With our busy, over-scheduled, hectic lives, we often get caught up in the day-to-day aspects: the routine and the mundane, without growing and stretching our minds, our bodies or our souls; we rely on what we know to guide us and lead us. But, in the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
So, with that in mind, we’ve come up with a compendium of classes that will help stretch your mind. With courses from the likes of Edina Community Education and their Adult Center for Education, the Edina Art Center, and a myriad of Edina businesses offering instruction, we hope you try something new, learn a new language, write a poem, cook a new dish, tackle salsa dancing, or anything else that will help you grow.
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to throw a mound of cool, moist clay onto a spinning potter’s wheel, feeling the malleable medium as it shifts and changes into whatever form you dictate? Or how graphite pencil sounds as it glides over a fine grade paper, or how acrylic paint smells? At Edina Art Center, all of your questions—and many more—can be answered.
“You can't get more diverse and unique classes for adults than what we offer here,” says Diana Hedges, Edina Art Center director. “From pottery to classical realism to Hauschka therapeutic painting to travel photography, the Edina Art Center offers classes for all ages and abilities.” With more than 200 classes offered five sessions per year, you will undoubtedly find something to get your creative juices flowing.
Maybe your medium of choice is something of the beaded variety. The Bead Monkey, with its recently redesigned 4,200-square-foot space that is brimming with light, offers a huge variety of beads, stones and glass, as well as the classes to show you how to transform all of those gems into beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Want a little more education than hands-on work? Edina Community Education offers “Art History,” a romp through the wonders of how and why we are blessed with the artistic treasures that have helped shape and form us.
Eat, Drink and Enjoy
Are you aching to unleash your inner Julia Child, or maybe looking to give your dishes a little “kick” like Emeril? Or, are you simply looking to create that perfect loaf of bread or pot of soup? Cooking classes are the hottest thing going; so, go ahead, throw on an apron and bust out the cooking knives—it’s time to get into the kitchen.
Cooks of Crocus Hill offers dozens of cooking classes being taught by some of the finest chefs and instructors around. From the “Crash Course in Sushi” that will have you mastering your own creations by the end of the session, to the unparalleled “Scotch & Steak” class, to learning how to cook with in-season produce, Cooks’ classes will have you whipping up sumptuous food in no time.
Let’s say you can’t decide on a culinary direction—no problem. Lunds and Byerly’s offer a plethora of quick, one-hour cooking classes each month and the cost is only $15 per participant, which includes a $10 gift certificate to be redeemed at the culinary or gift basket shop at the Byerly’s in St. Louis Park.
You can also swing over to France 44 and partake in their “Cheese and Wine Pairings” class to learn about perfect combinations of victuals and libations.
Body and Soul
It’s no surprise that a well-balanced person is a happy person, and Edina offers an abundance of venues to help tone your body, soothe your mind and nourish your soul.
Yoga House Studio & Boutique offers 20-plus yoga classes weekly by highly trained instructors who guide you through the practices of ashtanga yoga (the combination of breath, posture and movement) and vinyasa yoga (dynamic yoga taken to a deeper level by integrating rhythmic with conscious movement). Classes are ongoing and do not require registration, except for the Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga Series. Check out the “Classical Yoga with Chandra Om” workshop on October 22–24, for an intense yoga experience for beginners to advanced practitioners.
With over 12 classes per day including heated and unheated yoga classes, CorePower Yoga will get you on a path to greater health. They also offer Yoga on Demand, a library of yoga videos you can access from wherever you are, and a free week of yoga classes for new registrants.
If Eastern fitness and spirituality practices aren’t quite what you’re looking for, waltz into the Arthur Murray Dance Studio for a spin around the dance floor. They offer dance instruction for all the most popular dances including ballroom, latin, swing, country western, salsa, merengue and more.
Are you dealing with arthritis, but still want to find that perfect balance? Edina Community Education has partnered with the Arthritis Foundation to create the “Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program,” promoting exercise that keeps joints moving safely.
The Casa Classroom
From the privacy of your own home (bunny slippers optional), you can attend a host of online classes offered by Edina Community Education, ranging from creative to technical topics and boasting 24/7 access, interactive discussions and expert instructors, all in a six-week, 12 lesson format.
Here are a few suggestions to get you on your way:
Ready to give Shakespeare a run for his money? “Pleasures of Poetry” will have you studying the craft’s formal elements and help you pen your passionate poems, as well as teach you how to prepare your very own manuscript.
Maybe your great great grandpa was a prolific poet and you didn’t even know it; you can find out with the likes of the “Genealogy Basics” course, which will help you dig a bit deeper into your family’s history.
A little more technologically savvy? Consider a computer application or database management course to help fuel your fire for hardware and software.
Or, how about mustering up the gumption and going for that dream deferred. “Start Your Own Small Business” can put you on the path by helping you choose the perfect opportunity, teaching you marketing techniques and showing you how to implement different financing strategies.
Exploring Distant Lands
Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel to distant locales like Spain, Costa Rica or Chile, but lacked the language skills to do it. Well, there’s no longer an excuse. The Spanish Institute offers all levels of Spanish instruction from beginner to superior, and employs full immersion instruction to get you learning faster. The courses are offered year round.
Say French, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese are more up your alley, Edina Community Education has classes designed to get you speaking fluently in no time. And, to help you put all your hard work into practice, Edina Community Education also offers group trips to France, Italy and Spain. Bargain land-only and air-plus-land packages are available.
For more information about the classes mentioned, visit:
Edina Community Education - Adult Enrichment
5701 Normandale Rd.
Edina Art Center
4701 W. 64th St.
The Bead Monkey
3717 W. 50th St.
Cooks of Crocus Hill
3925 W. 50th St.
3945 W. 50th St.
7171 France Ave. S.
4351 France Ave. S.
Yoga House Studio & Boutique
4402 France Ave. S.
7495 France Ave. S.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
5041 France Ave. S.
The Spanish Institute
5780 Lincoln Dr.