‘The Beast From The East’ has done it’s best to thwart our travels, but a group of fellow sport and fitness journalists and bloggers have triumphed, huddling together in the freshly constructed Plymouth Climbing Hangar in the Western tips of the UK.  We’ve battled the ‘Beast’ to reach the all-new climbing facility for an exclusive Redbull training session with climbing sensation, World Champion Shauna Coxsey and training partner and fellow climber Leah Crane. 


Hailing from the North of England, 25-year-old climber Shauna Coxsey MBE is the reigning IFSC Climbing World Cup Bouldering Champion (two years on the trot), something the British climber admits still hasn’t “quite sunk in”, but she’d “always dreamed as a kid of winning the World Cup and being World Number One and getting my name out there”.  Getting her name out there she has indeed achieved, and with the next summer Olympics on the horizon in Japan, climbing is set to make its much-anticipated debut alongside surfing and skateboarding as a new sport added to the Olympic roster. With two consecutive World Titles under her belt, Shauna “knew what I wanted was to be World Number One, and not just win the odd World Cup here and there, but to really assert myself at the top. So to do that and then repeat that again twice was just insane…I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to compete on the world stage.”


Climbing has been a constant in the tenacious athlete’s life, grappling with her first boulders at the tender age of 4 having been wowed by climbing on the TV and falling “in love with it instantly… (I) decided that’s what I wanted to do”. Honing her internationally lauded skills at kid’s clubs in the UK and by asking her dad if she could “learn some belay”, Shauna was competing by the age of 7.  The first phase of her climbing career was based predominantly indoors, but gradually progressing to outdoor.  For now, the World Champion’s focus is on “competition climbing…so indoor is my focus”.


For those of us who have given climbing a go, and with a group of us at this training session led by Shauna and Leah readily attesting, it is as much a physical sport as psychological.  The physical prowess and strength of Shauna and Leah is astounding.  For every mind-boggling route they chart on the wall, requiring super-women levels of strength and skill from their finger-tips to their toes, yet somehow executed with the dainty quietness and grace of a ballerina, there is the mental focus, decision making and fear-fighting at play too.  Shauna agrees, suggesting that climbing is as much “a psychological sport as much as a physical…the psychological element is different from many other sports…the pressures, the nerves...”.   With Shauna explaining how her training programme sees her training 6 or 7 days a week, with 2 or 3 climbing sessions a day she continues that

“Experience is one of the things you can’t value enough, … the more you get out there and do the things you want to be better at, the better you’re going to be. So if you do get nervous and you don’t want to, putting yourself in those environments and learning new skills is a good way to try and improve”.

Watching Leah and Shauna together it’s clear how much joy that take from training and climbing, and together they admit that they try and make every training session they have as fun as possible, often to the bemusement of other climbers who watch their methods which include “yogabatics” (acro yoga), ball games for focus and agility, and generally trying to have a blast (the girls admit many spectators often ask for tips afterwards, seeing how much fun the girls have.)  An incredibly positive disposition and approach to her sport is palpable in Shauna, and infectious – many of us, under her guidance and encouragement are attempting holds we haven’t before and with stoked-out success.

Sitting out the next World Cup whilst recovering from an injury, Shauna is also busy in preparation for the upcoming Olympics, which will include 3 disinclines – sport, bouldering and speed climbing, a “tri-discipline medal, so I’ll have to compete in all 3, which was a little bit daunting initially, but I’ve started training now and I’m very confident that I can make sure I’m in the best shape for the Olympics.”  With bouldering Shauna’s preferred discipline, it seems the other 2 are not far off Shauna’s mark, having made finals in a lead climbing World Cup last year.  Seeing the structure of a tri-medal as a positive in that “if I can train and become a stronger, fitter, better athlete, that’s my main goal and always my main focus and that’s what motivates me.”

When surfing and skateboarding were contentiously added to the Olympics there was a divisive split between those purists who argue it is against the heritage and freedom based DNA of the sports, and those who see it as positive progression and an opportunity to see their sport showcased on a global platform, climbing too caused similar divides.  “In my opinion" Shauna begins, "I think the more exposure a sport can get the better.  The Olympics is the most prestigious sporting event in the world.   If our sport can be showcased in a positive way then that can’t be a bad thing. If more people are getting involved in the sport, finding a new passion, finding a way to lead a healthier, active lifestyle, that surely can only be a good thing.  I can see why people would be apprehensive about it but I think it’s really a good thing in that the more people will see climbing will go and try it.  If one person finds a passion, just a small percentage of what I have in climbing, then that’s incredible”. 


It is clear Shauna has a relentless passion for her sport and for anyone else finding as much joy in it that she has, something that led her to create the Women’s Climbing Symposium 8 years ago, and which ultimately she was awarded her MBE for by the Queen for services to her sport.   An all-female led event, Shauna explains that “Initially it was an event about barriers and tackling them. I didn't realise when I started climbing that there were women who were afraid to climb with their boyfriends, or get big muscles, or climb when they were on their period, or there would be things that I never would have considered…I wanted to open up a dialogue and give an opportunity to ask questions, talk and learn from it and other people’s experiences."

A consistently sold-out event, the Women’s Climbing Symposium gains in momentum every year, drawing together 100’s of women and girls to collectively celebrate climbing and meet, train and share;

“Over the years the event has really developed and grown into a celebration of the sport. It isn’t an event about women, it’s an event for female climbers to celebrate that they do the same sport and get together and get some advice get some coaching, hear from other people ad just really embrace climbing as good as it is and that community, which is really strong.”

The future looks incredibly exciting for the Champ, and as we dust off our chalky hands and share high fives with Shauna and Leah, it isn't hard to imagine seeing Shauna on the Olympic stage with the same energy, an emboldening mix of positive vibes and super-hero strength and talent.  


Stay Tuned For More From The WHY I SERIES, Landing Soon...




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SurfGirl Magazine are a staple read and favourite at Mad To Live HQ, and we were stoked to feature in their latest Sofa To Surf Travel Guide, where they take a look at Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience epic dates in Portugal.  

Check out the feature below and book a spot to Mad To Live Retreats here!

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So excited to find Mad To Live Retreats included in our favourite bible of all that is health, wellness, travel & awesomeness, Women's Health UK's run down of the Top 21 Fitness Holidays of 2018!

Check out the feature below, and thanks to Women's Health UK. You rule!

Book a spot on Mad To Live Retreats here!

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The mositure-zapping effects of central heating, skin-flaying bitter winter winds and Vitamin D starved pelts can mean by mid-winter, our skin is in serious need of some SOS.  City-bound dwellers especially can take a serious hit from pollution damaging their skin, and I find whenever I am in the big smoke, the accumulation of dirt and pollution really makes me break out and dulls my skin. Not rad.  Check out my run down of my all-time favourite products that I go to for a serious pre-date/meeting/pep-up SOS.


Kerastase Fusio-Dose HomeLab From the luxury of the salon to the comfort of your home, Kérastase introduces Fusio-Dose HomeLab personalised hair treatment; offering the instant hair transformation as experienced in salons in a new, take-home kit. Individually prescribed by your hairdresser following a hair diagnosis, Fusio-Dose's results can now be further prolonged until the next salon visit with 4 personalized at-home applications, a must for tamed, healthy hair.

Decleor Hydra Floral White Petal Sleeping Mask  I quite honestly have never found such a hard working product as Delcleor's Hydra Sleep Mask.  When I am on location for jobs, working long days over an extended time, although I am feeling like death warmed up some of the time, my skin says anything but once I've slathered on this miracle potion at bedtime. Doing the hard work as I sleep, only to woke up to shining, healthy, near sparkling skin.  A literal skin saver.

Mixa SOS Repair Hand Cream French skin-care experts Mixa are one of my go-tos for daily hydration, in summer and winter.  Their SOS Hand repair balm is straight up the best hand cream I have ever tried,

Dr Sebagh Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream Ok, Dr Sebargh doesn't have the ‘DR” in front of his name but no reason.  I LOVE Sebagh products, they really, really work and have had a pretty extraordinary effect on my skin when I’ve been hunkered down in the city too long and my beach-side glow has been zapped. The Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream is a glow-boosting tube of magic packed with anti-oxidents that protect against nasties like free radicals from UV rays (tick), environmental pollution (double tick) and stress (WIN).  A direct hit of vitamin C to the face quickly resuscitates flagging faces.

I also am a a serious advocate of the Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask which I have relied upon in times of high stress and too much frantic city living (this beach baby can’t take much of that!!!) to even out my skin.  An exfoliator without the nasty plastic/apricot beads or granules which are number 1,  hugely damagaing to the environment, and 2, our skin, the mask gently dissolves skin cells to reveal tighter brighter skin.  Yes please.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue C Tils Magic Eye Rescue  is another trusted favourite in my SOS arsenal.   Clinically proven to reduce dark eye circles by up to 12% in 8 weeks, the replenishing peeper-lover is packed with retinol molecules that works wonders on tired looking eyes.  Trying to get Sh*t done girl-bossing about town is hard work y'all, and bags under the eyes are a side effect I don’t want to worry about. Thanks C Tils.

Sanoflore Aqua Magnifica Organic Skincare wizards Sanoflore use pesticide plants to turbo-charge their all-natural product.  Their hero-product Aqua Magnifica toner packed with 9 essential oils and peppermint restores skin and tackles any unwanted blemishes and bumbs.  A new addition to my cabinet that I LOVE.

TAN LUXE SLEEP OIL A potent blend of 5 essentjal oils including Argan, Vitamins B5, C and E, Sleep oil works as you’re hitting the hay for 40 winks, revealing glowing, fresh skin with a slight tan the next morning.  Ideal for when we’re feeling sand-paper dry and like Casper’s cousin mid January.

Kerastase Aura Botanica Packed with argan and coconut oil , this nourishing micellar shampoo gently cleanses away dirt and impurities, protecting against frizz (a constant winter battle).  

Nails INC back to Life Recovery Treatment and Base Treatment An advanced recovery treatment and active base coat in one superpowered by five rich reviving oils to deliver intense relief to damaged nails.

Bareminerals Stroke of Light Late nights or dull, dark under eye circles can be hard to budge, and if you need a helping hand, this illuminating tint blends seamlessly to conceal imperfections for a refreshed, radiant, even-toned look. 

Chanel Rouge Allure INK Matte Ciquid Colour Need to look like a girl-boss but chapped winter lips playing havoc?  Chanel's matte liquid lip colour is  packed with jojoba oil, matcha green tea, sweet almond oil, and more to hydrate lips.  This puppy packs a punch and also does not budge, leaving you one less thing to worry about.





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London born super-facialist Katharine Paterson is a go-to name for those in-the-know about skincare.  Her holistic approach to beauty has won Katharine legions of loyal customers, paired with her second-to-none knowledge and highly tailored treatments means she is a highly sought after expert.

I talk to Katharine about how she started her business, KMP Skin (formerly Azure Beauty ) in London's Mayfair, and pry into her top take-away skincare tips to get you glowing.



"Since I can remember, I have always had a fascination with all things beauty related. When people used to visit my parents house, I always used to get told off, because I used to accost their visitors and sit on the back of the sofa subjecting them to having their hair styled at ‘my hairdressing salon’! 

I first started working in the beauty industry whilst still at school at 16. I was just desperate to get out there and work. My first job was working for Benefit cosmetics - I remember thinking I had landed one of the sweetest jobs working on a cosmetics counter! University never really called out to me in a big way. I decided to take a gap year to think longer about what I wanted to study, and went full time with work, giving me time to see if I would come round to the idea. I moved from Benefit and worked with Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics.  

When it came round to submitting university applications for the following year, I still hadn’t developed a yearning to apply.  It was actually friends of mine that encouraged me to not worry about the pressure of feeling like I had to attend university, and apply to do beauty. They were like ‘you love doing make up, you’ve always been interested in this world, just go and learn all of it! If you don’t enjoy it, then go back to thinking about university’. 

So off I went, up to the London School Of Beauty and Make Up, near Oxford Circus in London. I spent over a year full time studying for a CIDESCO diploma. It was an intense course and hard work, but I loved it. 

After I qualified I really wanted to work with Declèor skincare. I had been using it on my own skin since I was 15. It was a dream to land my first choice work location pretty much fresh out of college. It was a beautiful place, at the time they had a wonderful and super strong team of girls. I worked there for over 7 years, progressing to a senior spa supervisor.  It was here that I was introduced to Carita skincare there and worked with the brands Environ and Shiseido too.

I had amazing opportunities, working with the press, VIP clients and travelling with my clients, but when the time was right, I left to co found Azure Beauty in 2014. I wouldn’t say I ever strongly imagined having my own business at that point in my life, but now I love being self employed.

I love the challenges (and constant stress!) of growing a business, and it’s so rewarding. One, to have the most direct relationship with your clients and two, seeing my business start to flourish. 

In June 2017 I took the business forward as the sole owner, and at the end of 2017 will relaunch and rebrand under KMP Skin. This is something I am incredibly excited about, beginning the journey of building a new brand. 



A lot of my clients are time poor, managing busy work schedules along with home and family life, so as much as they want to feel zoned out after a relaxing treatment, they also want to walk out the door, feeling like they’ve had something more results driven. 

First things first, I always look at a clients skin and focus on getting this functioning at its optimal condition. For example, there’s no point in focusing on fine lines around your eyes, if you’ve got a persistent bout of rosacea going on.  Age prevention (I do not like the term ‘anti ageing’)  is a massive focus, as well as skin rejuvenation for more mature skins. 

I have a lot of clients I treat with concerns about getting ‘that glow’ and general overall skin tone, so treating pigmentation, whether it's post traumatic pigmentation from acne, or pigmentation from excessive sun exposure. 

I’m also seeing a big increase in clients wanting help with treating menopausal skin.


  • Cleansing properly and SPF!

I do often say to clients that there’s absolutely no point in spending hundreds of pounds on really amazing moisturisers if they’re putting them on a skin that has seen 5 seconds of a cleansing wipe every evening.

  • Also, the whole process of cleansing, when done properly, stimulates the skin, thus promoting blood flow, thus increasing oxygenation, thus increasing cellular turnover… that means healthier skin!


"It’s not just about skincare here, its really about taking a holistic view to your wellbeing."

  • The most important factor I would actually say is sleep. Something I’ve learnt myself recently too, is that it’s all about the quality of it, not just the quantity! The whole point of sleep for humans is to give us time for our bodies to heal, repair and rejuvenate and this is all happening to your skin too! 
  • Drinking lots of water, trying to eat a healthy well balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg, not eating excessive sugars and keeping alcohol intake as low as possible. Sugar really is so damaging to skin, the oxidation it causes to skin cells, just makes is so dull, and slows its renewal. 
  • Of course, using a good range of products, but the right products for your skin, and taking time to care for your skin. When you have a facial, its not just all about the benefit your skin will be getting from it. Actually taking that time to relax, unwind and enjoy the change of energy from someone else's expert hands are all healing for the skin and the soul. 
  • I really try not to force rules to 'abide' by down my clients necks, we are all human after all. Of course we are all going to have one too many glasses of champagne at some point, or enjoy a really sweet pudding - I will be the first person to admit to this. At the end of the day though, if I have a really excessive week, where I haven’t had a lot of sleep, eaten badly and haven’t taken as much care of my skin, it really shows on my skin, so I know I need to reign it in! 


  • UV PROTECTION FACTOR and antioxidants! The younger you start using a daily SPF on your skin, the more protected your skin will be for the future. I have so many clients say to me, ‘but why do I need an SPF in the middle of winter in dull London?’ - well actually, UV damage is more prevalent in cities, because of increased smog and pollution particles, making free radical damage much worse. 
  • Free radicals are reactive molecules that are formed when normal skincare cells are mutated by pollutants, such as petrol fumes, cigarette smoke and sun rays. SPF will protect against these. 


  • You will find that most dermatology based skincare brands are now creating SPF’s that also protect against ‘High Energy Visible Light’ (HEV). HEV is basically the light that is given off from screens like your computer, tablets and smartphones, as dermatology studies have found that HEV can be damaging for skin too. Epionce Tinted SPF 50, is a great sunscreen that covers all of this. It’s light, great for sensitive skins, isn’t overly greasy and the tint also gives skin a soft blur effect.

Using antioxidants internally and externally will also help to prevent and repair again damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C in high quality forms is an amazing antioxidant for skin, and really helps to strengthen and repair skin.

  • iS Clinical has a great selection of Vitamin C serums, because there's one designed for sensitive or compromised skin if needed, and another to really focus on skin optimisation for stronger skins.
  • Eating lots of dark leafy vegetables, and berries also have the highest naturally occurring levels of anti oxidants in them.


If you suffer with the odd hormonal or stress spot, my best advice is NOT to pick it as already these types of spots are angry little things, and the trauma of squeezing them just makes them even angrier!

I sometimes recommend almost ‘suffocating’ if you like, the spot with oil. I personally think this is good for sensitive or thin delicate skins. 

Declèor Neroli balm is a bit of a miracle balm which has been around for years. It was one for the very first products I started using by Declèor. It has Basil in it to purify and purge the grime out of skin, and Chamomile in it to heal. Also it’s 100% natural and paraben free, so a great option for people wanting take a more natural route to skin care. 

If constant acne is an issue in varying degrees, using a serum or cream with certain skincare acids in will increase cellular turnover. This will improve skin texture and scarring and dry up/prevent further acne from appearing. Lytic renewal serums from Epionce are fantastic for really improving a blemish prone skin. This whole skincare line is based around improving the skin barrier function. I do think it’s important not to just reach for any types of products containing acids though, please do see a skincare specialist that can look at your skin properly and advise and prescribe case by case. 


I’ve never really been one to invest in gimmicks for skincare, or for treatments, and there are a good few of them around! I tend to go for products that have been clinically tested, or contain active ingredients I know offer results for skin.

My skincare routine changes season by season, and this is important for everyone.  You really shouldn’t be using the same moisturiser on your face in the height of summer as in the depths of winter, the same as you wouldn’t be walking around in a cashmere sweater in the middle of August! 

  • My constants in my skin care routine though are Vitamin C serum, and a hydrating serum of some sort. My skin loves Carita Lagoon Serum, I would probably drink the stuff if I could!
  • I’m big on toning skin. A lot of skin care specialists aren’t necessarily fussed with toner, but I think it’s an important step to restore the pH of your skin, so bacteria can’t breed on skin causing blemishes. I have been using Declèor Tonifying Lotion for over 15 years- it’s alcohol free and the scent almost has this sentimental value to me now.
  • I’m a massive fan of a sheet mask. They’re so easy and convenient to use and travel with, and a mask offers really quick results when needed. I love Hyalual WOW masks, which are full of hydrators and collagen to really plump and hydrate. 
  • At night time, my skin has never really liked night creams, but it loves an oil/balm or more of serum. Declèor Lavendula Iris serum is on my bedside table at the moment. The smell is so calming, and I wake up with rested, glowing skin. When I can feel some breakouts lurking, or if my skin just needs an overall exfoliation then I’ll reach for a renewal product, like an Epionce lytic or iS Clinical Active Serum. I’m really not a fan of strong grainy exfoliants for home use. They just cause a lot of trauma to the skin, and are often used too much. 


 In your 20’s you should just try to start consciously make an effort to get into a good skincare routine, and protect it.

  • Take your make up off at night
  • Clean your skin properly
  • Use SPF! 

The earlier you form these habits, the less of a shock or chore it becomes to look after your skin in later life.

Your 30’s, is the decade when you start to notice that your skin doesn’t bounce back into shape as quickly after a night out, and you might start to notice a few expression lines starting to make a permanent fixture on your face.

  • This is the time to start using products with more results driven ingredients in.
  • If you’ve not used a serum before, start getting into the habit of using one- this way you can focus your serum on your concerns like attacking lines, or toning down pigmentation if you have any.
  • Hyalronic Acid is your friend! Use it to really flood your skin with water and moisture- most lines start from dehydration. 

In your 40’s you’ll probably find that your skin texture changes and starts to lose its volume. Also, oil production has really slowed down so skin trends to be drier.

  • Making changes to a richer cream, or perhaps using a facial oil are good choices to make.
  • As we age, the skins natural exfoliation process slows down, so keeping this at an optimum level will prevent heavier pigmentation forming and keep skin more able to really take in the benefits of your creams and serums.
  • Trying to get into the habit of using masks and massaging your skin at night too will help to keep the blood circulation going and keep the skin plumped, dewy and glowing. 

*All products mentioned are available at KMP Skin. (www.kmpskin.com)


The Icon facial (my most popular treatment !) : 

Duration: 90 minutes 


Azure Icon

Our Azure icon facial is one of our much loved treatments, it really gives us time to assess your skin and properly address your individual skin concerns. Expect a relaxing treatment, but a really thorough facial. We will expertly cleanse, exfoliate and analyse your skin. Then follows youth boosting facial massage, LED and Infa-Red light therapy and muscle firming futuristic technology with immediate results. Known as our signature treatment by many, this comprehensive age defying facial will work to deeply sculpt and lift the skin.

(For all skin types, especially those wanting to focus on age prevention and first signs of ageing)



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"Literally, one of the best weeks of my life..."

Want to know what the ladies who come on Mad To Live Retreats REALLY think of the trips?  I pinned down some of the girls on the last night of their retreat (disclosure: For some of them, some wine may have been drunk ;) )for a natter about what they experienced.

Check it out, and I advise you watch past the credits... ;)




Wellness, in its many guises, fads and fashions, seems to have well and truly adopted its western assumed cloak of green shakes, downward dogs, gluten-free-gilded £15 a-pop avocado eateries and butt-skimming lycra.

I was keen to explore wellness and it's real roots and meaning through seeking out it's authentic Eastern beginnings, the real heritage of what the big W truly means. Trussing up by bag, I set forth for the heady, wellness and surf soaked shores of Bali, and the Tugu Spa Hotel.  Well versed in Bali's surf and adventure culture, I was excited to delve deeper into Bali's roots, its history and the truer meaning and heritage of "wellness".

The Tugu, owned by an Indonesian who has been collecting antiques since the early 1960s, is home to one of the largest original art collections in Southeast Asia.  Setting foot into it's impressive grounds, an Indiana-Jones esque level of intrepid discovery quickly beings, as within every nook and cranny of the grounds are collected pieces of Indonesian history, some dating 100's of years back.  The main building, the Bale Agung, features distinctive architecture inspired by a secluded village in Central Bali, whereas some of the public areas are original hundreds-years-old structures moved in entirety into the property.  

A showcase of Indonesia and Bali's fascinating history, something not many tourists may look into, forms an intriguing backdrop to a look at the heritage of wellness, from it's birth-place in Indonesia.  With original artefacts from the Puputan War including the desk used to sign the Dutch/Balinese war treaty and a salvaged Love Temple, the "Bale Sutra" – a whole Kang Xi period temple from 1706 saved from demolition, the inner explorer in me was in artefact heaven. 

For centuries the people of Java, the Peranakan, and the people of Bali have been adhering to their authentic indigenous health treatments that we now know and call “spa” in the West.  These traditions combined aspects of spirituality with the physical healing arts to achieve the ultimate in mind, body and soul harmony to enhance total deep relaxation. For the more well-off, a certain ambience was created, some called it ‘magic’ ✨, whereby the secluded atmosphere and the ministrations of the healer would bring a kind of hypnosis on the patient and it would send them into a state of peacefulness.

Healers, knowing much about the power of nature, it's affect on our sense of smell, the ability of its colors to elevate or soothe the mind, used ‘magical’ flowers to create the atmosphere of the treatment rooms. These flowers, Frangipani, Tropical Magnolia, Rose, Jasmine, and Ylang Ylang were believed to be the flowers of the supreme deities. Incense, or ‘dupa’ as it is called, also was known to have magical properties, some of which are used at specific times and for specific purposes. The Çiva, called ‘kemenyan’ is believed to have a powerful effect on the soul when burnt under an old banyan tree on a Thursday evening. 

Long before the Spa concept was introduced in the West, the Javanese were incorporating flowers and incense to stimulate the spirit and accelerate the relaxation of the mind. Only after the relaxation process begins, the physical treatment could commence and often short prayer or ‘mantra’ would accompany it. It was believed that this approach allowed the treatment to really penetrate the soul, and when the hands began to touch the body, they brought a mysterious power that is increased as the rhythmic movements of the hands massage the entire body.

The Balinese believe that to bathe in water perfumed by the fragrant petals of the frangipani flower under the light of the full moon will wash away your impurities.  Purnama, in Balinese means Full Moon, and Tilem means New Moon. These two days are special according to Balinese belief, and during these moons, purification ceremonies are arranged to wash away sins, and celebrate “Rwa Binneda” – the two energies of life, the good and evil, darkness and brightness.  During the Purnama, Balinese worship the Goddess Sang Hyang Chandra, whereas during Tilem, they pray to God Sang Hyang Surya.

Through generations, for more than hundred of years, the Javanese were doing research and observations through trials and experiences to get the real use of all those herbs and spices which are found in their surroundings. This belief was quickly spread among the villagers especially in Central Java which almost all of the villagers use “Djamoe” in their daily life for healing and rejuvenation.  Djamoe, a mixture of traditional herbs and spices, which are used for healing and rejuvenation. Djamoe includes mixtures that are drunk and mixtures that are applied to the outer part of the body. Traditional ‘Djamoe’ comes from the island of Java, and have evolved since hundred of years through generations. 


The heady, intoxicating history shared with me makes for a stimulating immersion into the post-surf wellness experience, settled in the woozy, frangipani scented grounds of the Tugu.  My love of wellness and health is wholly linked to a deeper experience, and a discovery of it's more magical roots in Indonesia left me with a more mystically rewarding understanding.  I can't wait to explore this beautiful culture even more 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙


With Thanks To The Tugu Bali

Fly To Bali with Emirates, Qatar, Norwegian Air






I am SO excited to share a project that has been long in the works, captured over the last summer leg of Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience in Lagos, Portugal.

Shot by the brilliant the Psychic Visions Collective, check out the full mini-short film below, a celebration and showcase of all that is Mad To Live and the Surf Experience.  

Let me know what you think in the comments and stay tuned for the dates for Summer 2018 in Portugal landing this Friday - book here!





The advent of December brings with it the sounding of the claxon of party season.  Sequins at the ready lovers. Many women, whether desk-bound, without the time to, or less inclined to spend hours beautifying like myself, look for fast-acting, long-lasting products,  reading them from the office to the dance floor in one easy swoop.

Check out my run down of my favourite products to get party-ready this season.



L’Incroyable blow dry From Kerastase Gives that Cinderella-esque finish to any do.  Adding to damp hair, and with its heat protecting thermos-protection of up to 230C,  means hair is protected, and sharper than a 6 inch stiletto it's so on point.  Paired with Laque Noire hairspray a finishing touch to any do with extra strong hold and frizz-fighting properties.

Mark Avon lipstick Fresh, gleaming skin is my favourite party look, but I love to finish with a slick of lipstick to ramp up the sassy levels. The new liquid lip laquers from MARK are the perfect mix of long-lasting, sheer and glossy that I love to feel party ready. 

Dr Sebagh’s Skin Perfecting Mask is my go-to product in my pre-party preparation.  This puppy ain’t goin' no where - it is a staple on my shelf and for good reason.  A deep cleansing mask that proects against pollution and imparting a velvety-soft touch, I always slather on whilst in the bath, and emerge like from the chrysalis, skin smooth and soft.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Body Oil A long-time favourite of mine.  My favourite scent paired with a gleaming body oil that I spray liberally over the decolltage, shoulders, back, arms (heck, its nearly head to toe) and  special spots like dabbed behind the ears, the sexiest product in my party arsenal means I am feeling femme fatale-esque and reading to hit the town. 

The Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle highlighters are a party in a palette – shimmer worthy of the Bajan princess herself, a slick of either shades on the eyelids or cheekbones imparts a sheer glow and sparkle to rival any disco ball.

Nails INC Holographic Nails are my number one for the party season - a couple of coats lasts endless parties thanks to the long-lasting properties.  Winner.

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre  Eyeshadow that doesn't budge is pretty much a needle in a haystack, the unicorn of party products.  My top choice comes from Chanel, the deeper shades always making me feel hot to trot.

Decleor Aroma Lisse 2-IN-1 DARK CIRCLE & EYE WRINKLE ERASER Has 2 effects I rate:  towards the end of the marathon party cycle that is the festive season, we often are looking decidedly less fresher than the start of the season, perhaps some 10 parties, 50 mince pies, countless glasses of bubbles and 4am finishes later. Deceleor ‘s under eye cream brightens dark circles and plumps with illuminating gold particles, reducing puffiness and the appearance of fine lines. A party life saver.

Tan Luxe Hydra Mousse I road-tested the hydra mousse out of interest recently, perplexed as to how a clear liquid could be a fake tan.  Gone are the thick-cholately, sheet-staining, biscuit scented traumas of tan past.  Tan Luxe’s miraculous formula enriched with raspberry oil which it divinely smells, like does not disappoint.  For those December days when we are feeling the wrath of perma-darkness on our pale skin, an overnight session with the hydra mousse will have you waking up, stain and cookie-scent free, looking like you’re fresh off your summer holiday.  

Chanel Les Beiges healthy Glow luminous Colour With an extra nod to a sun-kissed look, a few sweeps of Healthy Glow over the areas the sun naturally delivers its glowing kiss is the final touch for disco-babes.

Katherine Peterson at Azure Beauty Signature Facials If you're feeling lacklustre or been burning the Christmas candle at both ends (boozy nights can quickly manifest in the skin), a visit to Katherine Peterson, skincare expert and owner of the most trusted hands in the business for a signature facial will address all your skincare problems.  I love the Azure Facial Aerobics facial.

Thanks and stay tuned for next in the Feel-Good beauty series, SOS TREATMENTS...



A week ago Kreativ House (a rad new co-work space) in the heart of Hackney, East London hosted us for MAD TO RAVE: A showcase of all that is Mad To Live.  With a screening of the mini-short film by The Psychic Visions Collective, a collaboration with The Surf Experience, a gallery presenting the best of Mad To Live in action and live art with surf artist Harvey Saunders, an all-time party ensued, well-watered by our friends at BrewDog, Twisted Halo and Craft & Origin, and fuelled by delicious poke bowls from Lords of Poke.

I was incredibly stoked to have partnered with The Wave Project, an amazing UK based charity who help young people to reduce anxiety and improve confidence through surfing.  The Wave Project started in 2010 as a voluntary group funded by the National Health Service in Cornwall. The initial aim was to use volunteers to provide one-to-one surfing lessons for young people with mental health issues as a way of getting them outside, doing physical exercise and feeling more confident about themselves.The first project achieved outstanding results.  The results of the pilot showed that going surfing once a week helped clients feel more confident, improved their outlook and gave them a sense of fun. The participants were young people who other services had been unable to reach.  The evaluation showed that the surfing course had led them to feel more accepted, positive and comfortable with their lives. Encouraged by the results, The Wave Project was established as a not-for-profit company. Further funding was obtained, initially from BBC Children In Need and later from the Big Lottery Fund and other funders, and the project began to grow.  Since then, The Wave Project has developed an award-winning intervention that uses the local surfers to help young people reduce anxiety and improve their emotional health. New projects have been set up all over the UK, including in Wales and Scotland.All of these projects use the same methods employed on the original pilot scheme in Cornwall – getting local surfers to work with clients and teach them to surf. The sessions are delivered by a mix of paid staff and volunteer surf-mentors who work in partnership with established surf schools. 

With a raffle supported with prizes from Vans, Roxy, Seafolly Australia, Skullcandy, Butta, DC, Watershed Surf and Imsy Swimwear, over £350 was raised during the event for this fantastic cause.  Check out all the party imagery below, and the video round-up of the event shot by our great buddies at Cheeky Fire after the photos!

Stay tuned for more from Mad To Live, and check out our retreats and book here.

Thanks to our friends at Kreativ House, Vans, Roxy, Seafolly Australia, Skullcandy, Twisted Halo, Brewdog, Craft & Origin, Butta, Imsy, Lords of Poke and DC.



Canadian snowboarding-supernova Robin Van Gyn has just wrapped a screening of the latest epic cinematic masterpiece from infamous snowboarder Travis Rice and Quiksilver and Roxy, “Depth Perception” in the bustling heart of London’s film premiere hub, Soho.  An unusual place to find a mainly mountain-dwelling athlete like Robin, but it is clear she is exultant, in high spirits riding the wave of an incredibly successful tour of the film which has garnered world-wide critical acclaim.

The previous outings of Travis Rice’s huge-scale masterpieces have electrified the action sports and indeed wider world of sports cinema, the incredible production on renowned movies including The Art Of Flight garnering global attention.  In 2017’s Depth Perception, Travis Rice, who off the back off of previous outings like The Art of Flight has near god-like status (quite rightly) in the upper echelons of snowboarding’s hall of fame, enlists the help of fellow riders Robin Van Gyn, Bryan Fox and Austin Sweetin to explore the whimsically wondrous and little showcased peaks of CMH Galena, British Colombia. 


A smaller cast notably, and also noticeable is the presence of Robin, the first female in one of these large-scale productions yet.  The film is an awe-inspiring spectacle of both mind-blowing snowboarding and technical production that showcases the wildly stirring beauty of the British Colombia Backcountry.  An homage to nature with undercurrents of a quirky Wes Anderson styled journey (visually and through the narrative) that makes for a wholly different and wonderfully epic movie.

Robin Van Gyn’s snowboarding is the stuff of jaw dropping dreams.  Her lines she carves on some of the most mind-blowingly beautiful and terrifying spines, how she sails down pillow lines, is not just a stunning display of snowboarding, but poignantly, really carves a new line through in women’s snowboarding today. A face well-known in snowboarding cinema, Robin, who started her career as a snowboard coach, has appeared in notable movies including the recent all-girl epics Full Moon and Peep Show, is a cover girl of magazines multiple times over, and a long-time athlete of the Roxy family.  Her fearless charging of frothy pillows and the challenging terrain of the backcountry has stood her apart from the pack, seeing her take home accolades including Transworld Snowboarding 2016 Women’s Video Part of the Year for Full Moon.


Wrapping up the screening, Robin reflects that a production of this scale working with Travis Rice was a “new experience for her”, such are the massive levels of production and the number of crew that work into creating a cinematic spectacle of this mature.   “They were very meticulous very planned and the execution was brilliant… we worked with amazing people”.  The people Robin refers to includes film maker Ty Evans, famous for his work on celebrated skateboard movies including We Are Blood, and Directors Justin Taylor Smith & Chris Murphy.  “It takes somebody like Travis to bring those kinds of people together “Robin begins, “it’s cool to have all these different eyes in the production team that’s why you get something like this.”.  Describing the pain staking lengths and time that went into each individual shot reflects the quality of what we’re seeing on the big screen, and Robin adds that “it was definitely a bit of a departure for me but I learnt a lot about film making, and quality and patience.”

Our minds have long been blown by the mountain prowess of Travis Rice, quite rightly a name that will forever go down in the history books of snowboarding and indeed, sport. I wonder if it must have been intimidating, joining a small crew including Travis, San Diego Native Bryan, and Austin, a mind-blowingly talented roster of athletes? “I think at the very beginning I was really intimidated and super scared and like oh my god what am I doing here, do I even deserve to be here, what’s going on. Why am I here?” Robin considers. 

“I began to figure out that I did deserve to be there.  I was there for a reason, and I had to use this opportunity to ride to the level that I knew I could, and push myself”.


The stylistic lines, the smooth riding and tackling of some of the most fearsome of back country lines and obstacles we have seen on screen are elegantly and beautifully carved by Robin, a technicality in her riding that is awe-inspiring paired with a fluid grace that makes for an entirely unique and very much discernible style.  

Robin continues with “I think there’s another thing at play where you’re like, I’m with the guys, but, I’m not trying to be the guys. I’m trying to be ME, and who I am is a snowboarder who is strong and experienced but also feminine. You can tell my line on the mountain next to the guys because it’s just different, I have a different way of using the mountain, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s beautiful in its own thing, an expression of your line on the mountain. It’s just like, your piece of art."

The challenges from an athletic perspective of achieving what went into achieving these shots, lines and effortless-seeming trickery is mind-blowing to anyone who has ever strapped a snowboard onto their feet.  I wonder what Robin found the most challenging part of this experience? “It's challenging dealing with your own mental state” she begins.  I’m a very passionate person so I over think things like crazy …it’s not until after you can step back and be like oh that really didn’t matter. But in the moment, you’re just like obsessively thinking about how you screwed up a shot, you’re beating yourself up..."


"I don’t want to put out this message where it’s all like I stepped onto the film set and here I am killing it, woo! It was…a lot of mental challenges… And you know you compare yourself to the immediate people in front of yourself. But when you have a chance to step back and be like I’m not Bryan Fox or I'm not Travis, I’m Robin!  Focus on that. That was my biggest challenge, not comparing myself to everyone else”.   

When your colleagues are luminaries like Travis, one can only imagine the mental challenges at play here, but Robin’s journey through the execution of the film to bring us the visual feast of snowboarding wizardry is explained by how she believes’`I think we all do this we focus on the small things, and I think sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture, and appreciate where we are, why we're there...I think for me that’s a big one. sometimes I get so focussed on stupid little things when I should I’m like hey I’m here with this amazing cast, and I’m in beautiful setting, and the snowboarding is insane!  Focus on that instead of your shot comings, focus on what you’re doing well, and not the things that you aren’t doing well...

"It's more realising the beauty of everything around you and being able to see that. The beauty of Travis inviting a woman to be in his film, to see the beauty in that. Going out that day and falling down the mountain for the entire day, you were still out in one of the most beautiful places in the world, you know, with an opportunity, you know maybe it wasn’t your day, but there will be another day..."

"So, I think it’s good to keep your eye on the prize. Don’t obsess about it and step back and realise that you are not that important, you know there's like this big picture that you need to kind of, relax, and take a breath."  With the awe-inspiring backdrop of CPH Galena, Robin clearly thrived off exploring the beautifully challenging terrain in BC, and spending time with its colourful locals and highly knowledgably mountaineers.  “I think it’s just incredibly versatile, out of all the places I’ve been snowboarding in my life, this place was the most versatile I’ve ever ridden, pillows, tree runs, high alpine, it has it all”.  With one of the main protagonists of the movie being a tree itself, this feels like Travis Rice’s love letter to mother nature, and the spine-tingling beauty of what is captured, the playfulness of how the quadrant explore the vast terrain, and their interactions with the flora and fauna are wholeheartedly believable.  With a spotlight shone on the colourful locals who know the place better than anyone, who the crew relied on to safely and efficiently guide them around the challenging peaks, Robin laughs that “every country has this underbelly of people who live amongst it.  And they might be a little weird…but they are the ones really experiencing the beauty of It… they get it … they see the beauty in nature and in and they aren't amongst it and that’s something we should be envious of.”.


Robin has long been impressing with her parts in snowboard movies, the aforementioned Full Moon, an all-female production spearheaded by legendary fellow rider Leanne Pelosi signalled a positive moment in women’s snowboarding  Here, Robin explains, “Leanne (Pelosi) our producer really felt like she wanted to communicate was the community that we have in women’s snowboarding…It was really really important for every female snowboarder to see that we support each other, that we have fun, that it’s not all about being the gnarliest, it’s just about the going out there and enjoying yourself and keeping the vibes good. As females…we can be catty. And you know this is not helping anyone."

The tapestry of talent that went into the production of Full Moon includes a veritable who’s-who in women’s snowboarding: backcountry boss Marie France Roy, current Olympic Gold Medallist and multiple X Games Champion Jamie Anderson, legendary pioneers Barrett Christy and Tara Dakides, amongst others snow luminaries.  “I think we’re at a point now where it’s like we’ve been through so much as females and we're in a really good place. but we’ve still got a lot of work to do and we’ve got to support each other… so I think with all female snowboard films that’s that message …but it was also really important to be a part of the bigger films like this one or Absinthe with Kimmi (Fasani)…  she is really pushing the boundaries of her own snowboarding with those guys…"

"I think there’s a need for both. There’s a need for the good vibes and we can push on each other amongst ourselves but then there’s another level of progression... we can ride with guys and feed off of with them, and I don’t think it should be weird to have a girl in a movie”. 

Hopefully this is heralding a new norm in snow cinema and particularly, for women riding in the back country, which Robin describe as “a side mission of mine”.  Continuing her work with coaching and at snowboard camps, Robin explores that “there came a time where I was like I’m working in back country snowboard films, promoting the back country, do I feel comfortable selling people indirectly selling the product that they should go and use in the back country without having any knowledge or means to. So, I kind of had this epiphany where I was like oh my god I’m really pushing the glory and glorifying the back country and making everyone think that oh you can just go do that but in reality, it’s a lot of experience, and skill and I really wanted to make an effort at least to help people to get them the skills and knowledge that they need.  So, wherever I can do that, I do it. Because I feel like that’s a side mission of mine. And I want to see more females I the back country you know were seeing a big gap right now..."

"I don’t wanna be one of 5 females, I want to be one of 25 females doing that professionally, that’s how it should be."


Robin shines when talking about the current mind-blowing levels that is women’s snowboarding in 2017.  With fearless slopestyle queens like Anna Gasser and Klaudia Medlova “Absolutely sending it”, Robin suggest that I actually think the women’s Olympics this year is going to be the television event of our lifetime.  Do not miss that moment!”, and I am inclined to believe her.  South Korea is fast on the incoming in February 2018 and with girls like Anna and Klaudia, and Robin’s team mates, the steadily podium placing young ripper British Katie Ormerod and Aimee Fuller throwing down absurd spins and flips, it sure is lining up to be quite the show. 

And what, you wonder, is on the agenda for Robin?  "I got some little pots boiling all over the place” she laughs, so “you’ll see content out of me for the next few years that’s for sure…And if I ever get the opportunity to go ride with Travis again I will 100% be there!".  


Stay tuned for more in the WHY I series



A viral-video came to light recently that really caught my attention.  The roving (female) reporter spoke to random men in the street, asking them when they last had sex, giving them a high five for it, and if they orgasmed (another high give for that, yeaahhhhh bro).  She then went onto ask the satiated lovers if they knew if their female partners had too, orgasmed during their encounters?  The red-faced, confused and unsure answers varied from “urrrrrr”, “ermmmmmm”, “ummmmmmmmmmm” to finally “ummmmmm …noooo”, mostly (check it out if you haven't).

The uncertainty is as bad as a straight up no in my eyes, and it got me thinking.  This was a disappointing, but accurate, in my opinion, portrayal of what is pretty normal in heterosexual sexual relationships.  By the time you’ve reached your 30s and had healthy, and unhealthy relationships, affairs, encounters, whatever relations you’ve been enjoying as an adult, you’ve probably formed some opinions.

The great thing about the female sex is our openness of discussion.  Men often find this amusing, or even baulk, at the openness as to which women go into great details discussing men, sexual relationships, and every dirty detail (yep sorry guys, we do).  But aside from this providing good chat material, it’s for a deeper purpose: these discussions can be found to be key in a cathartic discussion about one’s sex life: exploring what is good, what is satisfying, and what isn’t.  What we feel that perhaps we can’t say to our partners, we can share in the open, and non-judgemental atmosphere of our closest girlfriends.  And what is a concurrent topic, is a lack of achieving orgasm, or feeling like the partner puts sufficient enough thought into the woman’s experience.  Obviously, many of us, myself included, have had incredibly positive experiences, loving relationships and positive sexual experiences with giving, passionate and loving partners.  But then there is a higher percentage of those experiences where that isn’t the case, where the women can be left feeling dissatisfied, and worse.

According to a recent report by Researchers from Chapman University, Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute found that 95% of heterosexual men nearly always orgasm when having sexual relations.  For women, lesbians fared the best, with 86% achieving orgasm, followed by bisexual women at 66%, and finally, for straight woman, adding a man to the mix drops this down to 65%.    Similarly, the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy took a poll of 1,000 women aged 18 to 94, finding 80% do not orgasm though penetrative sex.  The female body is a complicated, beautiful and slow-burner of a biological wonder.  The mysteries surrounding the female sexual biology and chemistry have long been discussed and explored.  But why is it still that reports are finding such a large number of unsatisfied women?  

What if women were able to speak more openly to their partners about what is working and what isn’t – hey, our anatomy, it’s beautiful and magic – it produces children, it’s the cradle of god damn life for goodness sake, it is complex, and it requires some care, attention and thought.  What smacks of thoughtlessness and selfishness is someone who won’t put in the attention, who doesn’t want to explore what their partner is turned don by, enjoys, what helps them achieve orgasm, which ultimately, can be incredibly bonding in a partnership?   And conversly, on discussing with male friends, this –plays on the female partners’ side too: a lack of care or effort from the female can obviously come into play too.

Websites like the Emma Watson vocally supported OMG YES, a platform that offers informative, research-based approach to women's pleasure that, according to Marie Claire Magazine, “(The site) smashes taboos surrounding female sexuality and treats the female orgasm with an unprecedented seriousness: tackling the complexities surrounding the ways in which women experience pleasure with honesty and no shame” are leading the way for knocking down barriers and destructing the taboo around the discussion of the female orgasm.

It is this need for discussion, what was previously hushed chatter amongst women, now elevated to a wider platform, digitally, in media, not just amongst female friends, but with our male friends, and ultimately, with our partners, that can create a normalcy in this subject.  It isn’t taboo, and it’s appalling that so many women feel the need to “fake it” with their partners, or worse, that their partners aren’t caring if their partners do orgasm or not. Equally for women, it can be incredibly nerve-wracking telling a partner hey, this is great, or hey, this ISN'T working for me...it can be a huge step making that conversation, but much akin to ripping off a plaster, taking a deep breath and opening that channel of conversation can reap great, spine-tingling rewards.  

Positive experiences show that whilst yes, the female anatomy can be complicated, you don’t need a frigging road map: care and attention, being attentive to what is working, that build up and yeah just to add, foreplay is EV.ER.Y.THING.  Sometimes amongst women we talk of guys having a “gift” – if they are in tune to the woman’s needs, if they spend enough time ensuring the female is suitably turned on (not to be crass but there shouldn’t really be any penetration unless the woman is really, really ready for it).  This gift should be more common, the numbers of heterosexual women orgasming much higher.  That report from the Chapman University showing 86% of women in a lesbian relationship reaching orgasm VS heterosexual women at 65% is incredibly telling.  That channel of conversation between men and women should be as healthy.  Here’s to getting to the Big O.






I am super stoked to be collaborating with my adventure partners in crime, the radical folk at KEEN whose brilliant ethos for their #TrailFit movement is about empowering women to get outside and enjoy fitness and the outdoors, something I wholeheartedly subscribe to.

Following our spring/summer hosted workouts across London's rich tapestry of feasible workout spots, I created a new #TrailFit workout for the crisp new winter season.  The changing of the season from summer to the orange and red-tinged hues and bonfire-scented sensory stimulate of autumn and winter is a great time to utilize your outdoor landscape, making the most of this beautiful time of year. Whether that’s your local park, or getting creative with a city environment, or finally, the wider Great Outdoors, this programme is looking at focussing on boosting mobility and strength and endurance through the autumn winter period.  

A few weeks back Cooler Magazine, Keen and myself hosted an awesome group of women for an adventure in the other-worldly Richmond Park in London.  I love to show how accessible outdoor training and adventure is, even in a busy city-landscape like London.  Richmond Park's raw beauty, the stunning park with wild stag and deer cruising by, ancient towering trees rich with secrets, and varied terrain was the perfect setting for the new #TrailFit workout.  Using Keen's women-specific Terradora shoe which is suitable for multi-terrain environments, we absorbed the beauty of the surroundings and our ability to train outside, no gym needed, connecting with nature, and stoking out on the beauty of the autumn vibes.

Check out the video wrap-up of the day below, where we fuelled up pre and post workout with nourishing hearty fare courtesy of Melina of About That Food Blog (Coconut And Mango Granola Bar, Buckwheat Tabouleh with Roasted Aubergine and Tahini Sauce anyone?! - Stay tuned for recipes landing soon!) and keep reading for the #TrailFit workout plan!


Duration: 60 minutes

Warm Up: 

  • Forward and side leg swings: Standing on one leg, swing the leg forwards and backwards, keeping the spine neutral, with straight legs.  Complete and change leg.  Move on to Side Leg swings, swinging the leg across the body in front.
  • Deep Squats with open arm extensions: Drop into a deep squat, keeping the weight on the heels. When fully down into the squat, bring the hands down to the feet, and extend through one straight arm, looking up towards the hand and sky.  Return hand to earth and repeat on other side.
  • Walking lunge with twist: Flex the knees as you step forward with one leg, dropping the hips.  Lower until the rear knee touches the ground, inhaling.  The body should remain in an upright position with the front knee above the front foot. Twist through the body to face side of lowered knee, and slowly return to centre. Driving through the front foot heel, extend both knees to return to standing.  Repeat on opposite leg.
  • Shoulder rotations: Standing with feet hip distance apart, neutral spine, extend arms and make large circles forwards, then backwards.
  • High Knees on SpotDrive alternating knees high, maintaining a braced core and knees thrusting high to hip height.


  • Main Workout: 

    Take one minute rest between sets in set exercises Depending on fitness level or to increase difficulty, decrease rest time to challenge yourself, down from 60 seconds, to 45, to 30. 

  • Light Jogging for 3-5 minutes.
  • Interval Training 5 Rounds: If you’re short on time and can’t fit in longer training sessions, interval training is hugely beneficial, boosting cardiovascular fitness and endurance and strength, in short sharp high-intensity bursts.
  • Setting out a distance of 25-35 metres, sprint as hard as possible the entire distance, then jog back to starting point to repeat
  • Breathing Squat (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions): With the feet planted hip distance apart and toes angled out around 10 degrees, push back the hips as you inhale, lowering and following with the knees with weight on the heels.  Exhale as you return to standing position.
  • March with Twist (3 sets of 15-18 repetitions): Standing with the feet hip width apart and the arms held overhead, core engaged, bring the right elbow to the left knee whilst twisting through the waist, then return to start and repeat on opposite side.  Utilising the core to execute the movement and engage the obliques through motion.
  • Single Leg Sprint (3 sets of 15-18 repetitions): Standing in a low lunge, bend at the left knee with the right leg straight, arms extended overhead.  Hinging from the hip so the chest is over the left thigh, engage the core to lift the right knee to the chest, arms coming in at the sides.  Replace leg on the ground and quickly drive forward again.
  • Hip Hinges (3 sets of 10-15 repetitions):  Standing straight with hands on the hips and feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, engage the core and push ribs down and shoulders back with a neutral neck.  Bending at the waist slowly, maintain shoulders and hips in line and glutes, back and hamstrings engaged.  Bend until parallel, before returning to start position.  Be careful NOT to round the back – a neutral spine must be maintained.
  • Clock lunges (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per leg): Commencing with the hands-on hips and feet hip distance apart, step the foot forward into a lunge until the knee performs a 90-degree angle.  Return to standing.  Next lunge out to the side with the same leg, the leg bending to 90 degrees at the knee and hip.  Return to standing.  The final movement is to lunge backwards with the leg, with both knees at 90 degrees, return to standing.  Complete 8-12 rounds then switch legs.
  • Single leg: Romanian lift (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per leg): With the feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in the knees (knees soft), raise a leg off the earth. Flex the knee on the standing leg to activate glutes, and hinge at the hip, lowering the body until it is nearly parallel to the floor.  Pause, then activate and squeeze glutes, thrusting the hips forward to raise the body back to starting position. The hips should be pushed back on the down phase and glutes squeezing as you return to standing, keeping the knees soft throughout.
  • Skating Windmill (3 sets of 10-15 repetitions): Standing on the left leg with the right leg bent behind the body, foot lifted low above the ground bend the left knee and lean forward, reaching to the ground with the right arm in front of the left foot, extending the left arm behind the body.  Jump off the left foot and leap right, bending elbows and hands to bring together mid-air.  Land on the right leg with knee bent.  Repeat other side.
  • Squat jump onto bench / or on ground if no close bench/wall (3 sets of 8-12 repetitions): With the feet shoulder width apart, toes outward at around 10 degrees. Inhale, lower into a squat.  On the exhalation explode in the air with maximum power, driving powerfully through the legs and pushing into the air with the feet, hands above the head in the air and with the core activated and engaged.  Land on the feet with the legs slightly bent before returning into a squat position.


  • Broad Jump to Fast Feet: With Feet hip distance apart, bend at the knees and hinge hips back, with chest remaining upright.  Engage the glutes and core, and propel forward with both feet, landing sot and with chest remaining up. On the toes, take small fast steps back to starting point.
  • Spider man push-ups (3 sets of 5-8 repetitions): In a normal push up position, ensuring the body is aligned from the head to the ankles, inhale and lower the body to the floor, lifting the right foot and take the right leg out sideways, trying to make contact between the knee and elbow.  Return to starting position.



Oh winter you are a cruel edged sword.  On one hand you are imparting your cinnamon-scented gifts a la hot toddys, snuggley evenings in front of Attenborough with a roast dinner, cracklng fire places and warm toes in socks.  And on the other slightly cracked paw is the baffling dehydration, hair frizz, chapped lips and parched cheeks that comes with the advent of the most wonderful time of the year.  Just When we think we have evaded the skin-scorching summer months, winter rears its cosy, central-heating blasting head.  Many of us find our skin and hair even dyer than during summer.  

In the feel-good beauty I talk about some of my favourite products which help me feel my best and maintain a happy inner and outer glow.  Check out my rundown below of my favourite nourishing products for those biting winter months.




MIXA's soothing body lotion is paraben free, and makes parched winter skin battered from central heating and wind-flaying soothed and soft.  Double win.

I am a huge convert to French skincare brand Sananflore, whose organic products are crafted all from botanical plants in France, especially their Rebalancing botanical night concentrate, an organic dry oil that illuminates whilst you sleep, tightening pores and hydrating parched skin to reveal a complexion that could rival a a baby’s bottom. Equally Sanoflore's Rose Ariana Botanica Divine Bare Skin Cleaning Milk does what it says on the tin, infused with Organic Cornflower Hydrosol with soothing and decongesting benefits.  

Tan luxe the butter Gorgeously glossy and soft a butter, this quick-drying, lightweight gradual tanning moisturiser takes all the pain out of at-home bronzing. Richly nourishing and glow-giving, wake up feeling like you’ve spent 2 weeks in the Maldives, not chattering your teeth in London.

Kerastase Paris’s Nutritive Range are the only mane soothsayers I'll trust my parched damaged tresses with.  Whether my hair is getting crisped and frozen solid in the snowflakes of winter’s touch, or on my travels to the tropics in search of waves, I keep my hair nourished and soft with the nutritive range.

Stance Socks Knee High Socks are a winter necessity to keep tootsies cosy and warm when padding around the house, I live in these right now.

Whilst the heady mix of gluwein, intense amounts of snuggling, cold noses pressed against eachother for mistletoe kisses makes for a sexy concoction, parched and cracking lips do not. The whipping wintery winds can play havoc with ones kissers, I love Deceleor’s Intense Nutirtion lip balm to keep my pout kissable and soft.

Nails Inc Vitamin E Cuticle Oil Pen is a simple staple that packs a punch: specially created for targeted hydration of the cuticles, say sayonara to any ragged hang nails and dry nails. 

A solid road-testing of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid confirms the rumours: this no frills, no fuss brand that strips away flowery OTT packaging where much of the spend in products can be found to provide hard-working, cost-effective products.  The incredibly hydrating Hyaluronic Acid has had a profound effect on my skin which is as glowing and fresh as it would be with summer's kiss.

Pukka Three Ginger Tea is a warming swirl of organic ginger, galangal & golden turmeric that keeps tired winter bodies ticking and healthy.  I pretty much have a main-line to this during the winter months.

Dr Sebagh Skin Perfecting Cream is a daily essential for nourished, clear skin.  Packed with an ingredients list that work to counteract damaging pollutants, and sodium hyaluronate to help prevent moisture loss, a firm Mad To Live favourite for natural, fresh skin.


Thanks and stay tuned for next in the Feel-Good beauty series, DISCO, BABY...



Hot off the back of a recent trip to The Nomads Camp with The Action Academy, a co-working retreat where interjected between workshops and talks to help transition you to be a digital nomad/run your own business we tore down the mountains of Morzine on mountain bikes, wakeboarded Lake Annecy and packed more adventure into a week than you can shake a stick at, is my article in SurfGirl Magazine outlining how you, too, can be a digital nomad.

A daunting prospect for me some years back now, but a few years down the line now, I reflect on this transition, and how you can achieve this yourself too in my favourite bible of all that is women's surf and adventure, Surf Girl.

Check out the full piece below!

With Thanks To The Action Academy

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Recent Mad To Live Reteats attendee and friend for life Natalia Fludra is a woman after our own heart.  To me Natalia perfectly epitomises exactly what I have endeavoured to showcase about Mad To Live Retreats: being a modern, successful woman (Natalia works in law) who also is passionate about actively following her interests and dreams and does not sacrifice them.  A regular traveller in search of dreamy waves and adventure, Natalia is also an incredibly talented writer, penning the whimsically stunning blog Days Of Creature.

We were stoked to have the brilliant Natalia join us on a recent leg of Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience in Portugal this summer, and even more so when we read her righteous piece she penned after her travels with us.  Check out the full story below, and cruise over to the retreat page to nab your space on one of our legendary retreats.

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Long-time friend of Mad To Live the legendary Double Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton (CBE) was spotted discussing her love surfing and Mad To Live Retreats in The Telegraph recently.

Check it out below, and cruise over to the retreat page to nab your space on one of our legendary retreats.

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