Welcome to Birak. The first summer. January – December
The Noongar seasonal calendar includes six different seasons (Bonar) in a yearly cycle. December and January is ‘The first summer. Season of the Young. Reptiles emerge from hibernation.’
Changing seasons are a good time to introduce a new mindfulness activity or learn something new.
Flowers from the moodjar tree (Nuytsia floribunda) are traditionally used to make a sweet mead-like beverage during birak.(Supplied: Wikipedia)
MINDFUL MOVEMENT: TREE SHAPE
This Mindful Movement shape is called Tree shape.
It’s a wonderful shape to practice while outside you can see a tree gently moving in the breeze. We can explain how trees must have strong roots to withstand a gentle breeze or strong gust of wind. The tree can move and sway with the breeze but because it is grounded in the earth it can withstand the changes in the environment but in order to do soit must receive just the right amount of nutrients to keep it strong.
You can introduce the idea that just like a tree our mental health is also strengthened by receiving just the right amount of water, food, rest and self-care.
Illustration: Charlotte Golding. Copyright: Yogazeit Ltd.
By introducing this movement to growing bodies and minds you can improve:
• Enhances flexibility of leg , hips, back and chest muscles.
• Strengthens the ankles, calves, thighs and core muscles.
• Stretches the groin and hips.
• Rotates the hip joint and helps keep the hips healthy.
• Improves balance and proprioception.
• Develops concentration and focus.
• Helps to control symptoms of anxiety and stress.
• Develops self-esteem and confidence.
• Calms and relaxes the central nervous system.
While practicing this shape be reminded to breathe, concentrating on the shape and the breath for three rounds will ensure the body and mind takes a moment and calms and relax the central nervous system.
• Let’s come to Mountain together. Feel your feet connected to Country.
• Slowly lifting up our right heel, making a kickstand.
• Do you feel focused and balanced?
• Let’s try bringing our hands together, at heart centre.
• Would you like an extra challenge?
• Let’s move our kickstand leg a little higher up our standing leg.
• Try moving it to the calf (low leg or the thigh (upper leg).
• Let’s try taking our hands up high, like tree branches.
• Repeat on the other side.
During Birak season the rain eases and the warm weather really starts to take hold. The afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes from the south west.
Traditionally this was the fire season. An almost clockwork style of easterly winds in the morning and sea breezes in the afternoon meant that this was burning time of the year for Noongar people and they would burn the country in mosaic patterns.
There are several reasons for this, including fuel reduction, increasing the grazing pastures for animals, to aid seed germination and to make it easier to move across the country.
There are many fledglings venturing out of nests in Birak, though some are still staying close to their parents such as magpies and parrots. Reptiles will also be shedding their old skin for a new one.
With the rising temperatures and the decreasing rainfall, it’s also a time for the baby frogs to complete their transformation into adulthood. (Source: https://www.ecu.edu.au/centres/kurongkurl-katitjin/cultural-leadership/nyoongar-six-seasons/birak)
MINDFULNESS & SLEEP
If you have been following our social media you may have seen a resource we shared recently called Dreamy. Sleep stories are tales that mix music and soothing sound to help you drift into dreamland.
“The best way to help kids cognitively and behaviourally is to take really good care of the teachers”, says Dr Perry.
In this video, Dr. Perry explains how students and teachers can often impact each other’s mood and brain function and how introducing somatosensory activities can help
teachers and children remain regulated.
What are somatosensory activities? It is a rhythmic activity such as breathing and bilateral movements; he further explains that starting a class with and taking regular brain breaks can keep kids in the learning state and help the classroom to remain regulated. View Youtube link below:
Want more Mindfulness and Movement?
Our Mindful Movement curriculum introduces brain breaks into the classroom. We take care of teachers and students by educating and supporting you to empower well-being, on and off the mat, at home and in school, one breath at a time.
Please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can support your staff and students in 2022. Please contact us for remote school opportunities too!