PEACH FRIEDMAN

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Peach Friedman, E-RYT 500, has been studying the system of yoga since 1997, and began teaching yoga + other movement practices from her family’s studio in 2001.

Also the author of the internationally acclaimed memoir, Diary of an Exercise Addict, Peach has worked for over a decade helping women recover from eating disorders, both in the clinical setting, as well as through special retreats, workshops, and other offerings.

Peach’s classes emphasize skillful alignment. She is known for challenging classes (expect to work hard!) that aim to balance the relationship between stability and mobility, as well as the relationship between the pose and the person. Peach weaves in teachings of the philosophy & science of yoga while guiding students through the postures. She is as passionate in the yoga studio as she is off her mat: Peach’s classes are bold and balanced experiences intended to inject you with inspiration to lead a wild & peaceful life.

Which courses have you taken with Applied Psychology for Yogis? Um...ALL of them!

What attracted you to these courses? Livia's frank and honest approach to the hard shit.

What are 3 ways the course influenced you in your personal life? What about your professional life?

Personally:
1. I started trusting my body's signals with greater ease.
2. I learned to stay in my body in moments where I might have otherwise slipped out to avoid an overwhelming or intense experience.
3. Honestly...my marriage improved as a result of me understanding my needs better.

Professionally:
1. My yoga teaching sharpened a lot. I came out of these courses with greater clarity about what matters and where I can make a difference in the yoga room.
2. I learned to take a lot of things that happen in my work-sphere less personally. I was better able to focus on my work + my path with improved understanding of what I value.
3. I now feel more authentic and real in my roles as a yoga teacher and studio owner.

How have you applied the course materials to your work?

I am more aware of working specific techniques and tools in my yoga classes, like tracking sensations, oscillation, and asking for consent for assisting. I notice my language much more, and am far more aware of how choices I make impact the experience in the room. I apologize less and am more comfortable being clear with my students about what I expect and what my teaching is all about.

What benefits have you observed in your work since incorporating these teachings?

Honestly, through my willingness to grow stronger, clearer, and more direct, I have noticed my students poses improve. As an asana teacher, that is something I'm going for. I also have noticed, from establishing healthier boundaries, that my relationships with students feel fulfilling. My role is clear to them, and they know what they're getting because it's out there in the open. Same with my employees. I'm learning to be a better studio owner through applying this work.

What advice would you give to new APFY students? 

Just notice. Livia gives so much information and change can happen slowly. Just start to notice what you're doing now...that gift of awareness of what choices I'm making in the yoga room and KNOWING the impact they may have has been worth it all.

Livia Cohen-Shapiro