Nicole's love affair with yoga began in 2010, and she has since committed herself to teaching yoga in a way that holds space for her students to explore their practice and life. Being a nerd of both anatomy and psychology, she has found her home in this practice which blends the two of them together. She's known for her support, tough love, and openness. Providing tools, not rules, she invites two-way communication with her students to help them embody the practice and themselves more fully. Fun Facts: she has a love of quotes, bold colors, and jumping on the bed. Learn more about Nicole at

Which courses have you taken with Applied Psychology for Yogis?

 All of them, of course! You can't take just one... well, you can - but you won't want to.

What attracted you to these courses? 

Oh it was Livia herself, hands down. I have always found these subjects interesting, but she brought them to life for me. She is direct, no bullshit, has a love for real life in raw form, and a generous heart.

What are a few ways the courses have influenced you in your personal & professional life? 

Personal life - I've gotten to know my somatic body much more intimately than before; which has expanded my awareness, and trust in my body's feedback. Its shifted how I hold myself in the world, and it trickles into so many areas in my life, most apparent in my relationships. Also, my reading list has doubled in size - it's fantastic; I never have a reason to be bored! 

Professional life - I've learned how to become a much more effective teacher, for myself and my students. Livia taught me there's no box, no normal; understanding this makes working with students more personal. I can use my tools to address and explore whatever pops up in front of me, which I have found benefits the student more profoundly. I have lost the need to be everyone's perfect teacher; this allows me to show up more fully for those that I am meant to teach.

How have you applied the course materials to your work?

Based on my experience as a student, I knew how powerful the seat of a teacher could be; how much influence and affect can be given from there. As I teacher, I was not fully aware of all the ways, or how (and sometimes why - yikes) I was influencing or affecting my students. The APFY courses helped me recognize and separate my experiences from my students experiences, and not try to get them to experience it the way that I did/do. I have implemented tools learned here that help me guide individual practices in a group class setting - based on feedback from my students, that alone has been worth its weight in gold.

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

My work is so much more laid back. There's no forcing or piles of unmet expectations I put on myself. While I've always been an explorer of myself and my practice, there is an added benefit of deep trust and space. Since this change in myself, I have noticed a change in my students - when you remove the box, the "shoulds", when you give permission to experience whatever is happening with no labels... people emerge. Real people. Not perfect yogis, not perfect parents, not the picture perfect anything - real & raw. It's empowering on several levels. Overwhelming? Scary? Sometimes yes. But under all of that is hope and healing brought forth in a place where it is more than okay to be you.

What advice would you give to new APFY students?

 These courses offer so much to reflect on; if you find yourself wanting to go down a rabbit hole, but weary that you will miss everything else that she is offering - go down the rabbit hole. Trust where it takes you. You can always come back to the rest of the information, and if you're anything like me, you may find another rabbit hole to explore and bring to the group.

Livia Shapiro