April 17, 2013

My Yoga Dreams Come True in Thailand. ~ Carrie Stiles

photo credit: Laurence Vincent Larouche

I have been on an epic journey deep inside the world’s largest caves in Vietnam, participating in permaculture communities in North Thailand, meditating in timeless temples of poetic Luang Prabang and discovering both profound and disturbing treasure-troves of culture and history in Cambodia.

I have missed my yoga community along my solo journey, but the Buddha has kept me company. I can not take the solitude any longer and escape from Panya Project in the back of a pickup truck with a ukulele. I ‘bee-line’ due south eager to reunite with spiritual-seekers.

I giggle with glee as I approach stunning Vikasa Yoga Retreat and Cafe for the first time.

The immensity of the deep blue panorama dazzles me—I am struck by the expansive oceanic landscape. This is paradise. I’ve marveled at many spectacular viewpoints in my extensive exploration of 35 countries on five continents.

Yet, I am enchanted like no other by Vikasa’s cliff-side perch above the vivid Gulf of Thailand.

I’m in heaven…

The next morning, I skip down the steps to my dream-come-true yoga shala on the sea. The sea breeze twirls around eager students settling onto their mats. We arrive. We breathe. We sweat profusely. I am riveted by Vikasa’s challenging, Ashtanga inspired, freestyle flow.

Euphoric release…

photo credit: Laurence Vincent Larouche

After class we dance (or hobble) up the steep, staircase-to-heaven. Ravenous Yogis, recently arrived for Vikasa’s tri-annual yoga teacher training, swarm around the sustenance like bees to a lotus flower. We devour Vikasa’s raw food organic delicacies with tremendous delight.

The day is in full bloom after the long, decadent brunch.

Yogis scramble to cease-the-time before the day slips through their gentle grasp. Carpe Diem! They scatter to worship the sun. Some regroup for a dip in the infinity pool or trot off to one of Samui’s delicious beaches.

The evening hour swiftly approaches.

There is more yoga to be had in the evening practice. A vigorous practice slowly winds down. The rhythm of the waves lulls us into a final resting pose as the sunsets. Night blossoms and the island’s decadent nightlife awakens.

I lay in my four-post bed overlooking the sea and am entranced by Vikasa’s stunning serenity. I am ecstatic and grateful to have found this place.

I think I will stay forever.

photo credit: Laurence Vincent Larouche


Carrie Stiles is a yogi, multimedia creator and social media strategist with an M.A. in Conflict Resolution. She has worked, studied and played in over 30 countries on 5 continents. Her ambitious adventures have taken her high in the Himalayas and past Timbuktu in the Sahara (before the Rebels took over). Carrie is on the road again seeking enlightenment and adventure in SE Asia. Carrie aspires to raise awareness about how small actions lead to large scale social transformation. Connect with her on her environmental conflict resolutionblog and her guide to social media. You can see some of her Tiny Yoga Flicks and also find her on Facebook.


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Assistant Ed: Lacy Rae Ramunno/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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