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.
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.
Bridget strives to make yoga accessible to anyone who is interested in finding the relief, strength or stillness that yoga can offer. With a focus on anatomy, core strength and deep tissue work, there’s always a new direction and challenge. Whether you’re brand new to yoga or a well-practiced regular, you’ll emerge feeling stretched out and stronger than when you came in.
Sophia’s background is in circus, studying contortion and dance before she discovered the world of climbing. Her passion for exploring a kinetic connection with the world has lead to a vast variety of experiences and studies. Most recently these experiences have meant working through injury and recovery. Sophia discovered TRX in the process of healing her own injuries and has been at it ever since, first as physical therapy, and taking it to the next level with strength, cardio, and even flexibility. For her, working with others towards fitness goals is and enriching and rewarding experience and she welcomes people up all levels to join in class and have fun.
Rather than it being a part of her greatest hopes and dreams, Steph’s start as a fitness instructor was more unintentional and in the spirit of helping out—and not wanting core class to be canceled. Nowadays she looks forward to teaching her core classes, where she gets folks sweaty and strong, makes friends, makes people make friends, yells out body alignment cues, and strives to be the best fitness instructor DJ of GWPC (watch out Victor). Her classes are a blend of what she’s learned from her 15 years of classical ballet training, physical therapy, and visits to other pilates/ yoga/ fitness classes. You can find her in class, on the rope walls, at the farmers market, or on the dance floor.
Alexandra is an Oakland-based yoga teacher who started practicing yoga after years of competitive sports and endurance training. Her teaching philosophy uses yoga to complement fitness by challenging her students to be mindful and better understand their bodies. Along with increased flexibility and strength, her students work towards overall mind, body, and spirit conditioning; improved sports performance and focus; and injury prevention. Alex’s personal fitness regime includes yoga, group exercise (HIIT and weightlifting), running, climbing, spin, hiking, and swimming. For her, a healthy lifestyle is all about showing up and surrounding yourself with the right community to inspire, guide, and motivate you to become your best self.
Emma thinks movement should help you connect to the power and joy of being in your body. Her classes are high-energy, fierce yet lighthearted, and infused with creative sequencing and precise strength challenges inspired by her movement and fitness background. In 2014, after a decade of regular practice, Emma completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus in San Francisco under the guidance of Jasmine Tarkeshi. Since then, she has added sculpt, barre, and TRX classes to her repertoire and has been involved in numerous 200-hour yoga teacher trainings and continuing education programs. While Emma’s classes are butt-kicking, they are facilitated with intention, care, and respect for the student experience. Emma has studied trauma-informed yoga and hopes students feel welcome to be sweaty, smiley, and safe in her classes. For more information on Emma or to find music from class visit emmasternyoga.com.