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San Clemente Journal

SwellWomen A Surfing & Yoga Retreat

May 06, 2020 12:25PM ● By Rebecca Parsons
by Rebecca Parsons

The Back Story
SwellWomen was born in the sea in 2002 when Me-Shell Mijangos decided to combine her passions of surfing and yoga into a week of bliss. She wanted to create a safe space for women to come and enjoy themselves while simultaneously leaving the worries of every day life behind. After eleven successful years filled with countless first waves and life changing transformations, Mijangos decided it was time to focus on her family-she confidently sold the business to her good friend Lulu Agan.

Upon becoming the Chief Officer of Bliss and owner of SwellWomen, Agan took it upon herself to deepen the wellness aspect of the retreat. She worked hard to create a space where women could feel safe to be themselves, share some of their greatest hopes and deepest challenges, and ideally, find their bliss. In an effort to make the program accessible to more women, Agan decided to expand globally and now hosts retreats in Maui, Mexico, Indonesia (Rote & Mentawais), El Salvador, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Nicaragua.

What to Expect
Although each location is unique, most retreats follow a similar format. The week kicks off with introductions, a gourmet welcome dinner, and goodies bags for each guest. After that, it’s back to the beachfront surf pad for some free time before lights out.
Each day begins with a dawn patrol surf session. Although Agan and her co-leader are in the water offering assistance, Agan hires out a crew of talented instructors that meet her high standards. Each session begins with a lesson on land where the local conditions are discussed, pop-ups are practiced, and questions are answered. After that, it’s time to hit the waves.
On the water, instructors take turns helping push guests into waves until they are comfortable doing so on their own. Most guests are new to the sport and begin their journey with surfing in the whitewater before progressing to the outer reef. When it comes to more experienced surfers, lessons are tailored to each individual and focus on whatever you wish to work on over the course of the week. In my case: reading waves and cross stepping. 
After a couple hours on the water, it’s time to refuel with a giant, healthy breakfast at a local beachfront café. With full bellies and happy hearts, it’s back to the surf house for some free time before yoga.

Yoga takes place at a local studio and is typically led by Agan herself. The practice of choice: yin restorative yoga. Yin restorative yoga is slow-paced and works to calm the mind and nervous system while focusing on the breath, enabling you to turn inward. In addition to the poses, each yoga session includes a brief journaling session, allowing participants to dive deeper into their thoughts and reflect on the week and their individual lives back home.

In addition to surfing and yoga, each guest is treated to a restorative massage and a sunset catamaran cruise over the course of the week. In between scheduled activities, guests are free to explore the local town, relax at the surf pad, snorkel at neighboring beaches, or swim in the Pacific.

My Experience
My week with SwellWomen was everything I thought it would be and more. I planned for a fun week of surfing and yoga but the amount of intention and care that Agan put into creating a memorable and life changing week was above and beyond what I could have imagined. At SwellWomen, you quickly become part of a family and when you leave you have a tribe of sea sisters that spreads across the globe. 

In one short week, I learned from both beginner and experienced surfers and have an arsenal of knowledge to take home with me to continue progressing in my skills. Although I’ve been well aware of how good yoga is for the body for years, it wasn’t until this week that I was truly able to appreciate the practice and am excited to make it apart of my normal routine. 

At SwellWomen, their tagline is “Learn, Live, Love Bliss.” They’re all about inspiring women to travel, connect with themselves, connect with their health, and tap into what truly makes them happy. They do all that and more. 

Future Plans
SwellWomen has been in the business of spreading bliss for the past 16 years and has no plans of stopping. Alongside their weeklong retreats, SwellWomen recently added Swellness Coaching to their already thriving program. 

Swellness Coaching is SwellWomen’s newest wellness platform that encourages women to experience radiant well-being, seek their unapologetic truth, and reclaim the power of their truest self through experiential online courses as well as private, group, and in-retreat coaching sessions. Their website is also full of blogs and articles centered on health, fitness, wellness, and travel, so you can easily take all the goodness of your life changing week home with you. SwellWomen is all about helping women follow their bliss and through their retreats and coaching they are able to do just that.b

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