Dirty Little Secrets: 

the dark side of yoga, enlightened living, and living in the Light

this years theme: body image and images of embodiment

We often begin yoga as a way to turn towards the Light, the Goodness and the deeper understanding of who we are. Whether we begin in hopes of healing an injury of body, or a broken heart, or unsettled soul, we set out on this journey as a way to remember our wholeness, lighten our beings and feel Good in life and body.

And then…

Somewhere along the path of practice we discover its not all rainbow and unicorns “out there” or “in here”. We see the limitations of a yoga practice. We get injured. We get hurt. We get a broken heart. We become jaded. We get angry. We loose faith.  We act out. We ignore. We pretend. We come up with great strategies of non-resolution. We become part of a yoga culture for better and for worse.

What if the myriad of thoughts, feelings and behaviors were simply opportunities to understand ourselves more deeply? What if this was good news for the Path and not taken as fear things aren’t working? How exactly do we carry on once we have seen a glimmer (or a tsunami) of the Shadow in our yoga and ourselves? How do we stay the course when we come face to face with the aspects of ourselves and our communities that shock us, bewilder us and anger us? How do we reclaim our power and proficiency in grounded, rooted and connected ways to ourselves, the Path and Spirit?

These are big questions. This Applied Psychology for Yogis course has some answers. This course is perfect for all teachers, students and practitioners of yoga who are….

  • Interested in learning about and understanding the Shadow in a grounded non woo-woo way.

  • Feel at minimum slightly disenfranchised, jaded and skeptical of current yoga culture.

  • Have specific interested in understanding their own struggles with body image in the presence of yoga.

  • Are concerned about how bodies are portrayed in contemporary yoga culture.

  • Have shame, blame or guilt about themselves or another.

  • Interested in gaining practical, body-centered tools for facing, working with, befriending, and ultimately utilizing the Shadow.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • All 10 sessions have been recorded and are available for audio and video download as well as streaming.

  • Tuition  $530 (see payment options below)

  • Lessons are roughly 60 minutes in length.

  • Amount of time for readings and creative projects are up to you.

  • Guest Faculty: Peach Friedman ERYT and author of Diary of an Exercise Addict

What You Receive:

  • 10 recorded classes with Livia and guest faculty

  • 1 Somatic Mentoring Session with Livia

  • Office hours as needed.

  • Access to an online forum for discussion, questions.

  • Online video and audio asana classes incorporating the themes of the week. 

  • Readings to deepen your exploration and expand your knowledge.

  • Asana, writing and creative assignments that name, explore and harvest the wisdom of your shadows.

  • Guest Lectures with teachers who walk the path of Light well and model examples of healed body image.

Topics Covered Include:

  • The Shadow as a necessary function of Psyche: terms and theories that define and clarify

  • The Shadow of Embodiment

  • Body Image in the world of yoga.

  • How the Shadow stays intact: the various ego defenses as keys to unlocking your natural wisdom.

  • Ways the Shadow takes Form: feeling and seeing your own Shadow with courage

  • Naming our Cultural Shadow: the world of yoga and its dark side in modern culture

  • Naming our Personal Shadow: looking at and loving ourselves through shame, blame, guilt and doubt.

  • Befriending the Shadow: learn how to trust the ebb and flow of darkness and harvesting our creative power from the seemingly menacing parts of self

  • Shining Through: the power of the Golden Shadow and learning to live in the Light.

Payment Plans:

One time payment of $530:

2 month payment plan of $265 each month:

4 month payment plan of $133 each month:

More about our guest faculty

Peach Friedman

peach friedman

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.

A poet and a deep seeker, Peach earned her BA in Writing from Naropa University in 2001 with a minor in Traditional Eastern Arts, and her MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts in 2006, where her thesis, a book of poems entitled The Body Does Not Rise, examined her relationship between the physical body and the written word.

Exposed to yoga from a young age, Peach’s practice developed seriously at the age of seventeen when she was first introduced to Integral Yoga as taught by students of Swami Satchidananda. When she was twenty-one, grief and unexpressed fears married with Peach’s fascination of her body’s boundaries, and she developed anorexia, from which she recovered with an increased curiosity to both understand, and better care for, her body.

For several years Peach studied closely with Cori Martinez, under whose direct guidance she developed her teacher training school. Peach is passionate about her own yoga education, and furthering the education of others.  She is currently continuing her yoga study with celebrated teachers Noah Maze, Gina Minyard, Cherie Healey, and Sianna Sherman. After spending two years studying Applied Psychology for Yogis with Livia Cohen-Shapiro, Peach is honored to now be a TA and guest faculty for Livia’s online school.

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.

Peach recently sold her yoga studio in Auburn, Alabama, and has relocated back to the Bay Area, where she teaches weekly classes, workshops, and trainings locally and nationwide.

She has two kids, a cute husband, lots of bikes, and a love of good chocolate.


Christina Sell

christina sell

Christina Sell has been practicing asana since 1991 and teaching since 1998. Known for her passion, clarity and creativity, Christina's teaching style is a dynamic and challenging blend of inspiration, humor and hard work. Masterful at synthesis, Christina’s ability to harvest and transmit the unique contributions of various of yoga methods is unparalled. Christina believes that yoga practice can help anyone access their  inner wisdom, authentic spirituality and clarify their highest personal expression. 

Christina is the author of Yoga From the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body Through Yoga and My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness.  Christina has as BA in Counseling and Education and an MA in Integrative Education and Curriculum Design. Christina is the founder and director The San Marcos School of Yoga and Christina Sell Yoga Programs and Trainings. Christina draws inspiration from many master teachers in Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Anusara Yoga and  Bikram Yoga.  Christina Sell maintains an active teaching schedule presenting seminars locally, nationally and internationally. She is a devoted student of Western Baul master, Lee Lozowick, and credits his Influence as the spiritual inspiration behind her life and work.

 Christina resides in San Marcos, TX with her husband, a retired greyhound and three cats. She enjoys practicing yoga, writing, reading, cooking, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.  

Melissa Michaels

melissa michaels

Melissa Michaels, Ed.D., is the Founder and Director of SomaSource® Educational Programs, Surfing The Creative® International Rites Of Passage Programs, and Golden Bridge, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving and empowering the lives of young people through rites of passage, mentoring, and community support.

She creates movement based cross-cultural educational opportunities focusing on the potential that is available at major life thresholds. Mapping the journey from trauma to dynamic well-being, her work utilizes the expressive and social arts to establish body and heart as resources authentic expression. Rooted in rhythm and fueled by breath, this work inspires the sacred union between Spirit, flesh, psyche, and deed.

Melissa creates safe and provocative learning environments that support communities in the embodied exploration of how creativity serves awakening and connection. Recognizing the essential need for the body in our conversations about how to serve the next generation, she has developed comprehensive programs for assisting youth, and the adults who serve them, as they access their kinesthetic intelligence and their capacity to move with grace, focus, and freedom. Melissa is the author of the book, Youth On Fire: Igniting a Generation of Embodied Global Leaders.It shares the story of this work in principle and practice. Melissa is a first generation teacher of the 5Rhythms© along with being a Registered Somatic Educator and Therapist (ISMETA). She mothers two daughters along with mentoring youth across the globe as they navigate their way home to themselves and their unique life gifts.

Melissa is a social artist, dancing and dedicated to our collective renewal through the liberation of the creative spirit.

~ Elected Winner of the Colorado Dance Alliance 2006 Service to the Field Award for her Creativity, Effort and Passion to make a difference in dance in Colorado. ~

Before Enrolling In Our Program Please Read, Respect And Honor A Few Policies Regarding Refunds And Entering The Courses:

I ask that you enroll in our courses in an invested and committed manner. A great deal of time, energy, expertise and attention to students and detail goes into each course. I ask you extend the same to us and your classmates.  

You have permanent access to the program materials of your cohort. Therefore I ask you please do not request a refund because you have not had time to go through the course in the way you expected or you could not attend specific sessions. I believe in the importance of responsible adult education. I am confident in both the importance and application of this work in enhancing and changing your personal and professional life. 

No refunds. No Partial refunds for missed sessions. No partial refunds on payment plans. No exceptions. 

Payment plans are set up as "subscriptions" through paypal and the date that you enroll in the subscription will be the date that you are charged monthly until your payment has been completed.

In the event of major power outages, internet snafus, acts of god, mercury retrograde or other unexpected circumstances the session effected will be rescheduled in a manner agreed upon by all students rather than a refund issued.

Please Note:

We take pride in doing lots of stuff by hand, student by student. Please allow 48 hours for confirmation of your enrollment. A thorough welcome letter with all materials and access info is sent approximately 2 weeks before the start of the course.

Payment Plans:

One time payment of $530:

2 month payment plan of $265 each month:

4 month payment plan of $133 each month: