The model-turned-yogi-turned-doula sounds off on mindfulness, high-vibrational foods and why a little tequila on the weekends is totally acceptable
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
Photography by MARK GRIFFIN CHAMPION
On a quiet street in the Topanga backwoods, past a trickling seasonal stream, a wooden sign painted with the word “yoga” invites you to Angela Lindvall’s rambling eco-sanctuary. There, you might find the top model perched on a tree stump in her yard, surveying the untamed expanse. Lindvall — who has fronted campaigns for brands such as Chanel, Versace, Dior, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton, and graced nearly 100 magazine covers — purchased the lush property 13 years ago.
“I’ve always loved ancient cultures, religion, philosophy and metaphysics”
Complete with beehives and a yurt, compost pit, garden, tented yoga studio plus forthcoming sweat lodge, Lindvall’s oasis, which she shares with her sons, Dakota, 17, and Sebastian, 14, will now be open for a series of new wellness workshops entitled Peace Begins in Me. With programming for mothers and daughters, teens and women, the sessions are co-hosted by friend and healer Kayren Pace and reflect the pair’s extensive expertise in yogic sciences and healing arts.
“I’ve always loved ancient cultures, religion, philosophy and metaphysics,” says Lindvall, who recalls having her first out-of-body Kundalini yoga experience when she was 15. Lindvall elevated her practice to a new level in her mid-20s after going through a divorce and the tragic loss of her sister, Audrey. “[That] was the biggest transformation of my life,” she says. “That shifted everything.”
Now certified as a Kundalini yoga instructor and semiretired from modeling (she recently booked a campaign with Citizen watches), Lindvall’s goal is to bridge her two worlds — the one where “everyone is wearing white with their heads wrapped, chanting in ancient Gurmukhi and left-nostril-breathing” with mainstream feelings of fear, temptation and self-doubt — or what she calls “lower level vibratory emotions and thoughts.” To that end, the seven-hour workshops guide guests through a transformative combination of Kundalini yoga, meditation, a dyad process (a one-on-one listening exercise), high-vibrational foods, a sound bath, journal work and a fire ceremony where, she explains, “old stories are burned and new ones are created.” Workshops $40-$250. Custom private retreats also available.
Here, in her own words, Lindvall shares the things that make her wellness routine so positive.
On Mindfulness + Energy
I started a regular yoga and meditation practice in 2011. I decided to commit at least five minutes before I open my eyes in the morning to connect with my soul because that’s when we are in the subconscious mind. A lot of times when I would do five minutes, it would end up being longer until it became more a part of daily routine, like brushing my teeth.
I really feel like my job on the planet is being a mother. Doing these workshops is an opportunity to carry that maternal, nurturing, feminine energy. I also went through doula training recently. Once I get more seasoned as a doula I’d like to host some pre- and postnatal, even conception classes.
I really feel like my job on the planet is being a mother. Doing these workshops is an opportunity to carry that maternal, nurturing, feminine energy
We originally built the fire pit out front to roast a lamb for Easter a few years ago — it was actually the neighbor’s lamb. I wanted to teach my kids about the cycle of life. At one point we had chickens and rabbits on the property, but it got out of control. That was our experiment with homesteading in Topanga.
We have a garden, and I support local organic farmers when I can. My shopping list is filled with “high vibrational foods” (foods that are alive, such as fruits and vegetables). I’m not great about taking supplements, so what I like to do is get my supplements in dropper or powder form (favorites include chlorella, all the Sun Potion adaptogens like chaga, reishi and pine pollen), put them in a blender with water and blend it up.
Sun Potion makes a dopamine bean called Mucuna Pruriens — I call it “my happy hot chocolate.” To it I might add chlorella, spirulina or a liver cleanse
I like to have a tequila sometimes with my friends on the weekends. A few years ago, I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have a certificate as a health coach, but I feel like dogma takes the fun out of everything, so always leave room for flexibility.
On Yoga + Exercise
Kundalini yoga works our whole energetic body — our central nervous system, our endocrine system. The physiological and spiritual sides of it are fascinating. I think a lot of people get intimidated by it. If you walk into a traditional class, everyone is dressed in white and chanting in Gurmukhi. We’re not used to that. I find the science of sound to be one of the most powerful parts of this practice. Our endocrine system is the guardian of our health and our pituitary gland — that’s the master gland that controls the whole glandular system — which is the third eye. When you chant and you are vibrating, it’s resonating on the roof of your mouth, which is stimulating the pituitary.
Then there’s the pineal gland at the top of your head, which is the seat of your soul, that’s your connection to consciousness and the higher realms. Western medical science has shown the pineal gland has shrunk and become calcified because we are not using it, and because of fluoride in the water, chemicals and different types of things. Kundalini yoga stimulates the pituitary, which then gets the pineal to secrete. You can feel it — I did on my first time. You feel almost like your physical body disappears. I don’t do my practice every day, sometimes five days between.
Think of your daily yoga practice like a cellphone — you need to charge it or it runs out of power
Beyond yoga, I take my dog, Guru, on hikes. We have this gypsy bohemian gym in a converted barn where I do aerial workouts and have a punching bag. It’s also where we store our dirt bikes — I figured I should learn to ride them for when we go on dirt biking trips. And I take a Pilates class in town taught by Lila Grace.
On What’s On Her Vanity
I use Young Living Essential Oils in the bath, as medicine and in cooking. Some favorites include lavender, frankincense, Egyptian gold, rose, oregano and thyme. We also have an infrared sauna, which unfortunately is broken, so we’ve switched to using the steam room. I also love Weleda skin food and Puremedy original healing salve, which I use as a face cream, in my throat when I get sick and for wound care.
On Green Living
My first passion was being this outspoken eco-warrior, talking about sustainability before anyone knew what that word meant. Here I was, going through all this effort, trying to make the world a better place, and it was a conundrum when my world was falling apart. [In the summer of 2006, Lindvall divorced, and her younger sister, Audrey (also a model), passed away at the age of 23.] That’s when I really realized self-care and healing ourselves is going to have the biggest impact on the environment. Connecting people to each other and to the planet.
I compost my food — and I’m very conscious of the products I buy. I’m not someone who goes out and buys a lot of stuff. Most of the things in my wardrobe I’ve had for a long time. I recently designed a line of jewelry with Article22 based on sacred geometry and made out of melted shrapnel. I love the idea of transforming something so negative it into something positive.
Feature image: An old military parachute strung with Tibetan prayer flags provides shade for the the alfresco yoga studio.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of C Magazine and has been updated as of June 25, 2019.