Our Reconciliation Efforts
In 2021 we were honoured to have launched the Yoga Australia Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan assisted by Ngungwulah Aboriginal Corporation (ICN 9263). The intention of the RAP IS to promote healing within this nation.
Reciprocity is the process of respecting, acknowledging, listening to, holding space for and supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander yoga professionals and their communities.
This approach recognises that the word reconciliation means “the restoration of friendly relations”. It implies that we start from the beginning to develop a robust and reciprocal relationship based on goodwill and respect.
Committing to a Reflect RAP allows an organisation to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.
A Reflect RAP clearly sets out the steps you should take to prepare your organisation for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs.
Deciding on their vision for reconciliation and exploring their sphere of influence, before committing to specific actions or initiatives.
Acknowledging Country prior to class is becoming increasingly common. This has huge benefits for yoga students, by way of centering and bringing them into the present moment. In addition, it establishes a sense of reverence and respect in the room, making the point that their practice of yoga, at this class, is about preparing to be of service; to connect body, land and spirit.
Suggested Acknowledgment of the Custodians of Country before class:
“I recognise the continuous and deep connection to Country, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the first peoples of this nation. In this way I respectfully acknowledge the [insert local Owners] of this land, sea, waterways and sky. I pay tribute to the Elders past and present as I also respect the collective ancestry that has brought us all here today. It is a privilege to be teaching on Country and I hope that our work here in some way supports true custodianship of this land. Sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.”
Paying Respect to Country, Community and Culture
Acknowledging Country, Welcoming to Country and Smoking Ceremonies are a wonderful way to pay respect to local Custodians and develop relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Communities. Knowing when and how to proceed is important.
Read more here about Paying Respect to Country, Community and Culture.
Yoga Australia’s actions towards Reciprocity
Acknowledgment of Country cards are available to all members. These, along with an accompanying information sheet provide guidance on the how, what and why of Acknowledging Country prior to class, and providing Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremonies at more important events.
An article written by Cate Peterson titled “Teaching Yoga In Australia is Different” has been published and shared with our community. This article outlined our plans for the RAP and discussed ways in which our members could get involved.. You can download the article here.Sara Jones wrote an article themed ‘Beyond Asana’, introducing the ancient wellness practice of Wayapa. Download Yoga Today Beyond Asana to read “Why Yoga needs Wayapa.”The ‘Yaaning’ section in member newsletters promotes upcoming events/ dates of significance.
Teaching Yoga in Australia: Cultural Understanding- National Reconciliation Week, 2023Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up – Naidoc Week July 7, 2022Walking in Their Footsteps – National Forum May 26, 2022Introduction to Anti-Racism with Erfan Daliri, May 27, 2021NAIDOC Week Forum – November 2020Acknowledging Country with the Yaan Circle, April 30, 2020 Yoga Australia presents Wayapa Wuurk – March 2021 & May 2023
A Yaan Circle is a group of Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander yoga professionals. The role this group has is to:
- To connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander yoga professionals; providing them a space which they can meet and share their experiences, opinions and ideas.
- To help our yoga community look over initiatives and provide culturally aware guidance to make sure that we operate in appropriate ways. Providing assistance regarding approaches to Reciprocity and assisting in rolling out Reconciliation Action Plans.
- Apply to join our Reciprocity Group on Facebook and follow Ngungwulah on Facebook to be part of the conversation.
- Acknowledge Country and Culture prior to each yoga class. This brings people into a state of connection and reverence prior to starting practice.
- Hang a place card at your studio, add an Acknowledgment to your email signature or purchase a splash Page which Acknowledges County illustrated by Yaan Circle member Scarlet Barnett.
- Consider bringing Cultural Awareness training to your studio or attend online.
- Open the conversation with your local Traditional Custodians and community.
- Offer bursary classes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members at your studio and if you run Teacher Trainings. Consider opening a position up for free to support Community and build relationship. Here are some guidelines.
- Make purchase choices that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and that speak to your commitment to heal this country. Here is a link.
- If you or a yoga professional you know are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and interested to join th Yaan circle, email [email protected]