our teachers

Cheryl Vigder Brause

As one of the leading experts on mindfulness in Westchester, Cheryl has created and led hundreds of programs and taught mindfulness locally and nationally to thousands of adults, teens and children in schools, businesses and privately. Once a corporate litigator and investment banker, Cheryl now uses her decade of personal practice and training to write, speak and teach about the transformative practice of mindfulness meditation.  As a busy mother of three, she has expertise in mindful parenting, stress reduction, finding balance and making these ancient practices accessible in our busy, modern lives. Cheryl teaches people from her own personal and relatable experience how everyone can use a few simple tools each day to create a more peaceful, joy-filled, healthier life. She is thrilled to create this incredible space for people to pause and explore the transformative power of meditation.

Cheryl has had extensive training in the fields of meditation and mindfulness. She is a graduate of Mindful Schools Year-Long training, as well as a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor.  She is certified in Learning to BREATHEMBSR for Teens, and Stressed Teens (MBSR-T) and has completed her Level I and Level II Meditation Teacher Training with David Nichtern. Cheryl is a featured expert on the Simple Habit meditation app, which has 2.7 million total signups and an average of 30,000 new users every week, and is a founding teacher for Journey LIVE, an exciting new live-streaming group meditation app.  She is also the Co-Founder of www.2bpresent.com and the creator of  2bpTV, providing free online resources and programs to thousands of people and helping them discover the true gifts of learning how to slow down and connect inward to their inner strengths, stillness and unlimited potential.

Caren Osten

Caren is a certified positive psychology life coach, certified mindfulness meditation teacher, speaker and writer. She works with individuals and groups, who seek to cultivate greater positivity, clarity and calm as they navigate life’s daily stresses, challenges and shifts. Caren leads workshops at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and MNDFL meditation studios, among others, and speaks at conferences, businesses and organizations where she shares the benefits, strategies and science of optimism, self-compassion, mindfulness, and resilience. A contributor to The New York Times, PsychologyToday.com, Mindful and other publications, Caren writes about health and wellbeing, travel and education. You can learn more about her work at www.carenosten.com

Amy L. Gross, Ph.D.

Amy is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified meditation teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the mental health and wellness disciplines. She is currently in private practice in White Plains, NY where she works with adolescents and adults with a variety of issues and spends summers in PA working at a sleepaway camp where she provides campers and staff with social and emotional support as well as mindfulness programing. Amy’s clinical and meditation expertise creates a special synergy that she is excited to share with the Pause community. You can learn more about Amy at www.dr.amylgross.com.

Cindy Olsen

Cindy is a certified Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide and founder of Cindy By Nature, LLC. She is passionate about sharing the powerful physical and mental benefits of nature and mindfulness with others. Her outdoor program won the “Best of Westchester” award in 2019 for Best Outdoor Hike. Additionally, she runs mindful awareness programs for various schools, organizations and private clients. She is the mother of two wonderfully wild boys.

Dr. Shari Becker

Dr. Shari Becker has been a clinical psychologist since 1998.  After taking a “leap of faith” to leave a New York City corporate law firm to obtain her doctoral degree, Shari established her private psychotherapy practice in Ridgewood, NJ.  She feels privileged to work with individuals (17 and older), couples and families experiencing difficulties due to mood, anxiety, relationship issues and challenging life circumstances.
Shari takes an integrative approach to psychotherapy, incorporating techniques and strategies from various modalities, including Positive Psychology, Intuitive Eating and Somatic Experiencing. As a seasoned yoga practitioner and certified yoga instructor, Shari weaves the teachings of yoga and the principles of mindfulness into her clinical work with patients. In addition to her private psychotherapy practice, Shari teaches a weekly class in mindfulness-based gentle yoga. This class is designed for all levels to provide the therapeutic benefits of yoga without the physical demands.  She is also certified as a meditation teacher by Pause to be Present and teaches weekly classes in mindfulness meditation and breathing. Shari speaks to corporations and organizations on various topics, including stress management, deepening self-care and increasing emotional resilience through mindfulness.
Shari writes a blog (drsharibecker.com/blog) in which she addresses themes related to enhancing the quality of life experience, including awareness, mindful decision-making, emotional resilience, vulnerability and human connection. You can learn more about Shari on her website drsharibecker.com or follow her on Instagram @drsharibecker.

Franklin Shire 

Franklin is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher whose practice focuses on breath and body awareness as self awareness, with patience, compassion and non-judgment.

At an unsettled time in his life, Franklin discovered the grounding benefits of meditation and mindful movement which eventually inspired him to share these healing arts with others.


Tara Sussman

Tara is a local mom of 2 young boys and a professional Yogi. She has a dedicated yoga practice of over 20 years, graduated with her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training from Peaceful Yoga in Malverne and was mentored by renowned Jivamukti trained instructors. Influenced by Tara’s Guru and late Mother Debby, a yoga teacher and holistic healer, Tara has set out on a mission to share the incredible benefits she gets from her own yoga practice with the community. Tara believes that regular yoga practice both on and off your mat is the key to happiness!

Cindy Musoff

A graduate of Pause to Be Present’s Mindfulness teacher training program, Cindy is excited to be combining her mindfulness training with her education background.  Cindy has a Masters degree in Education and has taught in public and private school settings. During the pandemic she became an interim nursery school director having the opportunity to work with children, parents and teachers during this stressful time. Cindy is a member of the Blythedale School Board, a NY State Public School for children with complex medical needs. Cindy has three young adult daughters.  She wishes she learned more about mindfulness and meditation when they were younger but is thrilled to have found it now and bring these skills to her parenting now. 



Renee Diamond


Renee embodies true grit and dedication. A nationally respected fitness and yoga instructor, she started on her yoga path 25 years ago under the tutelage of legendary yoga master, Tao Porchon Lynch. She is a lifelong student of movement and the body, with over four decades of teaching experience.

Jack Schoen

Jack is a certified mindfulness meditation instructor and ecopsychology student, currently residing in Boulder, Colorado. Introduced to meditation at a young age, Jack has carried this through his journey, allowing it to become a lived experience rather than a learned skill. He first realized he wanted to become a teacher while helping to lead a STEM camp, and has been working to bring teaching into his reality since then. As a recent graduate from an engineering program, Jack is familiar with the stresses of college and young adult life, and works to apply various meditative practices to find peace and happiness through whatever life brings his way. Jack aims to make meditation more accessible and approachable, especially for people who might otherwise find it difficult to get into meditation.

Julie Musicus

A graduate of Pause to be Present’s teacher training program, Julie is a meditation instructor, an outdoor mindfulness guide, a nature educator, a clean beauty advocate (@jules.beautycounter), a wife and a proud mom to two teenagers.
She is also a writer, editor and digital content strategist working with both corporate and non-profit clients.
Mediation has brought her so much joy, strength, awareness and peace and she looks forward to sharing it all with you in class.