Thomas William Morisette, Co-founder
Thomas is a skilled and determined entrepreneur responsible for the creation of Present Moment. His background in fine art and design, coupled with a lifelong passion for indigenous culture, has inspired the manifestation of this beautifully detailed environment. Tom is continually enhancing the experience of the retreat through landscape design, website marketing, guest relations and by purchasing international artifacts and stylish clothing for the boutique.
CJ Ananda Page, Co-founder
As one of the creators of Present Moment Retreat, CJ spent several years dreaming and journaling about creating a sacred space for healing and transformation. As this dream became a reality, she realized the power of creation and manifestation, and now uses these skills to dream her world into being with great gratitude every day. Prior to Present Moment, CJ had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented therapists and consultants in the industry of health, wellness, and beauty through her global marketing position at the Aveda Corporation in Minneapolis. Currently, she manages Present Moment's health and wellness division, and facilitates the Yoga Teacher Training Courses held at Present Moment. As a passionate instructor, you'll find her teaching and coordinating a variety of yoga, meditation, and movement classes. She is also greatly skilled in the areas of Thai yoga massage, shamanic energy healing and spiritual counseling. CJ is a national champion gymnast and a skilled choreographer with bachelor degrees in Exercise Science, Psychology, and Dance from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Luis Fernando Solis, Executive Chef
Luis was born and raised here in Guerrero, Mexico. He has worked as a Sous Chef for several years in Ixtapa at the Double Tree, Presidente Intercontinental, Krystal and Fontan; carefully honing his skills alongside the area's greatest chefs. Luis's talent, and passion, for this amazing profession are clealy revealed in each and every delicious, healthy and beautifully presented meal he creates. Luis continually enhances his inventive and professional recipes through continued education at international culinary schools specializing in updated techniques, organic ingredients and restaurant hygiene. "I have been working at Present Moment for 3 years now. I am deeply proud of my team; I enjoy my creative freedom here, and every plate that we serve is cooked with love. Our goal is to welcome you and your family with the warmth and caring feeling of home."
Emily offers counseling & coaching, Reiki energy healing & training, and massage therapy. Her naturally compassionate and intuitive approach helps clients to integrate their mind, body and soul; inspiring change, creating balance and finding joyful passion in their lives. Emily is a Certified Wellness Counselor and Life Coach through Rhodes Wellness College in Vancouver, Canada. As a Reiki Master, she is passionate about sharing the gift of Reiki with folks to assist in healing themselves and others. In continuing her journey of physical wellness, Emily completed the Spa Therapy Program at The Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage and most recently became a Certified Yoga Teacher through School Yoga Institute at Present Moment in October 2011.
Natalie is honored to have been working at Present Moment since the summer of 2007. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her yoga studies in India at Yoga Point University and her Thai Massage studies in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand at Sunshine Massage School. Using therapeutic techniques in her classes and massages, she is able to help her students address injuries, which in most cases comes from postural misalignment. At the end of almost all of her classes (in shavasana), Natalie offers a meditative technique known as Yoga Nidra (Psychic Sleep). This takes her students past the waking states into the zone of the subconscious mind where they are able to root out deep seated karmic imprints (samskaras). She enjoyes practicing a blissful circulatory table massage as well as Reiki and Qi Gong. She currently spends part of the year hosting various yoga/massage/surf retreats in Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and India. Enjoy visiting her website for more information or to sign up for a retreat! Come play with Natalie on the yoga deck or out in the waves for one of her famous surf yoga excursions or boot camps (see Surf Yoga page for more information)!
Leela is the founder of VividExistence and Vividly Woman. A facilitator of groups and individuals for over 20 years, she is anexpert in the field of body, self and soul. With charm, fun, sincerity and sensitivity, Leela gets people into their bodies, more deeply connected to themselves, and more open to connecting with others. Her many studies, trainings, work with individuals and families, shamanic initiations and rich life experience add depth and dimension to her skills. Celebration, compassion and authenticity are the heart of her teaching, inspiring and nourishing the dance that is her aliveness and her delight in sharing it with others. She is passionately devoted to living and sharing this dance with all individuals who dream an ever more vivid existence!
La Verne Maxwell
La brings a wealth of experience as a yoga and meditation teacher to her students. Her style of teaching encourages an authentic understanding of the foundation of yoga; bringing humor, vibrancy, positivity and passion to the practice. Whether her students are beginning or advanced, Ms. Maxwell skillfully assists you in expanding your horizons from the point your of experience. La Verne graduated of the University of Iowa, with an undergraduate degree in Physical Education, and has received three prestigious yoga certifications; two from Nosara Yoga Institute and one from the world renowned Shri Dharma Mittra. Most recently La Verne was in India where she studied Iyengar, taught yoga and meditation, and received her spiritual name, Risha, from her guru, Mooji. La offers Thai Massage, Raindrop Therapy (a light massage with 10 therapeutic oils drizzled along the spine), and Water Aerobics.
Joe nurtures a deep love for inspiring people to dive into their own being; illuminating just how amazing all of us naturally are within. Joe comes from an international background in teaching and researching 'Contact Improvisation', a dance form that explores movement based in curiosity and meditative attentiveness to the dancer's direct experience. An inspiring inquisitiveness is skillfully combined with his knowledge, and talent, as a Qigong teacher and Massage Therapist. Providing a catalyst for his heartfelt compassion, Joe draws on both ancient and contemporary methods to help people on their paths towards health, vitality and balance. Along with healing bodywork and daily classes in dance and Qigong, he also offers unforgettable one-on-one sessions which integrate bodywork and movement education.
David Oregon Rangel
David was born and raised in nearby Salitrera, Guerrero. David is our head 'troubleshooter' with expertise in the fields electricity, plumbing, refridgeration and groundskeeping. He is truly a Godsend, and has been a highly regarded leader here for 4 years. David says, 'I'm greatful to work for Present Moment because it is such a positive and relaxing environment...plus we have a great team!!!
Karina and Gustavo Jasso
Present Moment was co-created through the vision of organic architects Karina and Gustavo Jasso, and built by local craftsman and skilled Mexican artisans. Careful attention has been made to every detail based on ecological designs that rely on natural building materials -- earth, wood, stone, and palm. Walls are finished by hand with "cop" -- clay, sand, straw and water -- if you look closely you can see the fingerprints of the craftsmen. The Jasso's truly articulated the very essence of this project, bringing into reality this dream of a lifetime.
'Through your love for each other, through learning the art of making one person happy, you learn to express your love for the whole of humanity and all beings.
Please help us develop the curriculum for the institute for the happiness of one person.
Don't wait until we open the school.
You can begin practicing right away.'
- Thich Nhat Hanh