Women Making Waves gives us a chance to celebrate women from across the globe who are carving their own path. Creating a life they want and riding waves along the way.

These women are strong and empowering. They have gone against what society has told them to do and are living the lives that they want. The first in this series features Lulu Agan, a high flying business woman who turned her back on the corporate world and now aims to empower others through surfing, healthy eating and yoga. Previously known as “Tiger Lady”, Lulu has now found her happiness and is now helping others find their true potential.

Meet Lulu Agan

Organising life transforming experiences is in my blood. Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to foster personal connections between people and provide them with the tools to radically change their lives for the better! In my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded with a close, creative tribe and it is my goal to share such an intimate experience with everyone I meet. When you bring authenticity, honesty, yoga, surfing and wellness into the picture, it’s just a recipe for success (not just for me, but for everyone that SwellWomen retreat touches).

My goal is to live life to the fullest by doing the things that bring me the most joy (surfing, yoga, cooking & wellness). I lead a well-balanced life-style which includes eating healthy, a daily meditation & yoga practice and soul surfing as much as possible. Though I’ve always had these passions and goals, it took a few years to be presented with the perfect opportunity to combine all of my passions in one career. It’s been a long and thrilling path: from a savvy business woman in high powered corporate positions (where I was known as the “Tiger Lady,” haha!) to launching my own real estate company (in Andalusia and Spain). I then spent over a decade as a Freelance Private Chef and definitely know my way around a kitchen. My passion for top-quality, honestly healthy food is apparent and present in each and every bite of my farm-to-table fresh cuisine. With my deep connection to food and dedication to leading a healthy lifestyle, wellness and nourishment is an integral part of all SwellWomen retreats. I make sure of it! 

SwellWomen was born of a single quote by Joseph Campbell: follow your bliss. It combines four of my blissful passions: surfing, yoga, cooking & wellness. The art of surfing, away from the routines of everyday life, simply erases egos and unleashes the bare human spirit. It’s like we are all kids again and everyone is on the same playground — and people respond powerfully to that.

Q&A with Lulu

How did Swell Women come about?
SwellWomen was launched in 2003 on the beautiful island of Maui by a dear friend of mine. In 2012, I was lucky enough to work as a Private Chef for SwelWomen and in 2014, I purchased the company to continue the legacy! I believe so strongly in the beauty and importance of feeling empowered and empowering those around me! Surfing and yoga feeds my soul and I hopes to share this bliss with women all around the world through SwellWomen retreats.

How important is health and nutrition in surfing?
Health and nutrition are the building blocks for a thriving, energetic lifestyle. Holistic nutrition and glowing wellness should be top priorities in your every day life… whether your are a surfer or not! As a surfer, you spend a lot of energy in the water, so fuelling your body is vitally important. One of our favourites pre-paddle snacks is a good power protein smoothie — it really holds you over for long hours on the beach and helps you to power through any challenges!  We’re big fans of superfoods as well. If you could get the most bang for your buck, wouldn’t you? (and they all taste divine, too!) We actually wrote on our blog about maca, an ancient superfood that is so rich in antioxidants that it’s considered a natural anti-depressant. It’s a great read!

How does yoga and mediation help you in and out of the water?
Oh, it helps in so many ways! Yoga not only opens and strengths the muscles groups used for surfing (making it easier to move and manoeuvre the waves), but it can also help restore the body after a long day of surfing. There’s a key similarity between yoga and surfing: the use of breath in yoga & mediation builds lung capacity which is very useful during any time you are being held under — which can sometimes be fear-inducing! The combination also helps you remain focused and calm.  Meditation helps you slow things down, which it vitally important when honing in on the wave you want to catch and riding it down the line.  I have to say, overall, yoga and meditation helps to me stay connected and balanced in mind, body and soul, being balanced creates ease in life and is the key to happiness for which we all strive for.

What has surfing taught you about yourself?
The ocean has infinite wisdom if you choose to listen to it. The swells of the tide (especially the ups and downs of surfing) directly correlate to the up and downs of every day life. We all know how that feels… and surfing taught me to how to ride the waves and overcome the obstacles in daily life! More prolifically, I have learned that if I actually, truly believe in myself, then anything and everything is possible. I have learned to consciously breathe when I’m getting ready to catch a wave and now apply that when I need to slow things down and focus on the present. When I apply those two surfing rules, I’m able to face the fear and do it anyways.

What advice would you give anyone out there wanting to pick up a board and give surfing ago?
Alright… Here it is, you ready? BE BRAVE AND GO FOR IT! I have seen it time and time again: if you BELIEVE you can, then you will have success. Surfing is one of the toughest sports out there, however, so we highly recommend booking a few lessons with a professional who can teach you the basics, etiquette and keep you safe in the water. We don’t recommend doing this solo, not only for safety reasons but it is an incredible journey that you’ll want to share with your tribe!

Celebrate strong, brave women and carving your own path.