Connecting to Nature, Inside and Out

Posted on: October 3, 2018

I recently completed an interview with True Nature Travels where we discussed our upcoming retreat to Costa Rica and what inspires my teachings.

True Nature: 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?

Alix: 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.

Footprints in the sand near a gentle wave with lighting from a setting sun

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.

Alix Northup in a seated twist at a park

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.

Alix Northup is a triangle pose in a park

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!

A view into the green, lush Costa Rican jungle

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 Costa 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.

The beach in Costa Rica with a big sky with lots of fluffy clouds

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.


Join us in Costa Rica February 23-March 2, 2019. Click here to learn more.


Originally posted on True Nature Travels Blog on September 6, 2018