It’s not enough to do yoga. It’s not enough to live healthily with the sole vision of the self. We are tiny pieces of a much larger living organism and an infinite universe. As the concept of VIKASA shifted over the years, we are growing and shifting our impact on a larger scale. Our thoughts and actions affect everyone around us and the world as a whole. It’s time to look beyond ourselves to see what kind of positive change we can accomplish for the greater good. We are much stronger together and this is something becoming increasingly more obvious as the world’s great problems become increasingly more urgent. We believe the issues facing us today can be solved by bringing people together. Please join us for these exciting initiatives taking shape in our own backyards of Koh Samui, Bangkok and around South East Asia.
Many of the millions of visitors to Thailand every year are unaware of the fact that the animals in most of the animal shows and activities are treated incredibly badly. Elephants are beaten as babies to instil fear and obedience, tigers are kept drugged for months on end, and monkeys submitted to horrifying isolation and torture, all so that tourists can be entertained for a few moments. We believe that a part of spreading consciousness and yoga is to do our part in facilitating the educating of visitors to Thailand about the true nature of animal attractions, but also the protection and rehabilitation of the beautiful creatures that are trapped in them. Recently, many of these abusive animal parks have deviously re-branded as “sanctuaries” when in fact at most they simply learn to hide their cruel practices. Thankfully after much research, we are happy to announce that there is one elephant sanctuary that we can recommend. With locations in Samui, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Cambodia, and Myanmar, the Elephant Nature Park hosts protected places for rescued elephants to thrive. They have raised the bar for sanctuary approval, and recently have helped develop an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Koh Samui, the Samui Elephant Sanctuary. They accept volunteers and visitors and you can book a Vikasa Voyage to the sanctuary by speaking to reception. The park provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffalo and other animals. Volunteers can assist in rehabilitation while learning more about these majestic animals.
As part of our mantra we embrace all things natural in our journey with you to more open consciousness and connection to our surroundings. Wherever possible we use organic foods in our Life Café to draw not just our inspiration but also our nutrients from the beautiful natural surroundings that ground all of our activities. By embracing healthy natural living that comes with healthy natural ingredients, we create a better connection to our environment and a stronger foundation for our own inner journeys. Yoga embodies the knowledge that everything we need is already inside us, and nothing reflects this better that the understanding that everything we need has already been provided by nature. The fresh a delicious produce grown in our gardens behind the Life Café, form the cornerstone of our exciting and revitalising menu. From a small idea to root ourselves in our secluded little piece of paradise on Koh Samui, the organic garden has flourished and is and set to expand even further in 2021. We believe that it is our duty to existing alongside nature and nurture ourselves together with the land that we live on.
Nothing is more rewarding than helping the brave women who fell victim to human trafficking. In collaboration with Generation 414, we support a vital way out for women trapped by human trafficking, kidnapping, rape and sex work. Their work supports the recovery, education, and training of women from Cambodia, Thailand and India who seek an alternative to the sex industry or recovery from abuse. Vikasa holds central to our ethos the life enrichment of people in our local region of South East Asia. Part of our contribution to the heroic and necessary work of Generation 414 is the sale of our Survivor Bags which are handmade, sewn and silkscreened by women who now have a way to support themselves with dignity and safety as they recover and learn to trust. 100% from the sale of every bag goes to their education and recovery. Besides being a worthy cause, the bags are excellent quality made of heavy weight canvas with brass snaps and perfectly sized for a laptop or a beach towel, or both.
Every slice of Vikasa is unique, not just in design and purpose, but also in the art and décor that brings life to our breathtaking setting. We support a rotating roster of local and international artists who create stunning pieces inspired by Vikasa and the natural splendour of Thailand. These exclusive works, inspired by yoga and nature, help to foster the culture of creativity, balance, and mindfulness of our gorgeous surroundings. We believe a beautiful environment is crucially important to the journeys of transformation we embark on. Exploring the grounds of Vikasa you can find many examples of these relationships with hand painted direction signs guiding you through the resort made by Khun Meow, and one-off introspective graffiti art by ArtXPan that graces some of walls in our facilities. The longer you stay, the more of these examples of our dedication to art and expression you will find. At any one time you can find unique pieces of art, sculpture and furniture by up to 15 different creative minds that have all been inspired through our residency programme, that allows artists that craft these works in return for stays in our little corner of Koh Samui.
One of the most important ways that Vikasa treats our surroundings with respect is our efforts to minimise water and plastic usage. Cleanliness and hydration are key in the tropics, but that doesn’t mean we can be careless about our impact. Other than our continuing efforts to improve the efficiency with which we use water in cleaning, watering gardens, and running facilities, we also bring that same mind-set into the way our guests use this precious resource. Parallel to minimizing wastage it is also vital to keep in mind the relation that single use plastics have to water consumption. For this reason we only use refillable glass bottles in our guest rooms and outlets for your comfort and mindful convenience, and for just 800 baht you can buy a Vikasa stainless steel carry bottle to keep you hydrated between yoga classes. Vikasa bottles are refillable at Trash Hero water refill stations around Koh Samui.