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 several options for coaches:

Iris J. Podschun, ACC (they/them and she/her) is Director of Community Engagement & Collaboration at RCF, an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and a certified Somatic Coach through Strozzi Institute. Iris has worked in nonprofits for twenty years in a variety of roles, including as an Executive Director.  They are passionate about organizing in their own LGBTQIA+ and working-class communities and are always learning and practicing allyship to black, indigenous, and people of color communities.  Iris loves to support clients 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 peaceful Japanese martial art.  Coaching sessions can also include Somatic Bodywork, a clothed practice of using breath, sound, touch, and movement to release contractions and support the body to take new actions.

Kelly Robinson, PCC  (she/her) is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and an Organizational Relationship Systems Certified Coach (ORSCC). Kelly has more than 20 years of public sector, non-profit, and government management experience. She coaches newly promoted managers; established and emerging leaders; and teams in transition and growing organizations, especially those led by and in service to communities of color. She is inspired to help professionals translate wisdom into action


Anela Barboza, PCC (she/her)  is passionate about co-creating space for personal and collective development through the practices of Somatics. Anela’s perspective has been shaped by her living experience as a diasporic kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiian), born and raised in a predominantly white, gentrified community in Northern California. She is deeply committed to identity and cultural exploration, and resiliency work as a means of personal transformation and healing. Outside of her work as a Somatic Coach, she is also a Craftsman, Co-Parent, and Community Organizer in Minneapolis, MN where she makes her home today.   https://www.anelabarboza.com/


Linda González, MSW, MFA (she/her) has a thriving practice as a life coach, assisting clients to discover and reach their precious goals while taking into account the impact of biases still present in society. Her coaching book entitled Breaking through your Own Glass Ceiling will be published soon, geared toward dismantling White Supremacy to truly embrace a full-hearted life. Her coaching relationships are based on a thoughtful, motivating agreement developed with the client’s goals at the center, building on existing skills to resolve challenges, access internal and external resources, and develop consistent, life-long habits.  Se habla español. http://lindagonzalez.net/


Julianna Sikes, ACC (they/them) Julianna Sikes is committed to helping individuals lead their lives and communities with greater purpose and authenticity. Julianna partners with individuals to help them discover their potential for more courageous, purposeful, and satisfying lives.  Julianna has been coaching since 2013 and is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC)  through the International Coach Federation, a certified Somatic Coach through the Strozzi Institute and a certified School Leadership Coach through the New Teacher Center and the Association of California School Administrators. Julianna is part of the Strozzi Institute Teacher team and routinely studies and practices somatic methodology. https://www.sikescoaching.com


Dr. Vanissar Tarakai (she/her) uses a trauma-coaching approach that integrates generative somatics, intuitive readings, energy medicine, bodywork modalities, restorative yoga, neurodivergent wisdom, personal, ancestral & oppression trauma healing, social justice practice & Nyingma Buddhism. Website: www.vanissarsomatics.com 


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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