Embodied Leadership Coaching FAQ

What is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their potential. One important thing to note is that in coaching the client does the work, not the coach. Each one-on-one session starts with questions such as:

  •   What do you want to focus on today?
  •   Why does that matter to you?
  •   If we’re successful, how will we know?
  •   What might get in the way?

Why embodied leadership coaching? 

All humans have a need for safety, belonging, and dignity. When one of these is threatened, an immediate response is triggered in the oldest parts of ourselves: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Appease. These knee-jerk responses are normal and have kept us alive, but are not always the most effective. We may want to respond differently to stress or conflict, but find ourselves repeating the same harmful behaviors. The Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea has a saying: “Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”

Embodied Leadership Coaching supports leaders in accessing all aspects of themselves—intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical—to move toward more aliveness and embodiment of their values and commitments.

Who can participate?

Are you a leader in your community? We want to work with you. We have experience coaching leaders from social movements, nonprofits, government, education, business, and philanthropy. Our cohort is open to leaders of any kind.

Who is coaching?

Coaching clients will have options for coaches:

Iris J. Podschun, ACC (they/them) loves to support coaching participants to connect deeply with individual and collective resilience. They draw from their own practices with dance, reiki, and somatics, which is based in Aikido, a Japanese martial art. Iris is passionate about organizing in their own LGBTQIA2+ and white multi-class communities, and are always learning and practicing allyship to black, indigenous, and people of color communities.  Coaching sessions with Iris can also include virtual bodywork using breath, sound, and movement to support the body to take new actions. Iris is Senior Director of Coaching & Collaboration at RCF, an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and a certified Somatic Coach through Strozzi Institute.



AnDrea Neal  (she/her) is an Oakland, CA native and has lived in Antioch, CA since 2012. In 2021, she graduated from Blooming Willow Coach Conductor Certification and is now a Healing Coach. She is a mother of four adult children, ten wonderful grandchildren, and one amazing great-grandchild. AnDrea overcame many obstacles in her life. With her triumph came growth and an awakening of her purpose. Her healing birthed a passion to assist women and children that were less fortunate. She has volunteered at various sober living homes as a Substance Abuse Counselor and Mentor, and was employed with Alameda County for 12 years. She is a Community Leader with Safe Return Project, where she learned organizing skills to end mass incarceration and criminalization. In 2020 she attended the LeaderSprings STRONG Cohort for Emerging Leaders of Color, learning to create equity and transformation. She also joined Mobility LABs and traveled to New York for their convening with various leaders throughout the United States, all serving communities in their areas. In addition to being a coach, AnDrea is also a Community Engagement Coordinator with Mobility LABs. She endorses their belief that “Those closest to the challenge, are closest to the solution.” Her personal mantra is “We don’t become effective until we have been affected.”


Our program is expanding!

We are seeking additional credentialed coaches for virtual sessions with community leaders. (Download RFQ)



“When I started receiving coaching, I had a lot of shame. I didn’t believe I deserved to heal from the traumas I experienced – gender-based violence, homophobia, classism, etc. Coaching has changed my life and I am passionate about supporting leaders and movements that I care about in their individual and collective healing and resilience.” – Iris


We still have slots open.  Click below and submit your enrollment form today.

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