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Our Story

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Tula Vida - meaning “balanced life” in Sanskrit and Spanish - was created by Sally, Eric and the horse herd with a mission to facilitate a deeper connection to yourself through nature, horses and experience. 

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Sally

Horses were the golden thread through Sally’s life since childhood, when she spent all her free time at the stables just to be around them. 

 

Later, with a “sensible job” as a busy corporate lawyer in London, she would escape to de-stress, reconnect and re-energise on horse riding vacations in different countries for a few precious weeks each year - until one day, in Costa Rica, she met a horse named Beauty.

Already a certified life coach and managing a team of lawyers across Europe, Sally had spent years honing her interpersonal and “soft” skills and getting to know herself better – and yet her experiences with Beauty were so deep and personally powerful that Sally was blown away.

This horse could read her better than she knew herself!  Beauty was reacting to what was going on inside her (such as self-judgement or criticism) even when Sally wasn’t consciously aware of it herself or was trying to pretend she was “fine”. 

Immediate personal feedback like this, offered without judgement and based purely on a horse’s natural sensing capacity, is easy to receive. 

She went back to England and began the process of re-aligning her own life with her new insights - deepening her connection with herself, becoming certified to teach equine facilitated learning (self-discovery with horses) and starting to hear, trust and follow her own inner wisdom. 

Eventually this led Sally back to Costa Rica, where she now lives in the vibrant rainforest surrounded by horses, to focus on bringing these transformational experiences to as many people as possible. 

With Beauty as her guide, Sally could actually see and experience what was getting in her way, practice releasing it and building her own positive presence (without faking a smile as Beauty knows the difference!) 

 

Creating mutual trust and connection with Beauty, as her authentic self with no negative mind chatter and nothing to prove or change, was incredibly moving and free-ing for Sally and opened up a whole new avenue to explore.

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Eric

A life-long athlete and martial arts practitioner, Eric was first introduced (unwillingly!) to yoga as a compulsory part of his training.

However he quickly realised the significant influence of body and breath awareness on not just his body but also his mind and spirit, and it soon became a central guiding

influence in his life.  

During his years working as an expert in biofeedback technology, Eric continued to deepen his knowledge and experience of the mind/body/spirit connection by exploring things that he found interesting, fun, powerful and authentic. 

Eric experienced first-hand that with the right support and setting he could learn the tools and practices to deepen his connection with himself and tap into his own inner wisdom.

Inspired by this discovery, he started creating opportunities for people to unplug from their busy day-to-day lives and tune-in to nature with yoga, mindfulness and adventure retreats all over the world. 

On a location scouting trip to Costa Rica, Eric met Sally and had his first equine facilitated experience. 

After a profound and insightful interaction - also with Beauty -he immediately recognised the transformational potential of mindfulness experiences with horses. 

As Eric says, “I have experienced many kinds of coaching, teaching and healing over the years and this is the fastest and most effective!” 

 

This ignited his journey to become an equine facilitated learning instructor and to incorporate this into his offerings.

This included different yoga teacher certifications, meditation practices, studying with master teachers of bodywork and numerous energy healing modalities. 

To Eric’s delight, the optimum setting for learning and teaching these arts is the heart of nature in vibrant and beautiful locations such as Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, so he deepened his love for Central America at the same time!

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With shared values and a mission to encourage people (and themselves) in deeper connections and awareness, a mutual love of animals and appreciation for the power of nature and experience, Sally and Eric combined their skills and created Tula Vida.

 

Grounded in science and on the frontiers of self-realisation, often in collaboration with other leading voices in the field, Eric, Sally, Beauty and the Tula Vida horses offer personal growth, healing and mindfulness experiences in the natural, vibrant and multi-sensory beauty of their corner of Costa Rica.

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“To see through a horse’s eyes is to see yourself clearly, just as you are, part of the natural world.  And for that to be good enough.” 

Sally Nilsson

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What They Say

“It helped me to truly understand the way of things in nature and how that can help us.”

Mark, Engineer