What type of yoga do you teach?
Vinyasa, yoga for stress and burnout, yoga for ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, yoga for addictions
Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?
In my new studio at The Drawing Room
What do you like the most about practicing there?
The studio has been designed for small classes of up to 4 people for me to teach yoga for mental health and recovery. It is part of a beautiful house looking out into a peaceful garden so I feel close to nature and get inspiration for my classes.
How do you practice yoga off the mat?
By subtly sharing the principle of non-attachment when I see people putting themselves under huge pressure to achieve and acquire possessions and status.
The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?
Time with the most important people in my life; my two adult children.
What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?
Teaching free yoga taster sessions for colleagues I worked with while I was doing my teacher training. I’d expected that only one or two people would turn up however the class was close to overflowing with 20 people!
What is your favorite food?
Home-made ice-cream made with any type of berries. Blissful.
Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?
Viparita Karnak to promote subtle, gentle yoga and inclusivity.
What inspires you to teach yoga?
In my previous career as a mental health social worker and senior manager, I was dealing with high levels of stress and kept striving to achieve more and more. Yoga changed my life. It reduced my level of stress, gave me the confidence to start teacher training at the age of 45 and then give up my secure, well paid job. I know yoga works and it can change other people’s lives too. That’s what inspires me.
If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In a small clearing in a forest at dawn. I just need to find it!
What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?
Trying to sit down on a block without looking when teaching a large class; I sat on the back of the block, overbalanced and ended up on my back with legs in the air!
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?
Those of us who practice yoga don’t need research findings and evidence about the benefits of yoga. Although they are important, we know it works from our own experiences. If you’re curious, give it a go.
What music are you jamming to right now?
I’ve recently realised the importance and beauty of silence and have exchanged music for space and tranquility.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?
Students telling me that the yoga has helped them to become calmer, reduced their anxiety and improved their sleep. Students realising that asana is only the beginning.
Where else can we find you?
Drinking tea with Jade who owns the house and tea room where my new studio is based, working towards our aim of an inclusive community hub in our rural village.
Anything else you would like to add?
Unbeknown to me, in 2017, Jade, who owns the house where my studio is based, less than half a mile away, was also planning to change her life. She wanted to create something very special for the local community. A local resident who attended one of my classes visited her tea room and saw the potential. She linked Jade and I and within days, Carolyn Smith Yoga at The Drawing Room Butleigh was born!
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