Improved social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal children

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Improved social and emotional wellbeing in a pilot group of Aboriginal children in remote Western Australia, who participated in a 6 week local language Yoga Program by Wellness Walkabout.

A case study of Year 3 and 4 Students at Derby District High School in 2013 analysed the potential impact of a Yoga Program supporting Aboriginal children in remote Australia.

“Aboriginal children experience higher rates of stress compared with the broader population. This is known to have a negative impact on the development of behaviour, social-emotional wellbeing, physical health and educational outcomes. The pilot case series study demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the mean total SDQ score and conduct problems subset score following the completion of a culturally appropriate Wellness Walkabout yoga program in 24 remote Aboriginal children aged 7- 8 years.”

Well done to our friends from Wellness Walkabout! To further study the impact of Yoga and Mindfulness programs they are exploring the positive influences of yoga on psychosocial outcomes on a bigger scale.”

In July 2019 YOGAZEIT will be offering FREE Yoga and Mindfulness classes at remote and regional school communities in Northern Western Australia as well as the Northern Territory. Following just one Facebook Post to promote this activity we received an enormous positive response of over 20 different school communities wanting to take part in our offering. “I would have hoped to get 2 or 3 communities interested,” said Regina Cruickshank, Executive Director of YOGAZEIT, “However, this response just makes it even more clear. We have to get back. And we have to apply for funding to support sustainability and training for school communities!”

The feedback and supported evidence-base of the effects of Yoga and Mindfulness for social-emotional wellbeing, physical fitness as well as academic performance reflect the need of training and empowerment of school communities to make programs sustainable at remote and regional schools.

With Yoga Ed.’s Tools for teachers – which is grown out of the need to support classrooms with yoga tools to empower the children and school as a whole – provide exactly this: An opportunity to empower with 3-15min brain breaks to support the classroom. The teacher, who is trained in a 4 or 6 hour Yoga Ed. Tools for Teachers Workshop, will know which Breathing Breaks, Chair Yoga Poses, Yoga Games or Relaxation techniques to use to get the kids into the right state of mind. The curriculum and training incorporates calming and relaxing as well as energising activities. With lots of practical experience in the training, the teacher will know which “Yoga Tool” to use to set the classroom up so he/she can concentrate on actual teaching. Because we all know:

What your student needs right now, might not be what’s on your lesson plan!

Want to learn more? You can download a copy of our Tools for Teachers Info Packet here.

If you’re interested in supporting our registered Not for Profit Organisation to help run more classes and trainings for free or low cost at Indigenous and/or Remote communities, click here.

Image Copyright by Djarragun College

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Acknowledgment of Country

We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are working and living on, the Whadjuk Noongar people.

We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life, education and mindfulness of this city and this region supported by the leadership of Noongar elders past, present and emerging.

We extend this acknowledgement and respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.