Our Team

liza borjaLIZA BORJA, Owner and Founder of Pilates Encore since 2005

Liza, the Mind Body Maven, started out with a career in family law and was passionate about empowering women and children as an advocate against domestic violence. Her career took a dramatic turn after she was hit by a big rig while driving to court. She found solace in Pilates as it became her only relief from months of constant pain and frustration. Pilates eventually became more than just a physical exercise to strengthen and mitigate pain; Liza discovered that the Pilates approach was an empowering tool to ultimate balance and well-being.

She was first certified in Power Pilates, a more classical style of teaching, and continued to grow learning various styles of the work.  Liza is the first and only California Pilates instructor certified from NY’s Pilates on Fifth in Cardiolates, a true cardio-Pilates workout that combines the alignment principles of Pilates with the fat burning benefits of cardio for weight loss. A constant student, Liza takes weekly lessons from BASI International, which presents a more contemporary approach to Pilates. She is also a certified Hypnotherapist by the National Guild of Hypnotherapists, and includes Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and visualization in her training.

With this innovative and holistic approach to fitness and wellness, Liza combines her extensive Pilates background with EFT, alternative healing and Hypnosis to develop a contemporary method of training, bringing out the best in her students physically, mentally and spiritually.

CHARISSA HARTUNIAN, Pilates Instructor

Charissa has been practicing Pilates for 16 years and has been teaching for over 12. She is a member of ISSA International Sports Sciences Association as a National Certified Fitness Trainer, and also co-creator and video instructor for the application STRETCH FOR LIFE.

Charissa and Pilates are a combination in demand. Her accomplishments include Conference In Demand training focused on individual, duet, and group training that specializes in women’s health. In addition to her love of Pilates, she also conducted her own boot camp for three years. In her free time she loves to hike, ski, and hang out with her two children, Dusty and Chloe.

She believes we all need to stretch our bodies, strengthen our muscles, and flex our spines to strive towards balance, physically and nutritionally, for a high quality of life.

CAROL JUE, Pilates Instructor

Carol Jue is a winning college basketball coach and remarkable Pilates instructor with over 15 years training from various master teachers.  She created Cross Training and Flexibility through Pilates and also teaches Self Defense for Women at Chapman University.  Her ambition is to inspire and motivate people to reach their individual goals. Carol believes in healing the body through Pilates core training and aims to help people find greater body awareness while providing a challenging workout at any fitness level.

SHADOW, Director of First Impressions, Motivational Coach, Stress Relief Therapist

Shadow is dedicated to helping clients reduce stress while working his charm to put a smile on your face. His goal is to inspire and motivate people to move, bringing his enthusiastic yet gentle energy to all who visit the studio . Studies have shown that having a therapist like Shadow around can lower blood pressure, improve people’s psychological well-being and self-esteem.  Shadow has been described as sweet, attentive and compassionate.  He is always working to encourage and challenge clients with a sensitivity to each individual.  Although Shadow was born with a gift to lift spirits, his experience comes from years of providing comfort and joy to many.