The Yaan Circle is a space for communication, relationships, sharing and coming together. In First Nations Culture it is a place we sit for ceremony, connecting, celebration, healing, sharing and learning from each other.
We feel grateful that De Greer Yindimincarlie, of the Wiradjuri Nation in central New South Wales has designed this beautiful representation of our Yaan Circle.
Having a good yarn means a lot of different things to different people. Together we will create its appropriate meaning to us, but we believe that this might be a start:
- To the Muruwari, Yaan means talk, language, speech, word, news, message (pg 63 Muruwari Dictionary, Lynette Oates,1992)
- The embodiment of reciprocity - the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit
- We are a unified group of First Nations yoga teachers from all over Australia coming together to create a cultural container in the support of the Reciprocity Action Plan for Yoga Australia.
- Our purpose is to connect, support and to help create more awareness in our yoga communities with Aboriginal culture.
- Yaan is a conversational process that involves the sharing of stories and the development of knowledge.
- I share what I know, you share what you know
- We sit in circle so no one is in front no-one is behind - so we are all equal and so our ancestors can sit around us holding space, supporting and moving through us
- Together we nut things out and come to some sort of deeper understanding of what we are talking about
- Yaan prioritizes indigenous ways of communicating, in that it is culturally prescribed, cooperative, and respectful
- No one ‘leads’ a Yaan Circle and there is no implied hierarchy. We are all sharing what we know, guided by our elders
- Yaan Circles work as a puzzle or a mosaic culture…where we all hold a piece. We are modelling what we would like to see happen in the larger society..each person being respected and held in high esteem
- Each person holds a functional piece of the story and has a role to play. (Below you’ll find the roles each person plays in this Yaan Circle)
- A Yaan Circle is inclusive. Our Yaan circle is inclusive of all yoga teachers who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- A Yaan Circle is informal and in its acceptance of all points of view it invites a safe place for contribution and sharing.
- We walk side by side, in front, behind - connected with our cultural heritage and love of yoga.
- Our Yaan Circle informs and supports the more formal structures of Ngungwulah Aboriginal Corporation, Yoga Australia’s Reconciliation Working Group and Yoga Australia’sSocial Responsibility & Sustainability Working Group
- Whilst our work is serious and couldn’t be more important, we don’t have to take minutes, receive the tick from any organization nor follow rules and regs. We are autonomous.
- We are setting out for a lighter brighter engaged future across all Countries in this country. Therefore, we approach our communication in the embodiment of healing and respect.