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Remote Western Australian communities to benefit from Yoga and Mindfulness

Learning to live mindfully helps us to increase focus, decrease stress and manage our emotions, and ultimately helps us to cope in difficult times

Yogazeit, an Australian registered Charity and Not for Profit organisation dedicated to the prevention and management of both psychological and physical health conditions has partnered with Healthway, Here to Be, Act Belong Commit and Fair Game to launch the first West Australian Yoga and Mindfulness Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders training program in May to some of the most remote communities in Australia known as the Ngaanyatjarra Lands Schools (NLS).  

Facilitated by three Yogazeit educators, this four-week yoga and mindfulness training program will introduce students, staff and the community to yoga and mindfulness through interactive sessions, and its scientific mental and physical health benefits in the classroom and beyond. 

The NLS comprises of eight campuses spread across the vast Western Desert of Western Australia and encompasses cultural groups including Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Pintupi.

Yogazeit founder, Regina Cruickshank has worked throughout 2020 to fund, partner and curate a yoga and mindfulness training program to address and improve Aboriginal wellbeing, especially after reading this report revealing Aboriginal people experience higher levels of depression (52%) and anxiety (59%) than non-Aboriginal Australians (32% and 47%).

“It’s scientifically proven that practising and learning about yoga and mindfulness, enhances our wellbeing by improving our focus, decreasing stress responses and managing emotions – a life skill to strengthen our resilience no matter what our age, location or circumstance.

Yogazeit have worked with Ngaanyatjarra Lands Aboriginal elder Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward, (recipient of the  Director General’s Women of Achievement Award for International Women’s Day in 2020), school staff and supporting partners to co-design this unique yoga and mindfulness training program that integrates traditional languages, storytelling, illustrations, and history to support and improve Aboriginal wellbeing ,” said Regina.

“Partnering with Aboriginal elders, and school staff and students to design this cultural training immersion is key to ensuring we're developing a sustainable program customised to the Ngaanyatjarra School Lands.” 

Aboriginal elder, Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward says, "Learning to be mindful to look after our health and wellbeing will be relevant for many generations to come.  I’m looking forward to welcoming the team from Yogazeit to our Land and sharing our knowledge to help them support our young generations with breathing, mindfulness and movement." 

Learning to live mindfully helps us to increase focus, decrease stress and manage our emotions, and ultimately helps us to cope in difficult times.

To learn more about the NLS program, partners and/or support our vison, please visit  Yogazeit .

This project has been funded by Healthway and Here to Be and is supported by Act Belong Commit and Fair Game Australia and the Ngaanyatjarra Lands School.