About Our Instructors

Sihing Eliot Prisby

Sihing Eliot is the owner and head instructor of Metrowest Kung Fu. He has been practicing martial arts since 1993, when his parents enrolled him in karate lessons when he was bullied as a child. Sihing fell in love with the martial arts, and studied several different styles for many years, eventually receiving black belts in Karate and Tae Kwon Do. While attending Fitchburg State College, he founded the Fitchburg State College Martial Arts Club, which is still active today. In 2009, he began learning Kung Fu and Tai Chi from Sifu Gary LaChapelle. He received his black sash in 2013. He opened Metrowest Kung Fu in January 2016.

Sihing is a strong believer in traditional martial arts, and teaches Kung Fu and Tai Chi as he learned the arts from his own instructors. He believes that to practice Kung Fu is to temper the spirit by strengthening the body, and that anyone can do it if they are willing to learn. Sihing aspires to enrich his students and his community through the virtues that the traditional Chinese martial arts training provides.

Sihing enjoys the outdoors, snowboarding, surfing, photography, and reading. He is a community organizer and activist, helping immigrants, the homeless, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups in his community. He lives in Maynard with his wife and daughter.

Sihing Eliot teaches Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and kickboxing.

Katina Fontes

Katina has been a yoga practitioner since 2004, and has taught yoga since 2010. Katina was an instructor at Warrior’s Way when Sihing Eliot took over, and stayed on the team to provide her yoga experience. Katina’s Gentle Balance and Flow Fusion classes incorporate elements of several styles of yoga, and focus on healing injuries, improving health, and calming the mind.

Katina teaches Thursday mornings from 9-10am. She also occasionally teaches yoga workshops and dance classes.

Karyn

Karyn is a registered nurse and an integrative health and wellness educator in the field of preventative medicine. She is a certified instructor of both Kripalu and Ashtanga yoga, a Reiki master, and holds a degree in psychology. With over twenty years of teaching experience, Karyn has taught yoga retreats, teacher training, and corporate and private wellness classes throughout the US, Costa Rica and Mexico. She is the former founder and owner of Manchester Yoga Center. Blending her background in both eastern and western science, she draws on her years of experience integrating conventional medicine with mind body practices to help students reach their optimal health and well-being.

Karyn started teaching at Metrowest Kung Fu after her sons began training in Kung Fu.

Karyn is available for health coaching and private yoga instruction. She teaches Moderate Yoga Mondays from 9-10am, and Fridays from 10-11am, and also teaches Restorative Yoga workshops once per month.

Margaret Thompson (Maggie)

Maggie began practicing yoga in 2012, and has been teaching since 2015. She completed her two-hundred-hour yoga certification in Fairhope, Alabama with Kula Community Yoga.

Maggie’s Slow Flow Yoga classes teach a slow vinyasa style of yoga which is appropriate for all levels. She sees yoga as a way of life and believes that being on the mat helps her students to maintain a balance in their daily lives.

Maggie teaches yoga Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm, and Saturdays from 10-11am.

Karen Larsen

The former head yoga instructor of Warrior’s Way, Karen is one of the most experienced yoga instructors in New England and has taught many students who went on to open their own studios both locally and abroad. She is highly experienced in many types of body movement. She was president of NASC college dance club for four years, a student of the Dance Department of Williams College for four years. She is certified in NEDITA, AFFA, and pilates. She studied pilates with Patricia Fitzgerald, and ballet with Margo Parsons. She studied Thai massage therapy with Teresa Gurnard, and studied yoga under many famous instructors, including Duncan Wong, Anna Forest, David Swenson, and Shiva Rae.

Karen’s Warrior Yoga class is a combination of the different styles of yoga she has studied – a flow class with influences from hatha yoga, with holds and form adjustments based on Iyengar yoga. Karen’s classes will challenge both beginners and seasoned yogis to reach new levels of flexibility and understanding of their own bodies.

Karen teaches Warrior Yoga Sundays at 4:30pm.

Jean Popovich

Jean Popovich, RYT, has been practicing the art of yoga since 2003. She has a solid foundation in classical hatha yoga and lyengar methods from studying under some of the best teachers in the US, such as Kim Valerie, Shiva Rae, and Patricia Walden, in addition to learning from great yoga therapists in India.

She recently received certification as an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor. Ayurveda is a traditional form of Indian medicine focusing on bringing the body into balance through diet, yoga, breath control, and meditation. Her down-to-earth, relaxed style conveys a deep understanding of these complex concepts, while easily explaining all postures and techniques, as well as their effects and contraindications.

Stress relief, better concentration, coordination, and toning of muscles are only a few of the many benefits you will receive under Jean’s guidance. She will not only help you in class, but her goal is for you to ultimately help yourself by creating a private practice tailored to your needs.

Jean’s Gentle Yoga class is Monday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm.

Claire Neumann

Claire Neumann, RYT, has been practicing yoga since 2004, and completed her two hundred hour yoga certification at Wachusett Wellness in Clinton, Massachusetts under Juliania Record. Claire teaches Harmony Yoga, which is a Yin Yang practice. She also teaches chair yoga. Both classes are appropriate for all levels.

Claire has a Masters’ Degree in Writing from Emerson College, and holds graduate certificate in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University. She is also certified in Reiki II. A longtime runner, she has completed three marathons, over twenty-five half-marathons, and countless five and ten kilometer races. When not practicing yoga or running, she enjoys gardening and hiking with her family and dog.

Claire teaches Harmony Yoga Tuesdays from 3-4pm, and Chair Yoga Wednesdays from 12-1pm.