SBS language | Wayapa Wuurrk: Connect to the Earth with this Indigenous Mindfulness Exercise

If you sometimes feel distracted or disconnected, you are not alone.

This episode of the SBS Great Minds podcast features a technique known as Wayapa Wuurrkwho might be able to help you.

Strong points

  • Wayapa Wuurrk translates to “connecting to the earth” in the languages ​​of the Maara and GunaiKurnai peoples.
  • The practice combines ancient indigenous knowledge of connecting to land, mindfulness of the earth, storytelling meditation and physical movement
  • It aims to give participants a tool to use nature to find calm and calm their minds.

The practice originated in 2014 when Jamie Marloo Thomas, a GunaiKurnai man and descendant of Maara, was teaching a group of distracted, unfocused Native teenagers.

An uncle recommended meditation to calm them down and Jamie decided to add some slow traditional movements to the breathing exercises.

The results were amazing and inspired Jamie and his partner Sara Jones to create Wayapa Wuurrk with Elder consultation.

We Can’t Be Well If Our Planet Isn’t Well: Wayapa Wurrk Teaches Us About Connection and Care for Country

Getty Images/Feliz Cesare

ancient earth consciousness

Wayapa Wuurrk may be a relatively new method of mindfulness, but its roots are ancient: Australia’s Aboriginal cultures are among the oldest living cultures on earth.

The words Wayapa Wuurrk mean ‘connecting to the land’ in the language of the Maara and GunaiKurnai peoples, while the practice draws on indigenous knowledge of connecting to the land, mindfulness of the land and storytelling meditation.

Led by Jamie, this episode of Great Minds asks participants to start with simple breathing exercises and feel their connection to the ground.

Wayapa Wuurrk Meditation 1: Your Special Place


Participants are guided through poses that represent all the elements of nature, accompanied by beautiful native stories.

In addition to promoting mental well-being, the practice also reminds participants of their responsibilities to care for the planet and respect all living things.

Jamie Marloo Thomas, the founder of Wayapa Wuurrk

Jamie understands the pain of being disconnected from the country. For him, Wayapa Wuurrk is more a way of life than just a practice, and involves taking care of the environment as the starting point for true well-being.

He can draw on his extensive experience in the areas of wellness, men’s health, addiction and alcohol support, family violence prevention, youth mentoring, cultural heritage and the repatriation of ancestral remains, as well as Indigenous dance and ceremonies.

He says Wayapa Wurrrk is a way “to honor, respect and create a world that can be passed on from generation to generation”.

Wayapa Wuurrk Practitioners

Wayapa Wuurk in Thrive

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