blinders, filters and preconceived notions. Physical eyes may be WIDE open taking in all the mind-blowing sights, yet until the layers of our learned behaviors drop away and our heart softens, one sweet Indian smile after another, it is then that the soul connection is revealed. It is then that we can relax into the flow of life to which we are intimately connected.

Beyond (and then including) the litter and pollution, the honking horns and the dirt, the cow shi# and the slums – the beauty of India is indescribable. The heart and soul of India welcomes you home to your true nature. Living from the spiritual viewpoint that God/Cosmic Consciousness is in everyone, the people of India share more than you can imagine they will ever have to share. They smile when we might typically decide to give up or at least stay in bed. They face the day with kindness and caring. Maybe it’s karma yoga, maybe it’s Bhakti yoga. Either way, it is the strongest experience of yoga, union, that I can recommend.

How do we yoke ourselves to that Universal energy/cosmic consciousness?

Travel! To be immersed in a culture that sees God/Cosmic Consciousness in everyone and everything, invites you to soften, play your part and to yoga journey indiafollow your heart. The 8 Limbs of Yoga give us an outline as to how to live in alignment and with cosmic consciousness and Ayurveda provides the science of balancing universal elements.

With the help of Ayurveda, I was able to return to my natural state and utilize the tools of Yoga and Ayurveda to remain balanced and offer neutrality to others as a space of healing and love.

My initial plan was to spend two months on the beaches of Goa enjoying Ecstatic dance, the sun on my skin and the salty love of mamma ocean. Yet the behind the scenes notion was also to let India guide me, to bring me back to life…and she did. At PDI Goa, I launched into two weeks of Panchakarma, an intensive Ayurveda cleansing and rejuvenation method for body, mind, emotions and all layers (koshas) of yourself. One thing led to the next and I found myself with a suitcase full of beach clothes in the foothills of the Himalayas.

yoga journey indiaAt the PDI Ayurveda Health Center near Rishikesh, my new home away from home, I was welcomed as student, patient, family, friend and colleague. Eating three garden fresh, warm cooked meals at the same time every day along with continued Ayurveda studies first with a group from Argentina and then a second group from Holland allowed me to see the mirror of life while sharing my love of yoga through teaching daily asana sessions saturated with dharma talks. Here I discovered what life can feel like, how it’s possible to live in rhythm with nature, connected to our bodies and the land. I got to experience being in union with cosmic consciousness.

My intention for coming to India was to feel alive again. Mission accomplished.

yoga journey indiaThere is no word for privacy in any Indian language. In India, unlike in America, there is no notion of boundaries. Noise and horns assault our overloaded ears and dogs and cows line the streets disarming us, uplifting us, making our ordered lives seem absurd. Yet for this small town farm girl, I found a peaceful community with a garden and a discovered a new way to love. It is an honor to be part of this human family and my aim is to be a positive ripple of this connection as I travel out into the world.

This quest to experience cosmic consciousness outside of filters, karma and impressions is the theme of my True Nature Greece Retreat in September, Isvara Pranidhana. If we can dedicate our lives to serving the God/Cosmic consciousness that dwells within ourselves and all other beings, human and non-human alike, we will move beyond all feelings of separateness. We can experience heaven on earth.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” -John Lennon

 

yoga journey india

 

 

Join Heidi and True Nature in Amorgos, Greece
The Gift Greek Island Luxury Retreat
September 7 – 13, 2019

 

 

Heidi Dietrich
Dharma & Grace Yoga

As a yogini and an artist, Heidi inspires us to explore yoga as an applied lifestyle, making art with our lives and relaxing into our Divine Self. Through the dance of balancing the body, mind, and spirit she guides us toward harmonizing our inner truth with our actions and experiences.

Heidi’s gentle and restorative approach to the yoga practice incorporates energy work, flower essences, mantra, yantra painting, gemology and astrology as well as Yoga Nidra.

Heidi received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification from the Marianne Wells Yoga School in Costa Rica in 2009. She also has 108 hours of training in the heart-oriented method of Anusara. In 2013, she completed her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Brenna Geehan and Jean Mazzei of SriYoga in San Francisco.

Heidi is the founder of Dharma & Grace Yoga Retreats and Charlevoix Yoga.

 

 

True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature was able to spend some time getting to know Yoga Teacher, Shaman, and Spiritual Teacher, Alyssa Snow. Take a glimpse into her upcoming retreat in Guatemala.

alyssa snow

TN: How does the idea of “Uncovering Your Essence” play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

A: We live in such intense times. Oftentimes experiencing information overload and not even realizing it. We become immersed in the roles we play in life. The role we play at home as mother, father, brother, daughter, etc. The role we play in our professional life. Then we layer on top of that our own expectations and ideas of those roles and our emotional experiences that we may express or not express. These become the layers of our being.

And we can feel bogged down with layers that we are not even aware of. They are just part of life.

This yoga retreat is about unraveling those layers. What if we were able to just drop our ideas about who we are, what life should be for us, what people expect of us? What if we just let that go and experienced BEING?

The themes that may come up this week are what makes up these layers?  What gets in the way of us experiencing just being? What gets in the way of us experiencing ourselves as Divine? What gets in the way of us experiencing joy?  Can we look those themes in the eye and bid them goodbye?

That’s the journey.

guatemala yoga retreat

TN: Who has been your greatest influence and why?
 
A: I have had too many to list. I’ll say my mother.  She’s my best friend. She has given me the experience of being unconditionally loved from my mother. This experience has shaped who I am as a woman and as a mother to my own four children. It has shaped who I am as teacher of the heart. Her love and capacity to hold space for me in every phase of my life thus far has been one of my life’s greatest gifts. One that I hope to pass on to my own daughters.
 
TN: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?yoga retreat

A: Breath of fire.  Because it’s intense, active and fiery yet neutral and balancing in it’s effect.

TN: Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?
 
A: Shamanism has become a great area of study for me. I’ve been teaching yoga for about 17 years and practicing for a little over 20. Shamanism, drumming, journeying and connecting to my spirit guides and masters has become a deep part of my spiritual practice.  YES for sure they will be explored during the retreat!

TN: What is on your “Guatemala list” and what are you most excited about?
 
A: I’m not sure I have a “Guatemala list” but I know I am excited about experiencing the vibration of Lake Atitlan and the indigenous shamanic practices of the local healers. I live in NYC so I’m also extremely excited to immerse in somewhere slower and more quiet.

TN: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?
 
A: This culture we have, this social media culture and images…I invite you to go deeper. I invite you to become aware of you, your life and how you want to live it.

We invite you to join us in a weeklong exploration to deepen your connection to your highest self and open to love. In this magnificent retreat on Lake Atitlán, we will learn how to shift that balance. Located in the homeland of the indigenous Maya, Lake Atitlán is a magical setting referred to as the belly button of the earth – the center of the universe where God’s seeds of mankind evolved. Immersed in this vibration, you will experience kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, shamanic drumming, and led sharing circles. In all of this, Alyssa will guide you to unravel the patterns that do not serve you so that you can open to the magic of the light within you.

Uncovering Your Essence: A Spiritual Yoga Retreat in Guatemala with Alyssa Snow
July 22 – July 28, 2019
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Find out more: HERE

ABOUT ALYSSA

Alyssa snowAlyssa Snow is a passionate spiritual mentor, yoga teacher and shamanic energy healer with more than 20 years of experience in the field of mind-body therapeutics. Over the course of her career, she has helped thousands of clients discover greater alignment within themselves, within their relationships with others, and within the landscapes of their lives.

Alyssa combines her academic background in accounting and finance and her corporate operations experience with her life roles as a mother, a business owner, yoga teacher, healer and a human being to offer clients a unique, real-world approach to spiritual exploration.

She is the founder of MindBodySoul Yoga Studio in New York City and the author of Yoga and the Process of Awakening. She is the lead creator in MindBodySoul Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training and is the host of Mind Body Soul Radio.

Alyssa is a highly skilled yoga teacher and also offers tremendous heart and the deeply practiced skills of space holding, shamanic journeying, mentorship, intuition, leadership, teaching, empowerment, and facilitation in all of her encounters.

True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature was able to spend some time getting to know Yoga Teacher Amanda Cooley. Take a glimpse into her upcoming retreat in Costa Rica; Align and Refine…

 

 

TN: How does the idea of “Align and Refine”  play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

A: My belief is that in order to create a truly fulfilling life, the deepest desires of our inner world, the feelings that come from our heart, need to “align” with the actions we put out in our external world. We come to the mat to “refine” or get “unstuck”, to move energy and to get clear on how we want to feel, So we can come into alignment and balance in our day to day life.

 

TN: Who has been your greatest influence and why?

A: I dont have 1 great influence, I have many. Some of them have been brief ships passing by, teaching me hard lessons very quickly. Others have been consistent, surfing beside me on this life wave. I can say that all of these influencers have shown me how to break patterns, to dig deep so I can stand confidently in chaos. They’ve taught me to dream big and believe that I can create a life worth living.

 

TN: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

A: The first pose that comes to mind is “wild thing” only because I embrace heart openers. I love the idea of always being “wild” – breaking out of your comfort zone, trying new things and going on adventures. Becoming “wild” is about testing your limits and understanding that you can be your own best friend, you can rely on yourself, your heart, for all the right answers for YOU.

 

TN: Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

A: I feel like I could’ve been an oceanographer in a past life. I love anything and everything about water. The creatures “down under”, the unexplored caves and ship wrecks … it intrigues me. I chose to host my retreat on The Ballena Marine Conservation area because of my passion for ocean preservation and I’d LOVE to snorkel or scuba dive while in Costa Rica.

 

TN: What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list” and what are you most excited about?
A: I wanna see the sea turtles. I swear, they’re my spirit animal. I even have a tattoo of these magnificent creatures.

TN: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?
A:  “Uniting consciousness in the heart.”

 

Learn more about her upcoming retreat:

Align and Refine
April 6 – April 13, 2019
Playa Uvita, Costa Rica

Details HERE

 

About Amanda Cooley:

Amanda is the proud owner of Ruby Yoga, located in North Bay, in Canada. She has been practicing yoga for over 14 years and teaching yoga for 10 of those years. Her yoga journey began when she was suffering from the ups and downs of anxiety and depression. Recognizing the immense benefits of her own yoga practice, Amanda wanted to help others achieve a better quality of life through this path.

Studying with teachers from the Iyengar tradition at The Yoga Studio College of Canada, Amanda completed her year-long certification in June 2008. Upon completing her certification, Amanda had dreams of traveling and furthering her education in Yoga. She relocated to Busan, Korea to teach English for 14 months which gave her the opportunity to then study and live at an ashram in India and trek the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.

After almost 3 years of being away from home, Amanda returned to Canada to visit friends and family. She stayed to open Ruby Yoga in October 2012. Using her studio as a catalyst to expose the tools and teachings of yoga to others, her intention is to continue to help individuals heal through the path of yoga.

True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature was able to spend some time getting to know Yoga Teacher and Massage Therapist, Alix Northup. Take a glimpse into her upcoming retreat in Costa Rica; Connecting to Nature, Inside and Out…

 

 

TN: How does the idea of connecting to nature, inside and out, play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

A: I find solace and inspiration by spending time connecting to nature.  Things go about at their own pace, without rushing.  There is a sense of deep presence and peace throughout as weather comes and goes and beings coexist in harmony.  With yoga, I begin to connect to a similar sense – of being a part of something greater and spacious. During this retreat in Costa Rica, we will “connect to nature inside and out’ both with time spent on the mat in practice and with contemplative time spent in the serenity of nature in our immediate surroundings. Through practices of mindfulness and observation, we can begin to unravel the layers that sometimes obscure this sense of connection and keep us trapped in limited beliefs.  We become explorers, in a sense, of our inner landscape and watch the changing weather inside our own minds and bodies.  By taking time to nourish our inner resources of energy and vitality, we  deepen the connection to ourselves, nature, and the world we relate to.

 

 

TN: Who has been your greatest influence and why?

A: Tias Little has been the greatest influence in my practice over the last 7 years .  Tias and his wife Surya created Prajna Yoga, where I did 300 hours of training and continue to study.  Prajna yoga is innovative, blending intelligent and mindful hatha yoga with teachings from Buddhist and Zen traditions.

A lot of the work with meditation, yoga, and gentle unwinding somatic movements we will delve into during this retreat in Costa Rica are inspired by the teachings of Tias. Tias Little is one who truly embodies his work and ‘walks the talk.’

When you find a teacher, a path, that nourishes your inner knowing, it is no longer a question. You just arrive.  Again and again.

 

 

TN: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

A: If there was a yoga pose that best described me, I would say I relate most with the Triangle Pose (trikonasana).  In Triangle, energy is pulled in different directions yet grounded down into the earth through the feet. It can be fiery and energetic and active and also cool and contained and quiet. It strives for symmetry but has a sense of fluidity rather than becoming rigid.  I explore the different sides of myself as I practice this pose from day to day. The triangle shape itself is deep with symbolism in sacred geometry, building a sense of harmony and grace.  I draw from the energy of the triangle pose to find balance in my life, especially when things feel busy or chaotic.

 

 

TN: Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

A: Other than yoga and meditation, I am passionate about being active and exploring the outdoors.  That is what excited me about this retreat in Costa Rica- that there will be ample time to spend with various outdoor activities  including hiking, swimming, SUP,  and surfing as we connect our practice into nature outside and get into our bodies through physical movement.  I am imaging hiking through the jungle, trying SUP for the first time and surfing in some warmer water (I’ve only surfed on the Oregon coast so far).

I am also passionate about resting and eating well, so there will be plenty of time and opportunity for that too!

 

 

TN: What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list” and what are you most excited about?

A: I love the adventure of exploring an area new to me- and as this will be my first visit to Cost Rica it is a new frontier!   I have read that the Pacific Coast of southwestern Costa Rica, where we will stay during the retreat,  is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.  As a plant lover, my Costa Rica “bucket list” includes experiencing the rainforest and diversity within Ballena National marine park, visiting the white sand beaches of Playa Uvita and surfing, and whale watching.  Experiencing local community life and enjoying the local fresh cuisine is also something that interests me wherever I go.

 

 

TN: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

A: I’m often inspired by the writings of John Muir about our precious connection to the natural world. I think his words are important reminders for our modern day lives. ‘Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.’

 

Learn more about her upcoming retreat:

Connecting to Nature, Inside and Out: A mindful Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica
February 23 – March 2, 2019
Playa Uvita, Costa Rica

Details HERE


About Alix Northup:

Alix began her study of yoga as a teenager when her mom brought her to her first yoga class after discovering she had scoliosis. She draws from her own experience of finding balance in her body and mind to compassionately assist others on their own unique path of healing and discovery.

A student for over twenty years, Alix has been teaching yoga since 2007. She is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level, recently completing 300 hours of training with her teachers Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga based in Sante Fe, New Mexico. She received her Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher Trainer certification through senior Iyengar teacher Elise Miller, and continues to study yoga for back care and scoliosis with Deborah Wolk from NYC.

As a licensed massage therapist, Alix brings a deep understanding of anatomy and alignment into her teaching and hands-on adjustments. Alix offers group classes, private sessions, retreats, and workshops specializing in yoga therapeutics and back care both locally and internationally.

Alix finds inspiration and solace in nature and spends her free time exploring the outdoors through rock climbing, hiking up mountains, skiing, and surfing. At home, she enjoys gardening, cooking, playing music, and lying in savasana.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

Susan Urquhart-Brown and Christopher Brown are hosting a “Power of Presence” retreat in Tuscany. In addition to teaching yoga, Susan and Christopher are mindfulness inquiry teachers. They are passionate about individual transformation and facilitating others in their awakening process. This retreat will take you beyond your practice with daily yoga, meditation, and mindfulness workshops. In the evening you will come together for a time of sharing and personal growth. The hilltop Tuscan Villa retreat center is the perfect environment to explore and transform the cherished beliefs and ideas you hold about yourself, others, and the world. Join this dynamic duo in Italy from September 29-October 6 for a transcending journey. Learn more about what the power of presence means to leader, Christopher, and read experts from his writings below!

 

TIGER

It seems that life is like dancing with a tiger, one must be a skilled dancer while also staying mindful, so not to miss the subtle cues from this powerful animal. One missed cue, one wrong step, and the tiger can pounce! So perhaps the most important thing to learn is the balance and flow of life. These qualities that are taught by working with the river. Finding that sweet spot where the hydraulics ​carry you between the rocks and not into them. To become completely natural and in tuned, to be one with the tiger.

The question now is this; when is it the time to read a book, to listen to a lecture, or to simply sit with the heartbeat of the tiger?

 “The primary task of a good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions, but to question your answers. For it is your conscious and unconscious assumptions and beliefs that distort your perception and cause you to see separation and division where there is only unity and completeness. Adyashanti”

 

 Oneness and the habit of focus

At Power of Presence gatherings, we use the term oneness a lot, but how often do we reflect on just what it is? When we point to the interconnectedness of everything, as Craig Braden has coined in the Divine Matrix, it’s easy to say “yes” we are all connected by air, gravity, DNA, and the sun. So, why don’t we feel connected?

The first thing to consider is the power of language. The divide that is created where no separation is possible. Take fingers and hand, note how language takes this seamless reality and divides it up into 1000 pieces. We believe in the pieces and we miss the whole picture. Fingers cannot exist separately from the hand, nor hands exist separately from the body. Yes, the habit of speaking focuses on the part and not the whole.

 Our language is designed for sharp focus and dividing up reality so that we miss the big picture and forget to use our wide focus.  When we choose wide focus, we take in the whole panorama, not just the pieces.

Taking in the panorama of life, something happens within us. We are silent, relaxed, and fall back into ourselves. When we are truly present, with no side, that the experience of wholeness arises. At first, the experience of oneness and unity cannot be maintained in the mind as it begins to chatter again. Yet, each time we touch this presence, this silence, we form a new habit and a greater appreciation of oneness and begin to focus on how we are connected.

Written by Christopher Brown

 

Learn more about the Power of Presence Italy Retreat here:

 http://truenaturetravels.com/retreats/yoga-italy-susan-christopher/

True Nature Travels Blog

From May 12-May 19, 2018, we’re headed to Amorgos, Greece with Anastasia Bobadilla and Laura Green. Below, Anastasia and Laura tell us what inspired their Wellness Playground: Reconnect To Play Retreat, who their greatest yoga influences have been, what quotes inspire their practice, and more! Meet Anastasia and Laura and find out what you can expect on their retreat by checking out our exclusive interview below!

1. How does the idea of the Wellness Playground: Reconnecting to Play” play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up?

In our retreats, our aim is to remind people how wonderful it feels to play, to laugh and to enjoy.
We are wired by evolution to PLAY. Allowing ourselves to PLAY not only decreases stress, improves brain function, and boosts creativity; PLAY also helps balance our mood, cope with everyday life decisions, and frees our spirit to bloom with more passion in every day observations.
Especially as an adult, PLAY boosts our immune system and improves our resistance to disease. Whether it’s a soft giggle,  a loud deep belly howl, or a simple smile and a wiggle. Allow yourself to let go, laugh, and take amusement to yourself and those around you.
Don’t take life so seriously.
Free your inner child and allow your sense of PLAY to bubble up inside you.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?

Our greatest influences are the people in our community! The people in the Reno/Tahoe and surrounding area have so much diversity and openness. We feel so blessed and supported by our tribe that we continue to teach and share these practices of connection and play. Without this sense of tribe, our playfulness dulls because we strongly believe that the connections, experiences and memories we create in life is what makes our souls shine.

3. If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

Our mantra or meditation is “Namastizzle”: The monkey in me sees and honors the monkey in you. Namastizzle helps us connect with our primal playfullness and honor our innate sense of a monkey mind set. We allow that connection from our inner light to shine through hearts, radiate into our hands, and enrich the world with our inner sense of play.
 

4. Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

Beyond Yoga & Meditation,  we focus on connection, trust, communication and play. During our week, we will over many different classes, giving our participants a chance to explore all of these things. For example, AcroYoga teaches us how to trust in a partner to support us, to connect to that person physically and feel safe and even empowered. It teaches us how to communicate effectively both verbally and non verbally. The profound connections that develop through AcroYoga are incredible. We love the give this kind of experience to our students.  Our other classes include Aerial Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Movement & Dance, Budokon, Slacklining, and Thai massage. All of these classes are designed to introduce our students to a wide range of play. Students of any age or experience level can come to our retreat and be inspired and empowered by these offerings. All of our classes during the week are optional, so students and pick and choose which classes they are intrigued to try.

5. What is on your “Greece bucket list” and what are you most excited about?

The top bucket list items that we are most excited about are:
– to swim, float and snorkel in the clear salt water of the Aegean Sea
– learn and immerse ourselves in Greek culture ie. the people, Greek mythology, Greek Cuisine, Greek Spa
– explore the island of Amorgos exploring the unique island ecosystems, animals, and plant life
 

6. Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

“The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy.”
Learn more and Register for Anastasia and Laura’s Wellness Playground: Reconnect To Play Retreat.