We have a team of like minded professionals, all experts in their field, working together in harmony to bring you your ultimate weekend retreat. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond clients expectation. So read on to get to know a little bit more about the wonderful people who are going to give you an experience that you will want to come back to year after year.
Laura Bell | Yoga Teacher and Founder of The Zest Life
She landed into yoga quite literally after being thrown out of a boat in Australia 11 years ago and landing with a broken back. After 3 months of rehabilitation she was told her passion of running was no longer an option but yoga would aid her recovery and keep her back pain free. After training with David Sweson in Ashtanga yoga a new yogic way of life flourished.
She has since carried out a number of training courses over the years and continues to further her yoga training, gaining qualifications in Blissology yoga, children’s yoga, pregnancy and post natal yoga and swedish full body massage. She has a personal and friendly attitude towards her teaching, offering a style of yoga that is dynamic with sequences set to rejuvenate & challenge the body. Through Vipassana meditation she has developed a more spiritual path to her practise, which she incorporates into her teachings both on and off the mat.
She has been facilitating retreats for over a decade now and loves nothing more than to host a group of liked minded individuals at our retreat space on Anglesey, sharing her love of yoga and Wales. Since starting her family her hosting role has been put on hold. Laura now manages everything behind the scenes, keeping the cogs turning of The Zest Life machine, so that the team can create blissful weekends for our guests.
Kate Hamilton – Hunter | Retreat Facilitator and Yoga Teacher
Kate joined The Zest Life retreat team in January 2016 and her knowledge and skills of yoga have played a huge part in the delivery of fantastic yoga on our retreats here in north Wales. Kate has been a student of yoga for 18 years. A discovery of the beautiful, flowing style of Dru Yoga, led to training at the International training Centre for Dru Yoga in Bethesda, qualifying to become a Dru Yoga & Meditation Teacher.
Since April 2013 she has taught weekly yoga classes at local venues, at Dru Taster Days, on an NHS Yoga and Mindfulness programme and on the Dru Teacher Training Course. She is now a Support Tutor on the Dru Teacher Training Course , encouraging the next generation of yoga teachers to blossom into their own uniqueness.
Claire Riley | Retreat Facilitator and Yoga Teacher
For Claire yoga has been a lifelong passion. She has been practising for more than 40 years and has studied with many inspiring teachers in many different styles. She qualified to teach at Camyoga in Cambridge in 2015.
Her regular style of yoga is Hatha Flow. Each of her classes are carefully sequenced to safely align, stretch and strengthen the entire body on a physical level and to release tensions, emotional blockages and encourage the flow of energy on a subtle level. Expect a fairly intense experience but you are never pushed beyond your own limits. She gives modifications and progressions as required to suit your individual needs.
Amy Bell | Yoga Teacher
Before becoming a yoga teacher, Amy trained and worked as an actress, practising yoga whenever she could. After 10 years of dedicated practice Amy made the transition to becoming a full-time yoga teacher. Now Amy shares her love and passion for yoga, inspiring others on their own yoga journey and improving their health and wellbeing in the process.
Amy specialises in Vinyasa Flow, guiding you down a creative, physical journey, with a contemporary music playlist to support the energy & rhythm of the movements. Classes are intelligently sequenced so that the students are safely warmed up and prepared for the various, chosen “peak” postures. Amy weaves insights/themes through the class to take your practise to another level.
Rosie Underwood | Yoga Teacher
Rosie, a teacher and specialist in Vinyasa flow with Positive Psychology used yoga as a way to keep her grounded in her work as a magazine editor, wellness journalist and health coach. Her fascination and increasing interest in yoga and meditation lead her to practice in all four corners of the globe, and after eight years of dedication to learning, she made the jump to teaching.
Rosie’s uplifting and energetic sequences are tailored to suit the student’s ability, energy levels and mindsets from a bio-individual stand point. Weaving positive psychology and mantras into her classes, Rosie sets the tone for gaining strength, mobility and resilience both physically and mentally, keeping students fully immersed.
Yoga Teacher | Natalie Gray
Natalie has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching for the last 4 years. She studied at Sampoorna Yoga in India which took her practice far beyond the mat and opened her mind to the ancient Indian philosophies and teachings. Her passion and experience lies in Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, and Yin Yoga.
With a background in anatomy she takes a functional approach to teaching, and a focus on how each Asana feels rather than looks, making this style of Yoga accessible to all and more importantly, encouraging creativity and fun and time to take a moment to pause and find our centre.
Catherine Humphrys | Retreat Chef
Coming with more than 35 years of vegetarian cooking experience, Catherine joined the Zest Life team in Spring 2019. In recent years she has focused purely on vegan cuisine from around the world creating tasty, vibrant, seasonal food. Her retreat menus are designed so that guests have the right nutrition and energy to enjoy our range of activities throughout our retreat year, catering for a wide range of dietary requirements.
When she’s not working in the Zest Life kitchen, she runs Wildings Vegan Kitchen catering for private events, supper clubs and local cafes. Catherine will always go that extra mile to make sure there is a beautiful selection of food on your table.
Dave Brown | Swimming Leader
Originally from South Wales Dave’s passion for swimming is anchored in his days as a pool & beach lifeguard. He was the first person to swim to the Skerries Isles, off the North West Coast of Anglesey, crossing one of the fastest flowing channels of water in the area, has swum numerous lakes in Snowdonia and swam or coasteered most places around the Anglesey coastline.
He has worked in the adventure sector for 30 years, is a triathlete, a surfing coach, swimming teacher and has coached the Welsh and the GB Development triathlon Squads. He provides swim event safety management for a number of organisations and through his company AcwaTerra, offers specialised adventure training consultancy.
Sian Sykes | SUP Leader
Sian Sykes was born and grew up in North Wales. After 15 years working in London in creative media, she changed her focus in life and moved back home. She now runs Psyched Paddleboarding, teaching SUP and leading guided tours in beautiful locations. Sian has a wealth of experience & qualifications, and has been fortunate to lead expeditions to Nepal, Mongolia, India, China, Peru, Morocco, Iceland and the Alps.
The 1st person to circumnavigate Anglesey on a SUP and the 1st person to SUP the 3 lakes challenge in the UK, Sian enjoys nothing more than to explore the natural landscape on her SUP. Her passion for the outdoors is infectious. You will be truly inspired!
Deborah Barker | Massage therapist
Debbie joined The Zest Life in 2011. She is a fully qualified massage therapist who relocated to Colwyn bay after a decade in London, where she trained at the Academy of Natural Health. Whilst establishing her massage therapy business in London, she gained a tremendous amount of experience. She was privileged to work with MIND; did a stint at the top London hotels and part-managed a holistic therapies centre. She worked with private clients of all ages and physical conditions in their own homes and workplace. Her approach is to always give treatments in the way that she would wish to receive them i.e. to use the right amount of pressure; to acknowledge that we are all mind-body-spirit; to set a safe and nurturing atmosphere and to be totally present with the client. She works intuitively, tailoring the treatment to the client and respects confidentiality at all times.