SwellWomen Archives - Women's Surf Camp

This month we are excited to shine the spotlight on Kelly Haas ~ a RYT-500, Yoga Therapist, Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher, avid Spanish-speaker, who is sought after for her skilled eyes and hands in therapeutic and alignment-based yoga.  Kelly Photo 1

Kelly’s yoga practice began in 1999 in Atlanta, GA. Her first trainings included Sivananda yoga, followed by an interdisciplinary Teacher Training at the Nosara Yoga Institute. She also completed trainings in Ashtanga, hot yoga, vinyasa, and thai massage therapy. From 2005-2012, her studies focused extensively on Anusara. And now she is studying thai, restorative, and the art of integrating knowledge from all of these practices.

Her deep understanding of the therapeutic benefits of the practice, along with her playful, firey nature, make her classes informative, challenging, and nourishing. She considers it a great honor to teach, and strives to help each student restore health, vitality, and energy to their hearts, bodies and minds.



How lucky do I feel to have had the opportunity to interview this absolutely amazing and inspiring woman.  I feel blessed!  Read on to learn about Kelly and how she inspires people from all around the world:

Q:  Tell us what motivated you to become a yoga teacher / therapist and about your business, Kelly Haas Yoga Therapy . 
Kelly Photo 2

I have always been fascinated with movement, and the innate ability of the human body. As a child, I was a gymnast and loved everything to do with body movement and exploration.

I was introduced to yoga during my college years, and one of my first teachers suggested I train to become a teacher. Wow, what a complement! That got the wheels turning. My love for and personal evolution through the yoga practice is what inspired me to share the teachings with others.

I have thousands of hours in intensive yoga training, and have traveled the world to study and teach. After more than a decade teaching, my path steered more towards the therapeutic forms of yoga. I started exploring how all yoga poses could be adapted to benefit any body type.

Currently, I teach public classes – including restorative and pre-natal – and I specialize in private instruction for those with sports injuries, post surgery, or with physical limitations or disabilities. My home base is New Orleans, but I also lead workshops, classes, and retreats around the world.

You can find out more about me and where I’m roaming at: www.kellyhaasyogatherapy.com

Q:  What advice do you have for women looking to find more balance in their lives?
Kelly Photo 3

Be guided by your internal compass and your own innate wisdom.

Our lives are extremely busy, and can lead to high levels of stress. We often times go outside ourselves to seek answers and affirmation.  The practice of yoga draws our awareness inward and tunes us in to all layers of ourselves. By doing so, we become more sensitive to exactly what we need each moment. Feminine energy pulsates and changes, so too does what brings us into balance.

Resting, reading, nurturing ourselves, taking care of our bodies, eating well, communing with nature, exercising, and creating space for the activities that bring us great inspiration and joy. Whatever activities uniquely make YOU feel alive, bring joy and balance!

Q:  Can you tell us about your first surf experience and how it made you feel?

Kelly Surf NicaWhile living in Costa Rica and managing Pura Vida Spa & Resort, I was introduced to surfing. Spending time with locals who were very adept at water sports didn’t personally provide me the support I needed as a novice to feel comfortable in the water. The Mother Ocean has an ebb and flow all her own, to be respected. On vacation in Nicaragua in 2014, I was reintroduced to surfing. My lesson was with a patient, knowledgeable instructor, who found a perfect small wave for me to pulse with the ocean again. The feeling is pure magic… to be in the water, on a board, getting into her flow, and cultivating patience and trust to ride a wave.

Q:  Wow Kelly ~ thank you for sharing, it gave me goosebumps!  You’ve organized retreats all around the world, can you share what is the best part about a yoga retreat?

Yoga retreats hold space for us to transform and truly nurture ourselves.

In a retreat environment, we can get out of the busy nature of our lives. Retreats create an insulated, safe environment to really “let your hair down.” We sleep onsite, practice together, have our delicious meals prepared for us. With all of the logistical details managed, there is a great amount of space each day for personal reflection, activities, rest… and this is what truly heals us. Kelly Photo 4

Q:  Based on that response, all women should experience at least one retreat in their life!  My final questions ~What are 3 things that give you bliss?

  • Learning about other cultures and speaking different languages.
  • Communing with nature, particularly the water and water kingdoms.
  • Yoga, music and dancing.
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Lana.BlastFitness 1

This month we are excited to shine the spotlight on Lana Osborne-Paradis from Blast Fitness.  She is a BSc Kin, CSEP-CEP, AFLCA Trainer and a LuluLemon Ambassador from Calgary, Canada.  For the last eight years, she has been running, jumping and kettlebell swinging as a personal trainer. Her clients are her greatest inspiration. Every person is different, so she thrives on figuring out what makes people tick, sweat, eat some kale and then tick better. Her goal is to change people’s relationship with exercise and healthy eating. She says we need to be lovers, not fighters. We need to find balance, not extremes. Her results-based approach allows her to help people go from binge athletes and health gorgers to a healthy lifestyle that they can actually keep up with.


Read more to learn how Lana inspires women from all around the world…


Q:  What inspired you to launch your business, Blast Fitness?

I was inspired to start my business Blast Fitness because of my own journey to peace and health. While I have always been active and involved in the health and fitness field, it took a number of years for me to really walk the talk. I believeLana.BlastFitness 2 that many women begin their journey of body change with primarily externally motivated goals, yet continue on the journey because of how exercise and eating well makes us feel about ourselves.

Q:  Tell us a little more about what you do and how you inspire women around the world?

My business involves teaching and inspiring women to live a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. I run an online monthly membership program called the Blast Fitness Lifestyle Club in which I create exercise and nutritional programming for our members each month. Other aspects of my business include a mobile personal training business in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I believe true inspiration comes from showing up with honesty and vulnerability about our experiences and beliefs, and I strive to be authentic with everything I share on my blog and in my coaching practice.

Q:  What advice do you have for women looking to find more balance in their lives?

My advice for women looking to create balance in their lives is to make peace with their past, be aware in the present and be open to the future. Balance comes from slowing down, smelling the roses and realizing that we are all in this together. Regular exercise, eating well and dealing with stress properly all help to maintain balance!

Q:  What message would you give to inspire SwellWomen around the world?Maui

The message I would like to share with swell women around the world is that we have a choice in how we view the world and our experiences. Choosing a peaceful and grateful perspective makes all the difference in enjoying our bodies, lives and relationships.

Q:  What are 3 things that give you bliss?

Three things that give me bliss are being outside, helping women find their strength and a real good sweat session!Lana.BlastFitness,1016

Q:  Is there a quote that inspires you?

Salt water is the cure for everything. Sweat, tears or the sea.



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Carve Shop Spree Promo 1

Today, we are excited to announce that Carve Designs is partnering with SwellWomen as we launch our April 2015 Nicaragua Retreats by sponsoring a drawing for a $400 Carve Designs Shopping Spree!

Carve Designs has evolved into an active apparel company offering a full range of technical waters sports, après surf and lifestyle collections for all seasons.  They love what they do — pioneering a brand for the Carve woman, one who is passionate, fun, versatile, organic, feminine and inspirational.

Carve Designs is a match made in heaven for SwellWomen.  Each piece is functional, fabulous and designed for the female surfer & yogi.

The Carve Designs Story
Carve Jen and Thayer shot 2On a surf trip to Mexico in 2003, surfers & athletes Jennifer Hinton & Thayer Sylvester had a vision: to be able to surf comfortably without having to squeeze their rears into boardshorts designed for juniors.  They took a leap of faith, quit their jobs and dedicated themselves to designing and manufacturing boardshorts for real women that would fit well and look great in and out of the water.


Register by Jan. 31st for one of the SwellWomen Nicaragua Surf & Yoga Retreats in April 2015, and you will be automatically entered into the drawing that will take place on Feb 1st.

The winner of the drawing will receive a $400 Shopping Spree from Carve Designs and be featured in a mini photo shoot in Nicaragua that will highlight their new surf & beachwear.

Are you ready to Follow Your Bliss to Nicaragua?  Book your life changing trip today!

Casa Colorados-18



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Gratitude Auction

In: SwellWomen

SW Group_women bliss


4 Retreat Spots on Maui

November 15-21, 2015





Gratitude Auction

Auction Image

November is the month of Gratitude and as the new owner of SwellWomen, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to inspire women from all around the world.  As a token of this gratitude, we are encouraging women to follow their bliss to Maui by making their best offer via our Gratitude Auction. Let’s make dreams come true in 2015!
RETREAT DATES:  November 15-21, 2015
For complete retreat details, go to:  http://www.swellwomen.com/retreat-details/rates-and-dates

Auction Items  4 Spots Double Occupancy
Start Date      November 27, 2014 at 9am
Close Date    December 3 , 2014 at midnight
Bids Start at     US $1,800.00
Max Bid     US $2,795.00 (includes Aloha Discount)
Terms     4 Spots go to the highest 4 bidders
$500 deposit due upon registration which much be completed within 24 hours of winners being announced.
Balance paid in full by July 1, 2015

Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life.  The Secret

Going for $1,900.00

Refresh Current Bid

  • Ending Date - 03rd Dec 2014 23:59:47

Auction closed

Current bids
  1. Shelly Seabaugh bid $1,900.00 on 2014-12-03 22:05:43
  2. Shelly Schroff bid $1,875.00 on 2014-12-02 14:02:06
  3. Rebecca Kenneally bid $1,850.00 on 2014-11-28 20:32:42
  4. Lulu bid $1,825.00 on 2014-11-28 17:15:16 [auto]
  5. Lisa Reese bid $1,825.00 on 2014-11-28 17:15:16
  6. Lulu bid $1,800.00 on 2014-11-28 17:14:31
Payment Details

Payment must be made using the following method

PayPal Auction winner will get a PayPal payment link via email.
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Testimonial of the Month

In: SwellWomen

Look what Kirsten S from Germany has to say about her blissful SwellWomen experience:

Kirstin SurfK:  Joining SwellWomen on a Maui retreat was truly life changing for me and one of my biggest adventures to date. Maui is just an amazing and peaceful place to be. The beaches, the ocean, nature and the atmosphere are epic. There’s no place I would rather be!

On this wonderful  retreat, I met some of the loveliest and most fun ladies ever. It was amazing how well the group got along and respected everyone’s personality. It’s just sad we didn’t have more time together. And then… I met the love of my life: Surfing. I barely have words to describe this experience. Being out on the ocean, riding the waves, paddling out again and again to get another ride, feeling dizzy from the waves. All this brought me pure bliss and I can’t wait to catch my next wave.

Kirsten, what are you doing today to follow your bliss?
I locked in my Maui experience into my heart. Every now and then I pull out a picture or piece of memory and enjoy it. That’s my type of meditation. I try to be more of the person SwellWomen brought out of me – and to live aloha.  And needless to say, I’m already planning my next retreat.

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Janaportrait-300x188Chef Jana McMahon’s interest in food started early… in the kitchen of her parents and at the ovens of her grandmothers.

A degreed horticulturalist and cuisine savvy, her dishes utilize locally grown fresh Hawaiian product, simply yet elegantly prepared.

Her 20 plus years of cooking experience spans from working “in the trenches” under accomplished Colorado chefs in several fine dining restaurants in Denver and Vail, partner in Glorious Food Catering in Maui, Executive Chef onboard the Hawaiian Based, Yacht Kakela, to owner of a Maui based private chef service.

Jana has appeared on The Travel Channel and Hawaiian Moving Company.
She is a Hawaii Master Gardener, a beekeeper and a champion of local food producers.
She is a founding board member of Slow Food Maui and a member of Chef’s Collaborative.  Jana volunteers for Grow Some Good, Maui school garden advocates & educators, in her spare time.

Jana is also a Culinary and Agricultural Consultant for TERI,  in San Diego.

She is one busy lady and we at SwellWomen are grateful that she dedicated her time for this interview.   Ladies & Gentleman….I introduce to you one of the most amazing women I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last 5 years.    Read and get inspired…..

 Jana 1Q: Jana, tell us about your Private Chef business and how it came to be.

My business evolved out of recognizing a niche or need for in home chef services for people vacationing on Maui.  I had recently left my job as Executive Chef aboard the Hawaiian based Yacht Kakela and had some severance pay.  Marketing to property managers with an offer to sample some of my food got my foot in the door and the rest is history.  Chef Jana McMahon. LLC will celebrate 10 years next spring.  I am a chef with a degree in agriculture.  I am fortunate to be able to share the story of my food with my clients which in turn connects them to the meal in a delicious way….a great way to share Hawaii and it’s culture.

Q: That’s awesome Jana!  What message would you give to inspire SwellWomen?

Following your passion is important.  I find if someone is passionate about something they are generally pretty good at it.  Keep refining that which gets you up in the morning, whether that’s growing a carrot, raising a child, moving a paintbrush on a canvas, perfecting a yoga pose or catching a wave….keep at it. Growth is what fuels me as a human.

I also have a consulting business which takes me to San Diego frequently where I collaborate with TERI, a non-profit which educates and houses people touched by autism and developmental disabilities.  I have been able to use my passions for food and farming to help TERI create a healthy culture. I helped install organic urban farms and gardens at TERI’s group homes which feed residents organic weekly produce, create 365 days of healthy menus which has dropped the residential obesity rate from 85-15% and create a healthy affordable lunch program for staff.

Jana Kiteboarding

Q: You are most definitely an inspiring SwellWoman Jana.  What advice do you have for women that want to start their own business?

Pay attention to the market.  Keep your message and marketing simple and direct.  Don’t fall into the mistake of “clever” business names.  For example, I noticed a business named “Smooth Moves”.  I had no idea if it was a yoga studio, smoothies or colonics. (It was a smoothie store which is no longer in business.)


Q: What has surfing taught you about yourself?

Surfing has helped my practice of staying in the moment.  When surfing, I am literally no where else but right there in the water looking, watching and waiting for the next wave.  It helps me practice getting out my monkey mind chatter and just be.  A glorious perfect gift of a present moment in time.

Jana KiteBoarding 2

Q: That gives me goosebumps!  One last question – What are 3 things that give you bliss?

  • Feeding people is a blissful gift.  When you feed folks you can’t help but fall in love with them.  It’s wonderful.
  • Surfing is bliss.  Healthy, mindful and active, a perfect commune with nature.
  • Time spent with my tribe of family and friends creates bliss.  Laughter, I am certain, has lengthened my life.  Lucky lucky fortunate me.

For complete details on Jana’s Private Chef Services and Mouth-Watering Menus, check out her website:  www.ChefJana.com .

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Goofy Foot Instructor Spotlight

In: SwellWomen

This month we had the opportunity to interview Luke Adolfson, an amazing Surf Instructor from Goofy Foot.   Luke headed up our SwellWomen Surf Classes in September which received raving reviews.  He had a huge success rate taking novice surfers from learning the basics to riding their first wave of bliss by day 3.  Read on to learn more about this awesome guy….

Luke Surfing

Q: Tell us about a little about you and what you do ~ How long have you been surfing?  How long have you been coaching?  Why do you do what you do?  How does it bring joy into your life?

I was raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, have been surfing for 14 years and coaching for 8 years.
I look at surfing as a God given gift and I love to share the gift with anybody and everybody especially when they show an appreciation for the ocean and the sport.
Surfing is like no other sport. Many surfers will say they have had a spiritual experience when they surf. It’s amazing, even just to be in the water (especially in Maui), but to feel the power of the wave is exhilarating. There is an infinite amount to grasp when learning how to surf. There are so many dynamics with the ocean being so immense and the amazing sensation of actually riding a wave makes it addicting. Many people start and don’t ever want to stop. Some even have full body make-overs (by losing over 80lbs in specific situation). Others adjust their whole lifestyle to be able to surf or surf better. Seeing this transformation in people’s lives makes my job one of the best in the world.

Q: Tell us about your most memorable surf day.

My most memorable surf day is a hard one to answer.  There are so many definitions of a perfect session. Whether it be half a foot waves and you and all your best friends are messing around having a blast, or you’re surfing the best wave of your life at the most coveted surf spot you have ever dreamed about. Or there’s the session when you take out a person who otherwise wouldn’t be able to surf by themselves and share the incredible “time of their lives” with them, or there’s the days when you’re surfing in a third world country and meet new friends and later rescue them from moped riding, machete swinging bandits(no exaggeration) and become friends for life. The adventures of surfing are remarkable.

Luke Land LessonQ: What do you think the biggest fear/challenge is for a beginner surfer and how would you advise to overcome it?

When beginners are nervous about surfing, it is usually a fear of getting hurt. The best way to overcome that is to first, be safe. Find someone who can teach you the RIGHT WAY and is very knowledgeable about the ocean. When people have bad experiences with surfing it usually is because they tried it on their own or had some raunchy instruction. A good instructor will comfort you through the anxiety and nervousness of surfing. Jodel & Luke Lesson

Q: Which ProSurfer inspires you the most?

The pro surfer that inspires me the most is my friend Torrey Meister. I have been able to see his journey and trials and him overcome them.

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Testimonial of the Month

In: SwellWomen

Laura Oct NewsletterLook what Laura R from the UK has to say about her blissful SwellWomen experience ~

L:  When signing up to go to the SwellWomen retreat I completely underestimated what a life changing holiday it would be.
From the location in Maui, the Yoga location & instructors, the surf school, to the incredible new friends I made, this was a holiday of a life time! It gives you a time out and the chance to re-charge and re-connect with yourself.

Since my return to the UK, my time has been spent doing the following:

  • Planning all the destinations I want to go and surf
  • Watching ASP coverage as I am completely hooked.
  • And rather than feeling like I am in a race to achieve certain parts of life we are brought up to expect, I feel like I have the freedom to really enjoy each day in whichever way makes me happy.

I’m excited to see what adventure will be next!

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Katherine Headshot

This month we shine the spotlight on Katherine Wilder, Founder of The Wilder Way.  Katherine’s yoga journey began in 2001 with an invitation to join a friend for a power yoga class at the YMCA, that was all it took.  She left class feeling so expanded and free as well as intimately connected in her body and mind that she knew she needed to share this gift with as many people as she could.  In 2004, this desire to teach lead Katherine to The Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica for a month long intensive of diving deep into herself and the teachings of the ancient system of yoga.  It was the first time that she began to experience these Universal Truths and a sense of  “remembering” that all of the answers have always been within. Her asana practice and self study deepened for several years which then lead her to the philosophy of Tantric Yoga through the Anusara Yoga method.  These teachings have had the most influence on Katherine’s life, yoga practice, and teaching style, unveiling the deepest experience and understanding of connection between the spirit, mind, & body. It is this understanding that fuels her teachings, Katherine encourages her students to remember the importance of having fun and how to play in the realms of the mind and body liberating the spirit.  She has learned through experience that creating proper alignment in the mind and body allows for freedom in heart.  It is through the power of these potent teachings that Katherine’s light playful nature lives and her classes encourage others to do the same. Katherine’s yoga practice and teachings have been accompanied by a therapeutic massage practice for the past 14 years, which shows up in her classes as a deep understanding of how the body works and lots of yummy hands on adjustments. Katherine is most grateful and blessed for all the amazing teachers in her life that have so openly shared their wisdom, passion, and hearts along this path of consciousness. She desires to share the same with her students.


SwellWomen…I introduce to you….the amazing & gifted Katherine Wilder!

Q: Katherine, tell us about your massage practice & what motivated you to start your business, The Wilder Way?

I have been blessed to be practicing therapeutic massage for 14 years.  After 4 years in the spa industry, there didn’t  seem to be much room for therapeutic bodywork or education.  So, 10 years ago I was inspired to start freelancing as I found that it offered more freedom with my scheduling, how I wanted to treat my clients, and what I could offer.  With the work I facilitate, the client/therapist relationship is very important to the work and healing process.  Freelancing allows me the time and energy to cultivate those kinds of relationships with my clientele.  Having a larger client base also keeps me motivated as the more people I see and treat, the more it seems people are very interested in learning about their mind body connection and how important posture and body mechanics are to them.  We only have 1 body, which is our vehicle for this lifetime, how we treat it is of utmost importance.  My style is unique to the industry, so this year I launched The Wilder Way which encompasses my philosophy with the therapeutic work I do and the type of yoga I teach.

Q: What advice do you have for women looking to find more balance in their lives?

My first bit of “advice” for anyone who thinks their life is out of balance would be to ask themselves, “Which parts of my life do I think are out of balance?”  and “Why?” We cannot shift until we recognize what needs shifting.  So first things first, identify what you would like to shift or change.  I would then suggest to categorize your goals into short term and long term.  With any changes to our lives, we need to be realistic as we are generally going to experience a little bit of resistance.  Also keep in mind that we want to create long lasting changes that will serve us in the highest.  There is a lot to be said with being gentle with ourselves, the “dictator mentality” hardly ever wins and is no fun!  The simple concepts of “We are what we eat!”  as well as “We are what we think” will go a long way! So balance in all aspects of the SELF ~ mind.body.spirit are of utmost importance.  I would also suggest  having fun along the journey, life is short!

Q: Tell us, as a yoga teacher, therapeutic massage therapist and surfer, how does yoga benefit surfing?

There are five benefits that come straight to mind:

  • You become more flexible, enabling your “pop up” to be that much faster & agile
  • The breath work in yoga keeps you calm in the water & when you wipe out!
  • It builds strength & stamina in the upper body to enable paddling to be more efficient
  • The pose of cobra & up dog is the same as when you “pop up” so you’re building muscle memory
  • It helps with balance & body awarenessKatherine Yoga 2

Q: What has surfing taught you about yourself?

Surfing has taught me to be patient as there will always be another wave! It has created a humbleness in me unlike any other sport as surfing is so incredibly challenging & the ocean so powerful that you always have to be aware and respectful of nature. Being in the water reminds me how awesome Mother Nature is and last but not least I can go surf all by myself, which makes it very peaceful!

Q: What are 3 things that give you bliss?

  • The sun, sand, and ocean, which generally lead to surf!!!
  • Traveling
  • Teaching and sharing what I have learned along this amazing life journey, as well as learning from others

Katherine Yoga

Words Katherine lives by…
“To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong.”
~ Joseph Chilton Pierce

Ladies, as you go off and about your daily life, be mindful to experience moments of joy. The joy of freshly washed sheets… the joy of a morning yoga session… the joy of time spent with laughing little ones.
When you’re ready for a an entire week of blissful experiences, consider a SwellWomen vacation in paradise. Find your bliss learning to surf the world’s best waves.  Check out our rates & dates!

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“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid.  Courage means you don’t let fear stop you”
– Bethany Hamilton

If you haven’t heard, On September 13, 2015 Me-Shell Mijangos sold her  11 year business to Lulu Agan.

SwellWomen meet Lulu Agan:

Lulu Sunset Surf

Lulu is a Private Chef by trade with four main passions in life:  Surfing, Yoga, Cooking & Wellness. Her driving factor is:  To Inspire and Be Inspired.  So when Me-Shell, a long standing friend, approached her with the news that she wanted to sell SwellWomen, it made perfect sense to pull out all the stops and find a way to carry on with her 11 year legacy.

Lulu’s goal is to live life to the fullest by doing the things that bring her the most joy.   With the purchase of SwellWomen she aims to inspire people around the world to follow their bliss which brings her to share some very exciting news.

SwellWomen Is Going International!!!

Mark your calendar SwellWomen as the first half of 2015 is already shaping into an amazing year of blissful retreats.  Our first back-to-back retreats on Maui will be ~ January 18-24 // January 25-31 hosted at the Sheraton Black Rock.  Lulu picked these dates as it’s Whale Season which is spectacular if you haven’t experienced Maui during this time.  What a way to start the New Year, right?   We will also be launching 2 new luxury retreats in Nicaragua ~ April 12-17 // April 18 -25.  We are still in the process of updating the 2015 registration process and uploading all the Nicaraguan details , so let us know if you are interested and we will email you as soon as possible with details.  http://www.swellwomen.com/about/contact-us

Lulu believes strongly in the beauty and importance of being empowered and empowering those around her.  Surfing and yoga feeds her soul and she hopes to share this bliss with women all around the world!

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Our mission is to provide inspiration for growth and renewal through surfing and yoga on the beautiful island of Maui. Read our blog or subscribe to our feeds and newsletter to prepare for your surf and wellness vacation or stay in the bliss if you've headed home. SwellWomen discusses surf, health and Maui lifestyle with news tidbits and useful tips.