by Dominika Borovansky Gaines
As a parent of a child who has been in Montessori education since preschool and is now an 8th grader, I have had the good fortune to witness firsthand the values instilled through Montessori Education. A Montessori education strives for the following outcomes: independence, self-esteem, autonomy, confidence and competence, respect for others, intrinsic motivation, social responsibility, citizens of the world, spiritual awareness, and academic preparation. These guiding tenets are used from the earliest ages to instill in the children/young adults values that will enable them to achieve their utmost as productive citizens of the world.
At Kinesphere Center for Movement Education we likewise strive to give our clients the tools to continue to be productive, able citizens. Many of the Montessori principles apply to our own lives and, through a holistic movement practice, can enable us to maintain independence, intrinsic motivation, autonomy and self-esteem. Additionally, like Montessori education treats its students, we treat each of our clients as an individual with personal strengths and unique stories.
As we age, we often experience aches and pains that are a result of wear and tear on our structure. Much like the eventual breakdown of a car due to misaligned tires, poor driving conditions or traffic accidents, our optimal alignment may be degraded through poor movement mechanics, accidents, daily repetitive actions, and various physical and emotional traumas. The result of these misalignments is the inability to move independently in the world. To be able to live independently, we need to maintain good proprioception, balance and vision. By learning simple exercises that bring awareness to areas that have been dampened, releasing stress in painful or numb areas, and allowing the body to realign itself, we regenerate and oxygenate our bodies; this enhances our longevity and our ability to continue to care for ourselves, thus maintaining our INDEPENDENCE.
When we feel better, we are more motivated to continue to focus on our wellbeing and productivity. When an injury becomes chronic, causing constant pain, we often experience frustration, anger and even depression. This may cause us to lose all motivation and desire to interact positively with society, leading to a lack of interest in the world in general. By finding a movement practice that makes us feel good–and with little effort– we are INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED to continue to practice it. A movement practice that resonates with our physical being and spirit in a stress-free environment allows us to remain AUTONOMOUS, and to continue to be active learners by seeking out other life-enhancing experiences, whether physical, social or emotional. Feeling better, being able to remain independent and being engaged in life naturally leads to enhanced SELF-ESTEEM.
Children and adults alike can embrace and apply these principles of a Montessori education, not just to enhance intelligence, but to enhance health. No matter your age, a journey of self-discovery is possible; this self-discovery is guided partly by your personal strengths and stories. Learning new ways to breathe, understanding your own body more, giving value to all the experiences (both positive and negative) which you have had in your life and marveling at your own human machine – these are the experiences we wish to share with you at Kinesphere Center.