Ngaanyatjarra Lands School Project

Australia’s first community led Mindful Movement Education Project

Two-way Learning in Community

In May 2021 over 300 Aboriginal children, teenagers and school staff from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands Schools joined our Outreach team to learn about the mental and physical health benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness. The team visited Western Australia’s most remote schools in Kiwirkurra, Warakurna, Wingellina, Wanarn, Warburton, Jameson and Blackstone. 

This was Australia’s first culturally relevant Yoga and Mindfulness Education project in Australia – it was deliberately intended to be fun and engaging, including evidence-based activities to support breathing, movement and relaxation. This fostered an awareness of mental health and a joy of movement from Kindy to Year 12.

Trauma-informed and Evidence-Based

What makes this program so unique, is the trauma-informed framework of evidence-based Yoga – which was then customised to meet the remote Ngaanyatjarra Lands region. Yoga shapes were named after local animals and translated into Language, the illustrations for the shapes were designed by local children as part of a school art project and together we celebrated a connection to Country.

This project was partially funded by Healthway and lululemon’s social impact arm ‘Here to Be’. The team also partnered with Act Belong Commit and Fair Game Australia.

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Aboriginal children and school staff reached. This is over 15% of the population in the remote region.
Hours of Mindful Movement education and classes held in classrooms and on country
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Volunteer Hours invested
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travelled by car within 4 weeks to reach the seven different remote campuses.


Key Points

Yogazeit launches Pilot Project, supporting the remote Aboriginal School Community of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands School with Yoga and Mindfulness, customised to meet their needs.

Consultation with Aboriginal Elders and School Staff supports the development of unique, culturally relevant resources and curriculum to empower sustainable Mindfulness and Movement practice.

Executive Director of Yogazeit, Regina Cruickshank, hopes to support long-term benefits of Mindful Movement, such as emotion regulation, dealing with stress and anxiety and healthy body and minds for students and the wider community. This is not just some Yoga School Program – these are skills for life.

Tim Thornton, School Psychologist says “If we can embed the Yogazeit skills in our school, we have the potential to make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of people of the Ngaanyatjarra lands.”

This Pilot Project includes a customised curriculum, training of school staff, yoga and mindfulness classes for students and staff and community yoga yarning circles, fostering storytelling and sustainability beyond project end date.

Supporting Aboriginal Youth with Tools for Life.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” ~ Confucius

Dedicated to improving the mental, physical and social health and wellness of Aboriginal youth, The Ngaanyatjarra Lands School Project seeks to introduce Yoga and Mindfulness practices to students and the wider school community. The unprecedented project will equip teachers and staff across the eight remote Western Desert Ngaanyatjarra Lands School campuses with training, curriculum and ready to use mindful movement lesson plans to further their skills, knowledge and confidence in teaching Yoga and Mindfulness in the classroom and beyond.

School staff and educators will be empowered by Yogazeit’s four-week pilot program, which draws on yoga techniques and culturally appropriate mindfulness tools with the aim to increase self-awareness, physical and mental health, and supporting the ability to self-regulate behaviour, de-stress, relax and unwind for students and staff alike.

“To us, health is about so much more than simply not being sick. It’s about getting a balance between physical, mental, emotional, cultural and spiritual health. Health and healing are interwoven, which means that one can’t be separated from the other.”

Dr. Tamara Mackean. Waljen woman, Public Health Medicine Physician and Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine

Thank You To Our Project Donors and Supporters

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