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Lifting the Veil - Meet Angel Cantu

Updated: Sep 22, 2019


We don’t know if you believe in the mystical world… we definitely do. We’re lifting the veil metaphorically with this series, and there’s a more mysterious veil that divides the ordinary world - the one we see every day in our waking lives - from what is sometimes called non-ordinary reality, the dream time or the other world. It is from this mystical place that Angel’s mom discovered she was pregnant with her.


Angel’s mom left her home in the Pacific Northwest at the tender age of 17 to explore the world and one day found herself swept far out to sea off the shore of Venice Beach, California. She believes she drowned that day; she said everything went dark and she heard a baby crying. An angel rescued her, pulling her out of the ocean and to the shore and she was taken to the hospital. It was then she learned she was pregnant, and so when her beautiful daughter was born, she naturally named her Angel. From the time Angel was a tiny girl, her mother instilled in her that she was on earth for a very special reason. Perhaps because of her mom’s belief in her, Angel always felt she was meant to help other people.


Angel’s mom was devoted to her and while she loved being a mother, being a teenage mom doesn’t come without challenges. When Angel was five, a custody battle ensued between her parents. No matter the loving intention from all involved, it was a painful experience and pivotal in Angel’s aspirations to be of service to others.


At six years old, Angel stood on a large stage in front of a few hundred people giving a speech, declaring that when she grew up, she would become a lawyer so she could help other kids going through child custody. You may be wondering as we did how a six-year-old found herself speaking to such a large audience; Angel was a part of a group called Push Excel whose goal was to support learning and quality education and the group was invited to speak at the University of Puget Sound. This experience had a powerful impact on Angel which drove her to excel in school. When the time came to apply to college and knowing her family didn’t have the finances, Angel applied for every scholarship possible and was awarded a full scholarship to Washington State University. From the time she began college, Angel was driven to make a difference, always remembering her desire to help kids like herself struggling with child custody challenges. She had to maintain good grades in order to keep her scholarship, so she continued focusing on school and joined Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, eventually becoming president.


While in college, Angel studied law and psychology, planning to become a lawyer and a judge. However, an unexpected opportunity arrived. The Ronald E. McNair program invited Angel to participate in their program for first generation college students. They would support and prepare her for graduate school, and it was through that program that Angel realized her passion in working with young women.


After completing graduate school, Angel spent the next decade working for programs that focused on early learning, child abuse, neglect, parental substance abuse and domestic violence, creating systems and programs that focused on exploring the strengths people had and the tools they used to cope. Her work was built on creating feelings of empowerment rather than of neediness.

Throughout her life, Angel had suffered from various health issues and at twenty-six found herself undergoing emergency surgery, being told she may not survive. Her intestines had twisted - she had literally tied herself in a knot because of her anxiety. When she recovered, she made her first major life shift; moving out of the Seattle area, getting married and buying a house. She was doing all the ‘things’ yet she was still unhappy and remained ill. She got sicker because she hadn’t changed her emotional situation.


After two more surgeries and months in the hospital, Angel told herself that if she survived this time, she would change everything. There’s nothing like brushing up against death to make you realize just how precious being alive is! A week after her return home, she packed up her car, moved to California and started a new life. In making this move, Angel left her career and life behind, yet she knew that being of service remained her life calling. She had been practicing yoga for over 15 years and one day she walked into the Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, where she met her teacher, Govind Das who has since become her greatest inspiration and mentor. At the end of the class, he announced that in eleven days his next teacher training would begin, and Angel signed up.


Angel has now participated in nine teacher trainings and taught over 1000 yoga classes. Through Bhakti Yoga Shala, Angel met her best friends and her partner (and just recently got engaged)! Her heart is full and at peace. She is devoted to being of service to her community and teaches 8 classes every week including a delicious sound healing and yin yoga class every Wednesday night.


Angel has brought the same devotion and drive to her yoga practice and the classes she teaches as she did to her early education and career. She is truly a magical human; she exudes a gentle power and her presence is a soothing balm. Being in one of Angel’s classes is an experience not to be missed! We are so, so excited to have her on our Tulum team.


We hope you enjoyed meeting and learning about Angel. If you find yourself in Santa Monica don’t miss the chance to attend one of her classes. If you want to dive deep into her magic come to Tulum with us, she’ll be leading daily classes and we’ll definitely be exploring the mystical together with guided meditations and drumming.



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