Carolyn Smith, is a yoga teacher who is registered with Yoga Alliance and experienced mental health professional who has managed services in the NHS and a Local Authority since 2005. Carolyn Smith Yoga is the culmination of her work, experience and desire to share the ancient science and wisdom of yoga alongside recovery-based approaches to health and wellbeing.
Movement and health has been a part of Carolyn’s life since childhood. While training as a dancer, Carolyn performed in various professional theatre productions and spent Christmases surrounded by custard pies, glitter and sequins in pantomimes at Nottingham Playhouse in the early 1980s.
Fast forward a few years, Carolyn had a young daughter, returned to education to read sociology at the University of Nottingham and then studied for a Diploma in Social Work and MSc in Social Work Studies. A career in mental health followed alongside further university study in leadership and management in health and social care. Her career includes managing an NHS addiction service and a wide range of mental health services in the NHS and a Local Authority at a senior level. Designing and facilitating training and therapeutic groups, plus providing supervision, coaching and mentoring have been key components of her career.
While managing a hectic work and home life, Carolyn discovered the benefits of yoga for her own physical and mental health and was soon practising 6 days a week. In a lightbulb moment, she made the link between her career in mental health and her yoga practice. The idea for Carolyn Smith Yoga was born. Yoga teacher training with Sun Power Yoga followed and specialist training in London; Yoga for Stress and Burnout at Yoga Campus and Yoga for Addictions at The Minded Institute. Carolyn is continuing her professional development in 2018 with additional training in Teaching Yoga for ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome plus a further 200 hour course in the teaching and practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa with Jane Piddington, her primary teacher, from Ashtanga Yoga Glastonbury .
Unbeknown to Carolyn, while she was taking steps to simplify and transform her life, in early 2018, another Butleigh resident was also making the decision to transform her life. Jade, a successful graphic designer, moved to Lower Rockes Farmhouse in the village with her husband and 5 children. With a vision of building something very special within, and for the local community, Jade launched The Drawing Room tea room.
Another local resident visited the team room, attended one of Carolyn’s yoga classes, saw the potential and brought Jade and Carolyn together. Carolyn Smith Yoga at The Drawing Room was born; a new home for yoga within a beautiful home and tea room. Jade and Carolyn have a vision for a small, friendly, community hub for local people of all ages, that promotes health and wellbeing and is a home within a home, where people can come together without leaving the village.
Carolyn’s initial teacher training course with Sun Power Yoga, provided a firm foundation in yoga practice, philosophy and anatomy for additional specialist yoga and mindfulness training. The integration of body, mind and breath, the unity of yoga, is carried through into Carolyn’s 1:1 and group work for recovery, emotional wellbeing and mental health, with yoga providing a complementary way to achieve balance, release tension and carry out mindful enquiry into the self. Yoga is a complete system that reaches every aspect of life through the eight-limbs.
Carolyn’s primary teacher is Jane Piddington who runs Ashtanga Glastonbury. Jane initially practiced Sivananda yoga before discovering Ashtanga in 1998 and is a Senior Yoga Teacher for Yoga Alliance Professionals. She completed her Ashtanga teacher training with Brian Cooper and has trained with many of the world’s top Ashtanga teachers including Nancy Gilgoff, Jai Prakasah, Gregor Maehle and John Scott.
Carolyn has also trained with the founder of Sun Power Yoga and course-director, Anne-Marie Newland, an internally renowned teacher who trained with Swami Vishnu Devananda at Sivananda centres in Canada and qualified in India at the Sivananda Centre, Neyyar Dam. The use of the breath and mind focus are central to Anne-Marie’s teaching.
The Official Bit: Relevant Qualifications
200 Hour Sun Power Yoga Diploma (accredited Yoga Alliance School).
YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga.
Diploma in Social Work and MSc (Distinction) Social Work Studies, University of Southampton.
BA (Hons) Sociology, University of Nottingham.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) includes:
Yoga and Mindfulness for Addictions and the Minded Addiction Recovery Kit (MARK), The Minded Institute.
Yoga for Stress, Burnout, ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Specialist Training Course, Yoga Campus.
Post Graduate Diploma in Management and Leadership Health and Social Care including module on coaching.
Training in Supervision, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Therapy, Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Telephone Triage, Learning from Serious Incidents Requiring Investigation, Adult Safeguarding, Mental Capacity Act.
Attendance at numerous conferences including a Men’s Mental Health conference, Patient’s Association Conference and University of Manchester National Confidential Inquiry conferences.
Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with Yoga Alliance.
Registered Social Worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Registration number: SW61956.
Carolyn’s yoga work is carried out in line with her Registered Yoga Teacher status and with full insurance for teaching yoga. Recovery and mental health work is carried out as an Independent Social Worker under Carolyn’s registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Carolyn’s most recent Enhanced DBS check was in June 2018.