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Reflecting back on 2021

At the start of 2021 Robbie and I (my brother and business partner) sat down and had an epic all day planning session for the year; we plugged in all the events, course launch dates, teacher trainings and other goals that we had. There was a huge wall planner, spread sheets and working documents to cement our offical plans. Not long into the year I soon realised that the two best business tools I had at my disposal were an HB pencil (easily erased), and a big bottle of whiteout! Four great events I wanted to run were cancelled, two brand new teacher trainings were cancelled, yin yoga teacher trainings went back onto zoom, as well as lockdown life being back in full swing! Regardless of all of this, 2021 has been a remarkable year, the highlights of which, in no particular order, I would love to reflect upon here with you.

We launched the online Yin Teacher Training

After many years of teaching my 50 hour yin yoga teacher training in person, Robbie activated the epic task of filming the entire course, creating an online learning portal for the content, and reshaping the entire program for the digital space. Early in 2021 we launched this course and were absolutely overwhelmed with the massive support we received!

Having the course available for people to study at their own pace has diversified the learning so much. And it has creating a lot more accessibility for people to partake in this training without having to carve out such huge chunks of time over their weekends to be with me in person. Of course, it is wonderful to physically be with people and share my knowledge, but now that we have zoom, and pre-recorded material, the course has so much more room to grow. Previous to this digital evolution, the course growth was limited to my physical time and energy, whereas now, I am present digitally, and physically in a much bigger capacity than ever before.

This digital upgrade has also helped me to use the time I spend with students in a live (or livestream) capacity, to answer the questions that are most relevant to the group. This has helped to keep my passion fresh and connected, rather than tied up in long periods of verbal course delivery, and it has given the training so much new life and fresh energy.

I cannot thank Robbie enough for his unwavering generosity, time, skills, and efficiency in this amazing partnership. (Check out episode 3 of the podcast if you would like to get to know Robbie a little more).

We launched the podcast

That is correct, we also launched a podcast! And Robbie is my amazing guest on episode 3. Truth be told, Robbie has always been a forward thinker and he did in fact pitch this idea to me back in 2019. At the time, I was finishing my degree and felt like a one-winged plane trying to land my cargo somewhere safely with the least amount of carnage possible (read; I was completely burned out and the thought of a podcast almost gave me panic attack).

The beautiful thing about dedicated time off and self care means that I finally had the energy and motivation to get on board with this idea in 2021. Robbie and I live quite a distant from each other, so when the 200th lockdown was called, I needed to be more self-sufficient in filming my own content for our socials, and I realised that I could be filming and interviewing guests myself, and sending Robbie the recordings to edit and publish. Tada, podcast was birthed. We are currently in the middle of releasing season 1 of the Dr Karina Smith Podcast, where myself and other esteemed guests talk about yin yoga, healing, Chinese medicine, online digital spaces, marketing and so much more great content.

Clinic growth and new directions

Around April I had a deep message come through my meditation that it was time to consolidate. At that time I had been renting two different clinic rooms on different sides of town, and I felt very over extended. The message that came through was a clear directive that I should move into a larger house and create a home clinic. Which is exactly what happened. Blessed to still be very close to the water and all of my favourite nature walking tracks, I now treat my patients from home and it is wonderful. It was pretty good timing too, and the week after I moved in, we in Melbourne were thrust back into a very long period of lockdown. Thank you higher self for your exquisite wisdom and direction!

I must admit at first I was a little nervous to have so much of me "seen" with patients entering my home to enter my business. But that quickly melted away when I could feel that the home environment created such a warm and inviting energy for all involved. And, at the end of a long day it is an amazing feeling to know that when you have packed down the clinic room, all you have to do is walk into the living room and you are already at home!

Passion for writing

I have always loved writing. Part of my online presence is to write regular articles and blogs about yin yoga and Chinese medicine topics. 2021 has really helped to fan that flame of writing passion, and it was really uplifting to receive so much encouragement from those that read my articles this year. I know that there is a book rumbling around in my muse tank for future endeavours, and I know that it will largely focus on my passion for debunking anatomy paradigms so that I can help to educate people on the realistic nature of skeletal variation. I have also been invited to be a regular writer for a large online wellness platform that is currently in creation, which will likely launch next year. So there is a lot more exciting writing to come.

Starting mentoring programs

I have been mentoring yoga students since 2015 when I started facilitating some of the practice teaching classes at AYA (The Australian Yoga Academy in Melbourne) with students working their way through a year long yoga teacher training program.

Every Friday night for years, I was there, listening, and offering constructive feedback and helping to really pump up the confidence often lacking in these earnest budding yoga teachers. Many times there was common tips and tricks I was offering, as well as helping to clarify points of confusion, or anatomical myth busting. I will always look back fondly on those epic sessions of growth.

This year it suddenly dawned on me, that after all those years of mentoring, I could still be mentoring! So I started offering some one-on-one zoom sessions particularly for new teachers that needed some help and valuable feedback to support what was challenging them in the class. I have had a wonderful time connecting with teachers on their journey and helping them the best that I can with the obstacles that are arising for them.


And last but certainly not least, there was Larry. Long legged Larry the blue greyhound. My napping buddy and clinic therapy dog. The dog I never thought would be a companion of mine but has completely captured my heart. Spat from the racing industry, he had a two week whirlwind journey to get from broken hill to my lounge room. His ability to adapt and trust has taught me more than any other relationship I have ever been in. 6 months in, and he is settled, loving, calm and home. Having such a beautiful creature to live with has been but one of the glorious blessings of this year for me.


It would be foolish of me to rush out and get another giant wall planner for 2022. I will be writing out soft HB pencil plans with a bottle of whiteout nearby for sure! But hopefully, if my pencil stays on paper, there will be a series of yin yoga trainings, consistent clinic growth, mentoring, and maybe even some new educational projects that begin to take shape next year. Whatever happens, 2021 has taught me to keep my attachment to outcomes loose, and be able to go with the flow at any given moment



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