I once had a salsa teacher exclaim, “No pausa, no salsa”. I took it as advice to live by. In a pause exists a moment of stillness amidst internal and external movement. In a pause, we have an opportunity to choose to respond instead of react to life. In a pause exists the present moment. I also like this advice because life should be a dance.

It was a moment of clarity during a pause that I decided to quit my job as a restaurant manager in San Francisco and pursue yoga. I chose to study in India seeking authenticity. I found it. I didn’t receive a manual or a lesson on how to make it in the yoga business, but I did discover my own spiritual path. I learned to stay a little longer in the present moment, to linger and enjoy the pause.

I pay reverence to all my teachers. I completed my 200-hour certification with Sindu Nayar at the Tulasidalam ashram in Kerala, India. I reached my 500-hour training with Janet Stone in Bali. These women taught me that it is possible to have a new relationshipwith the universe and myself.

It was another pause where I discovered I could no longer ignore my calling back to my family ranch in the East Bay where I am 5th generation. I had long since had the idea to turn it into an event venue and retreat center. I now live my yoga on the ranch where I am surrounded by the tranquility of nature and the sounds of animals. Although I miss teaching in San Francisco, I embrace the change.

My classes are challenging yet approachable. I offer a fluid vinyasa accompanied by the pause. No pausa, no yoga. I want my students to be present for the sensation, even if it is discomfort. I encourage softness and breath to overcome struggle because suffering is a choice. I take pride in my playlists. I give hands-on assists and anatomical cues to invite awareness and subtle shifts in specific parts of the body.

Pause to feel pleasure, pause to appreciate movement, pause to smile at the wonder that surrounds us and pause to enjoy being alive.