Karina Smith : On dancing, sunrise walking, and taking students deeper

You are incredible, so just move toward that which excites you, because that is where you will flourish!

What is something you do every morning?

I make coffee! Yoga or no yoga, my day does not happen without coffee.

Something kind I have done for myself this week:

I go for sunrise walks along the beach. Sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend.

What do you love most about teaching at the moment? 

I’m loving the way a class just unfolds like a live show. When I am connected, and I feel the students connecting, something within that exchange creates the most exquisite, never to be repeated yoga experiences. Sometimes with only a concept or a theme I come to teach and facilitate, and something magical just comes through. When I can feel the students going deeper within, beyond the shapes of the asana, or what their bodies look like, it is everything!


Photography | Tara Buhagiar


Share with us your first experience of yoga:

I think my first experience of yoga was as a warm up in a dance class when I was doing my dance degree. I remember how challenging I found the postures, and I didn’t understand why we did this at the beginning of every dance class. I look back now and realise it was the meeting of my two movement loves. I left dancing out of my movement practice for so long and I’m only bringing it back in now. Yoga and dancing are how I create sequences in class, and how I reference my body in everyday movement as well.

We all meet moments or even days where things feel way out of our control. How do you navigate this?

I practice A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and the biggest skill that this course teaching is the consistent practice of forgiveness. It is a really broad way to practice the undoing of the ego, and essentially the world. It is a hard concept to grasp, but the idea is that everything that disturbs your peace of mind requires you to forgive it, it might be a comment, an action, a thought, you release it by forgiveness. I don’t always remember to do this straight away, but as soon as I do, an incredible feeling of love returns. This is how I manage my feelings of being out of control because it is usually connected to being upset by something or someone.

What does flow mean?

Flow is when things, events, people, stuff just seems to roll out with ease. I have come to recognise that it is time to let go when it feels like you have to push really hard for something to happen, that is a sign for me that the flow is not going in that direction. If in those moments you can let go, the flow will take you where you are supposed to be. So it needs trust. Since teaching at AYA (Australian Yoga Academy) I have felt an incredible flow, almost like being on top of a river without needing to paddle at all.

Three attributes I value most in another person:

Personal drive.

What are you reading right now? 

The Spark in the Machine by Daniel Keown.
This is a book that uses Qi and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to explain the mysteries of Western medicine.


Photography | Tara Buhagiar


What’s something you would say to your 20-year-old self? 

Honey, it’s ok to feel things deeply, but don’t worry, you are sooo loved, and when you learn how infinite you really are, things won’t feel so painful. You are going to meet so many people who will love you and support you profoundly. You are incredible, so just move toward that which excites you, because that is where you will flourish!

Dance, laugh, and love hard!

What does it mean to be a real life yogi?

It means drawing from the wisdom and answers that have already been given, thousands of years ago, about how to face the difficulties of life. Texts, practices, and dialogue has been giving to us, and explained to us, about how to manage our own heads, our relationships, and living in the world without letting the world get the better of us. Being a real life yogi, is about remembering these teachings, and applying them, when life gives you the squeeze.



Karina started dancing at the tender age of four, and danced her way through school and university where she completed a B.A in contemporary arts at Deakin University. Dance was the perfect segue into yoga, and yoga was where she finally felt at home in her body. Karina did her first teacher training at the Australian Yoga Academy in 2010. She followed this up with an intensive six months of study in travel in India, with a second teacher training at Shantarasa Institute and Ayurvedic studies in Kerala.

After returning home and beginning her teacher, she returned to University to embark on deeper Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanical studies. Karina has since stepped over into Chinese Medicine studies and is in her third year at Southern School of Natural Therapies.

Karina is part of the education team at a well renowned yoga school in Melbourne and assists their 350 hour teacher training program. She lectures in Anatomy, Meditation, Yin and teaching skills. She is also part of the coaching and mentoring program preparing the students for their teaching journey.



instagram :: @yogachameleon
website :: www.karinasmith.com.au


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