Questions and Answers from a Modern Yogi: Harriet Smith

Questions and answers with Harriet Smith

Harriet Smith first discovered yoga in 2006. Her love of the practice led her to India to complete her 200 HR YTT. Until 2022 and you will find her teaching phenomenal classes in our Bondi studio, training our new teachers and supporting our in-person teacher training!

As a senior teacher and performance coach, Harriet is an irreplaceable and integral part of our Bondi Beach study community. You’ll leave your classes feeling down on the ground, cheerful, and you’ll probably have laughed or two along the way! And you’re sure to get sweaty!

We sat down with Harriet, affectionately known to Bondi as Harri, to talk about her journey into yoga, teaching, and what her yoga mat continues to teach her.

1. WHO DID YOU STUDY WITH?

Aside from my 200 HR YTT in India, I studied with Duncan Peak, Annie Carpenter and completed a mentoring with Gina Brescianini. I earned an Advanced Diploma in Classical Yoga and completed a trauma-based yoga training that I now teach as well!

2. WHAT WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MOMENTS UNDER ONE OF YOUR TEACHER?

During my mentoring with Gina, I really learned to find my voice and to believe that I had something important to say! I learned to trust my own voice, to contribute my own style to teaching, and to let it shine.

I also had some amazing physical advances in my own practice during my Annie Carpenter workouts. They really solidified my understanding of physical practice.

3. WHY IS YOU BETTER KNOWN AS A YOGA TEACHER, AND WHY?

Strong classes! Although my classes are physically strong, they are light in energy. We have to have some fun at the fire!

4. WHY DO YOU LIKE TO TEACH YOGA?

Harriet perched on a tree in front of a mural with slices of watermelon

I feel lucky. It’s my passion, my dream, and I’ve pulled a lot out of it. The connection to the community is amazing, and my job allows me to have it every day.

I also love weaving classical philosophy throughout my classes, combined with the modern alignment knowledge I learned from my teachers. As modern yogis, we can learn from both ancient and modern principles to keep evolving our understanding of the practice! I recently ran our 30 day Elevate program and I always like to return the focus to the ancient wisdom of yoga.

5. IF YOU DIDN’T TEACH US YOGA, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN ITS PLACE?

Something to do with travel: lots of travel! I’ve been at Bondi since 2014 and this is the longest time I’ve stayed in one place!

6. YOUR PERSONAL SELF-CARE RITUAL:

Introduction to my asana practice. I’m very consistent when it comes to getting to my mat! I am currently trying to balance it with a personal care that is more yin in energy: more rest.

7. What yoga posture could I not live?

Wild thing!

8. WHAT DOES YOUR YOGA PRACTICE OFFER YOU NOW?

Yoga is a tool for life! I use it as a mirror and a way to navigate all the ups and downs. I also love how yoga keeps us strong both physically and mentally. You don’t need anything else. Just you and a mat.

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You can practice with Harri in our Bondi Beach & Livestream studio! You can also learn from some of her mentors at our upcoming Annie Carpenter virtual retreat, Gina’s coaching and mentoring program, and The Art of Assisting.


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