We received the following letter from Amar Muhić, who is a physical education teacher at Bloom, a Montessori School in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Amar has embraced the MovNat method and is now teaching it to his students, which has transformed their P.E. program. This video he sent us provides a glimpse into what happens at his school and the power of introducing Natural Movement® to children.
Dear Erwan, I will try to explain how it started and how it goes with MovNat in our school.
This was the moment when I realised how important Natural Movement was for me personally, and of course, for our Bloom students: since it enables them to move freely just like our ancestors did naturally thousands of years ago.
To be honest, the first time when Maëlys, the director and founder of Bloom, told me about the MovNat programme, I was a bit skeptical, because I was coming from a sport environment that followed the traditional physical education system; meaning that our University curriculum at the faculty of Sport science was all about Gymnastics, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Fitness, Athletics and other different sports.
Then I started digging about the MovNat programme, which means Natural Movement and how to move naturally. I became profoundly interested in the concept. It was very simple; the workout in which one does not require an expensive and fancy gym, or a big space. The only thing one needs is a will and decision to start moving.
Anyone can gain from improving their skills, from elite athletes to those quite out of shape, and age doesn’t matter. The greatest motivation for me was becoming a human being wanting to help another human being, in my case our students, to enable them to become stronger and healthier. Then I started practising Natural Movement on a daily basis to prepare for the MovNat certification. So, I had to educate myself, and my director, Maëlys, decided to send me to the certification in London. That was my biggest challenge ever. It was intensive training sessions all day long, but efficient.
Huge thanks to Jerome Rattoni who was such a good support through the whole process, also as a coach and MovNat teacher. I was the only stranger in London who came from Bosnia and Herzegovina; bearing in mind that English is not my first language. In general, that was a great experience and achievement.
¨BE STRONG TO BE HELPFUL¨ which means to not depend on other people, particularly in situations when physical activity is concerned (be it everyday or other). After awhile, I began to observe my students and noticed many issues such as lack of strength, upper and lower body strength, posture, stamina, condition, lack of balance which can be improved simply through a Natural Movement program. This is a completely different approach from traditional physical education curriculum, which does not offer techniques to correct the above issues.
Finally, I realised that if I wanted to help them, I had to start studying and practicing the whole spectrum of MovNat exercises. For me, the biggest challenge was how to convert traditional physical education classes to something new, such as the movement classes. At the beginning, there was disapproval of a new approach, meaning that some of the children refused to practice new ways of exercising.
However, I told them about the benefits MovNat brings to them and the reasons why we are actually doing all these things. They began to show interest in this new, and for them in that moment, unusual adventure compared with traditional physical education classes.
Nothing can be done overnight, and I have explained to my students the whole process from the beginning. Now, the majority of students are practicing Natural Movement. But to be honest, there are some of them who are not interested in the MovNat concept or they are not comfortable to begin with something new.
There were challenges with the number of students; discipline issues and how they would react. However, since we started practicing Natural Movement, we have grown together; me as a teacher and my students as natural movers.
The result didn’t come immediately overnight. The first thing I’ve noticed is how my body positively reacts after practicing Natural Movement exercises. I knew that my posture is not ideal, but after a certain period of MovNat, I’ve noticed improvements with my posture.
One of the best things about Natural Movement is that some students who used to refuse doing standard physical education lessons have come to like Natural Movement classes. The best moment is a child with special needs, who was always on the side during the class and suddenly began to move. Such moments are the gems, when a child who permanently resisted all sorts of movement and workouts begins to show interest in exercises. It is a breakthrough moment one can never forget. And he is not the only one. There are several students who also started to move when we started implementing a Natural Movement programme into our curriculum. Our students love this way of exercising and our holistic educational approach.
During these Covid 19 lockdowns, students practiced MovNat combos at their homes, and that was a real advantage compared with other schools who had to write sports essays without moving.
Our Bloom school is surrounded by forest, and we use it almost everyday. Walking, balancing, running, jumping, lifting and carrying beams, logs and all these MovNat skills. They also climb on the trees and just love to move freely without barriers. We also have an Earth school programme, and we collaborate with them. For example, when we make a tree house, all students participate in building the tree house; lifting and carrying the beams, boards, and stuff like that.
I am very proud that children with special educational needs have come to love MovNat, and I am very eager to perform all exercises which indicates that MovNat was a perfect programme to be introduced in our educational system. Like you said, “MOVNAT IS FOR EVERYONE.” That is true from my personal experience. My opinion is that every school should put MovNat in their curriculum, and they will gain a lot of benefits from the MovNat programme.
-Amar Muhić, Physical Education Teacher at Bloom.
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