Liz has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years and teaching for over a decade. She received her teaching certification from Integral Yoga in 2003. Over the years Liz has been honing her skills thorough studies with numerous senior teachers around the US and internationally, with her greatest teachers being her own students. Through this ongoing relationship Liz has developed a keen awareness of the unique experience of each student on both a functional and energetic level, allowing her to customize the practice to each student’s unique needs. When not teaching Liz loves to sing and dance, ride her bike, take her pooch for hikes in the hills, and peruse the abundant local farmers’ markets.
VictorCardio Boxing Instructor
Victor Damian is a Youth Coordinator/Health Worker III for SFDPH and focuses on youth and families that have been impacted by trauma. Victor is also your boxing instructor who focuses on making sure you have fun and a great workout all at the same time. He will work you on technique, cardio, drills, mitt work, and will add a generous section for strengthening that core of yours. But that’s not all! Victor is also certified in Core Strengths Coaching (Based in Positive Psychology), Filipino Martial Arts Instructor under Maestro Sonny Umpad, and was once a member of Pittsburgh’s National Slam Team.
With an athletic background that includes competitive swimming, gymnastics, soccer, cross-country and weightlifting, Polly has a lifetime of knowledge and experience in training & fitness. Additionally, Polly brings her 6+ years of experience with CrossFit to GWPC, with personal experiences ranging from novice to Games Athlete to coach. A two-time CrossFit Games representative (34th as an individual in 2009 & 18th as part of a team in 2010), Polly brings an enthusiasm for coaching, challenging herself and others, and fostering the growth and development of her athletes. As a coach, her focus for trainees is on continual improvement, working towards achieving the highest quality of movement, and being a resource for the support it takes for each athlete to succeed.
Polly has completed both the CrossFit gymnastics and Level 1 certifications. She still enjoys climbing, and will often round out her personal workouts by crushing some boulder problems.
Rafael has been at Great Western since like, forever. First as a member. Then as a CrossFit coach. Now as director of CrossFit V16. You can hear him telling stories, bad jokes, and doing his best to help people get freakishly strong just about every day. He may or may not live here between classes, but one thing is certain, he definitely owns more sweatpants than anyone else we know.
Rafael hold a Level 1 CrossFit Certificate and has reached Level 2 on Super Mario Brothers. With what little spare time he has, Raf also pretends at being a competitive weightlifter, writer, and amateur ninja. Hi daughter likes Chuck E Cheese.
Sofia Belen has been a mover all of her life. Originally a modern dancer in New York City, she found that the rigors of this lifestyle were not conducive to a healthy mind or body. Sofia conveys the beauty of “doing less” in her classes, encouraging students to practice non-harm towards themselves, and creating an environment that supports self-confidence, humor, and community. Sofia has been teaching yoga since 2012 in NYC, Martha’s Vineyard, and in Berkeley. She teaches an alignment-based, ideal for athletes and those interested in making their body function optimally in yoga and beyond, through basic to intermediate yoga poses. Deepen your practice with the use of props and individualized adjustments and develop strong, mobile and pain-free joints.
Johnnae has been practicing yoga for over a decade and teaching since 2009. A California native, she completed her Yoga Works 200-hour training with Annie Carpenter. Johnnae is an enthusiastic yogi and shares her passion for the practice by creating an accepting space, providing precise instruction, and emphasizing the breath. She aims to teach you a new way of being in your body – one that increases well-being in both body and mind. She looks forward to seeing you in her class!
Johnnae teaches a Vinyasa Flow class for all levels. Start your day with an invigorating yoga practice, build strength and flexibility, and deepen your connection to your breath. No yoga experience necessary, just a willingness to listen to your body. And have some fun too!
Desperately seeking methodologies to heal from a broken spine, Robert discovered yoga in 2002. After his recovery, he found that yoga enhanced every part of his life. Overcoming significant limitations and asymmetries, he teaches with acute awareness and compassion for all body types and backgrounds. Robert has studied with some of the leading practitioners in the field, and is a graduate of the Piedmont Yoga School’s “Deep Yoga 10” program. His fascination with the biological organization that is the human body, and its anatomical and spiritual connections to the external world, heavily influences his teaching. “I’d love to show you how a good yoga class can engender feelings of freedom, focus and tranquil integration,” he promises. Robert spends his free time skiing in Tahoe and rock climbing in Yosemite and the High Sierra. He holds degrees in molecular genetics and philosophy from UC Berkeley.
Melissa has been teaching yoga since 2008 and climbing even longer. Her classes are welcoming, dynamic and especially beneficial to climbers.Melissa’s feel-good classes build physical strength and mental clarity through healthy movements, safe assists, and down to earth guidance.