About Carolyn

Fusing yoga with extensive experience as a mental health professional and senior leader for mental health services in the NHS and a Local Authority, Carolyn delivers an innovative body-mind approach to help you feel better. 

An experienced yoga teacher and continuing education provider with Yoga Alliance, Carolyn provides yoga and emotional wellbeing programmes, supervision for health and social care professionals and mental health training.

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Movement and wellbeing has been a part of Carolyn’s life since childhood. Having trained as a dancer, Carolyn performed in various professional theatre productions in the 1980s. Fast forward a few years, Carolyn had a young daughter, returned to education 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 the strategic and operational management of mental health social care and safeguarding services for Somerset, the divisional management of community mental health, rehabilitation and district nursing services and an inpatient ward for people with dementia in the NHS, and the management of a wide range of NHS mental health assessment, crisis, recovery, psychiatric liaison and alcohol services. Designing and facilitating mental health training, events and therapeutic groups, plus providing supervision, coaching and mentoring have been key components of her career. She was the lead for suicide prevention for a NHS Trust for a number of years.

While managing a hectic work and home life as a single parent to two children, Carolyn discovered the benefits of yoga for her own physical and mental health. Alongside providing new ways to reduce stress, yoga helped her strip back layers of conditioning during a journey home to herself.

Calmer, more content, less fearful of the unknown, and with greater self-respect, she wanted to share the philosophy and strategies she had discovered from the ancient wisdom of yoga. 

 Always a dreamer, Carolyn credits yoga for giving her the confidence to take a leap of faith and follow through with the dream of creating Carolyn Smith Yoga and Mental Health. The vision was, and continues to be, an inspiring community where students discover how to see beyond limiting illusions and beliefs and transform, physically, energetically and emotionally. 

Yoga teacher training followed with Sun Power Yoga in London, Ashtanga Glastonbury plus specialist training in Yoga for Stress and Burnout, ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Yoga Campus, and Yoga and Mindfulness for Addictions at The Minded Institute.

Getting a glimpse of the potential impact of fusing yoga and emotional wellbeing disciplines in the two weekly classes Carolyn taught at the time, she made the decision in 2018 to step-down from her strategic role to develop Carolyn Smith Yoga and Mental Health. 

Carolyn knows from first hand experience that yoga can really change lives. It gave new energy and purpose, enabled her to reconnect with herself and the things that are important in life, alongside giving her the courage to step into the unknown.

In March 2020, Carolyn launched an online yoga community that laid the foundations for Walk Tall, an online community with live, interactive yoga classes on Zoom. Later in 2020, in-person courses for anxiety, stress and burnout and 1:1 sessions were moved online, forming the basis of the Transform programme. 

A speaker and facilitator at conferences and events, Carolyn has featured on local and national radio including BBC Radio Wales and in WI Life Magazine. She also provides mental health training, supervision for health and social care professionals, is a practice educator for social work students, has delivered her stress reduction workshops and emotional wellbeing programmes to frontline staff in the NHS, a Local Authority and a charity, and is a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

 

Qualifications include:

200 Hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Training (accredited Yoga Alliance Professionals School).

200 Hour Sun Power Yoga Diploma (accredited Yoga Alliance School).

YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga.

Post Graduate Diploma in Management and Leadership (Health and Social Care), University of West Of England.

Diploma in Social Work, University of Southampton.

MSc (Distinction) Social Work Studies, University of Southampton.

BA (Hons) Sociology, University of Nottingham.

Continuing Professional Development 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.

Micro-steps to Advanced Asana, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres, India.

Yoga Asana Sequencing, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres, India.

Symbolism in Yoga, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres, India.

Online Professional Training Workshop for Managing Anxiety, The Minded Institute.

How to Apply Therapeutic Breathing Practices to Different Health Needs, The Minded Institute.

Demystifying the Bandhas, Leslie Kaminoff.

Modifications and Efficient Practice, Mark Darby.

Five-Dimensional Flow Workshop, Simon Borg-Olivier.

Sensation and Consciousness Workshop, John Stirk.

Mental health CPD includes training in Supervision, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Therapy, Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act, Leading Investigations and Safeguarding Adults.

 

Professional Registrations

Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals and Yoga Alliance US.

Registered Social Worker with Social Work England.

Carolyn’s most recent Enhanced DBS check was in June 2018 and she holds a current Emergency First Aid in the Workplace certificate.

Insurance

Carolyn is insured, including for public liability, through Yoga Alliance Professionals for her yoga work and BASW for her work as an independent social worker.