Let Go Of Lethargy: 9 Glossy Courses To Sign Up For Now

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In a rut or stuck on the sofa? From bread making to art appreciation help is at hand with these ideas for banishing the January blues …

The necessity of self-care to keep us grounded, stronger and positive has never seemed more urgent. GLOSS spa contributor and qualified dietician Kate O’Brien is running a six-week online Shakti Winter Wellness series beginning this Wednesday, January 13. The weekly workshops are a fusion of movement, mantra, meditation and essential self-care rituals. In week one, Kate is joined by Tara O’Rourke (pictured) homeopath and founder of SaolBeo.ie therapies in Dublin. Together they will discuss seasonal skin care and “Goddess” practices to awaken inner and outer beauty. Tickets for the online wellness workshops can be booked at www.saolbeo.ie.

Previous lockdowns have shown how bread making is both therapeutic and empowering – helping people to eat better and feel better at the same time. As an incentive to get kneading, the bakers at Bread 41 have introduced “Free Starter Lockdown” giving out starter and starter packs each day (at 41 Pearse Street, Dublin 2) until level 5 restrictions are lifted. The Bread 41 team not only hopes people can start making and enjoying the health benefits of eating naturally fermented breads, but they will also be posting some how-to videos up on Bread 41 YouTube channel. Founder Eoin Cluskey will also be on hand throughout the January to answer any questions from home bakers on Instagram. At the end of January Cluskey will also host a free Eventbrite sourdough informational event on how to improve sourdough making skills; www.bread41.ie.

Join the National Gallery of Ireland on an online journey from Impressionism, through Cubism, to the advent and evolution of abstract art. Breaking the Mould, is an eight week online art appreciation course, beginning on January 14. Led by art historian Jessica Fahy the course will examine various artists and their diverse approaches: from Wassily Kandinsky’s spiritually inspired “colour music” to Jackson Pollock’s macho action paintings. Participants will also take an in-depth look at Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Abstract art works by Irish artists within the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection will also be discussed. Places are limited, so do sign up pronto! www.nationalgallery.ie

If Pilates was one of your new year resolutions – to return to it or begin it – then one of the best online courses for mid-lifers is with Eva Berg of The Secret Pilates. Last March she went online to facilitate existing clients (many of whom are VIPs) who loved Berg’s workouts but more importantly that they could do the classes whenever suited them. Berg has just launched a new improved and easy to use Pilates site – wherein she uploads a 20-minute class, each with a different focus and theme. One day she might work on the upper arms, on another do a deep back stretch, or alternatively use different basic equipment. The cost is a mere €29 per month (which works out at less then €1 per class). The bonus is you are not tied or hassled by Zoom. To find out more visit www.thesecretpilates.com.

Brighten up Sunday afternoon for the next five weeks by tuning into Wexford Festival Opera’s Sunday Up performances. These are creative, bite-sized opera performances by Wexford Factory artists, filmed wherever they are in the world and shared online each Sunday at 5pm. In the coming weeks Vladimir Sima will performing a selection of Italian songs (January 17), Rory Musgrave, filmed on his family farm by the sea, will performing from Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten (January 24); and on January 31 a special guest pop up will be performed by renowned soprano Celine Byrne in a mini celebration of Puccini. Anna Brady, pictured, will perform a selection of witches and magical music (February 7). All the events are free to view online each Sunday at 5pm; youtube.com/user/WexfordFestivalOpera.

Just published is The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention – a six-week Artist’s Way programme by Julia Cameron. The so-called “Queen of Change” believes there’s no such thing as a non-creative person and her fans include Reese Witherspoon, Elizabeth Gilbert, Alicia Keys and Pete Townsend. If you’ve heard of or read her previous bestseller The Artist’s Way, you’ll know it inspired many a start-up, screenplay, novel and other creative projects. Cameron’s new book is a guide to deeper more profound listening – as readers learn to listen their attention is heightened. Clarity, insight and creativity follow. This is a practical guide on how to tune into cues and clues around us. Find out more about Julia Cameron on www.juliacameronlive.com.

Stillgarden, the independent experimental distillery in Dublin 8 has launched several new initiatives under the umbrella term Cultiv8 all with the aim of adopting new (achievable) sustainable habits – with updates every week. It is also inviting members of the public (within 5km) to incorporate the distillery into their exercise route. The incentive? Stillgarden will be offering free seasonal flower, herb and vegetable seeds and bulbs to anyone who wants them, (they come packaged in biodegradable backs and change daily). This is part of their Social Botanist Project, a growing community of gardeners, botanists, harvesters and foragers or those with an interest to learn. Once safe to do so, members can expect foraging trips, seasonal events, Guerilla Gardening and tastings of bespoke distillery produce directly influenced by them. To learn more about Cultiv8, visit www.stillgardendistillery.com.

Are you looking to expand your cooking repertoire? Two Irish cooks can help. Alix Gardner has built up a loyal fan base of cooking enthusiasts globally – and thanks to the power of Zoom she has fans as far afield as in Seattle, Chicago and Boston. And now, Alix Gardner’s Cookery School has unveiled its new range of virtual cooking sessions. On the menu are private two-hour cooking events, corporate one-hour sessions, a Zoom Cookery Class Gift Voucher and other bespoke options. www.dublincookery.com

There’s still time to join Holly White’s Veganuary Live Online Cooking course – each Monday. These 90 minute classes comprise 45 minutes cookery demonstration. Participants are encouraged to cook alongside Holly after which she will talk about the practicalities of a vegan lifestyle – from shopping, food prepping to travel and cruelty-free beauty etc. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

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