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Online Courses - Or The Art of Coming Out of This a Smarter Person

Posted by Katarina Tavcar on


If you, like me, are a lover of online courses, you’ve probably already been opening all those saved tabs of courses that you’ve wanted to do for ages ago but never got to, and slowly devouring them.

I mean, what’s better than learning from the comfort of one’s own living room, not having to spend hundreds of euros on flights and accommodation? Don’t get me wrong, in-person experience is invaluable, personal connection is essential, but as much as I’d love to travel all over the world, do all kinds of (yoga) training and meet all the amazing people, my wallet unfortunately only allows a trip to the couch.

And since nature sent us back to our rooms for behaving terribly until further notice, some of us now have more time on our hands and a lot of amazing sites and organisations are now offering some of their courses for free to help battle the isolation.

Here are some of my favourites that are already bookmarked and waiting for their turn:

Yogic Studies

An absolutely amazing site that offers—as you’d probably guessed from its name—courses on yoga. I’ve just emerged for diving deep into the Bhagavad Gītā—one of the most epic yogic texts —after finishing this 26-hour course in only five days.

Why in only five days? Well, because they, besides having the option of paying per course, also offer a monthly subscription model that has a 7-day free trial. Yes, you can cancel anytime before the trial expires and yes, you can do an unlimited amount of courses in that time.

But keep in mind that if your trial expires before you manage to cancel your subscription, you’ll have to commit to two months. Not that that’s a bad thing at all since you’ll get to study anything from Sanskrit and Tantra to Yoga Sutras and quite a few things in between.

elephant journal Community Retreat

I’m probably biased since I worked for elephant for three years but elephant is most definitely my favourite independent magazine offering all sorts of cool courses, including this Community Retreat.

In honor of this strange worldwide moment, when many of us are socially distanced, elephant is offering a free, introvert-friendly community gathering comprised of Meditation Exercise, Writing Exercise and Q&A Mindful Discussion every Friday for the next month. Sign me up, elephants!

The Science of Well-Being by Yale

Yale says that in this course you will “engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.” And, I mean, isn’t this what the majority of us need right now?

The course will also reveal misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. How cool is that? Plus you’ll be able to say you went to school at Yale. ;)

The Art of Storytelling by Pixar

A friend of mine shared this course on Facebook a while ago and I bookmarked it for the future. You know, that elusive time when I’d have more time and, well, here we are.

In this course, you’ll hear from Pixar directors and story artists about how they got their start and what stories inspire them, and begin to think about what kinds of stories you might want to tell. And if there ever was a time to start writing that book it’s now.

Fender's Lessons

I don’t know much about music except for lyrics to so, so many 80s songs, but I do know Fender is one of the leading guitar brands and I just saw that they’re offering three months of free online guitar, ukulele, and bass lessons to those who sign up first.

It was initially opened to the first 100.000 who signed up but due to overwhelming response, they increased it for another 500.000. “There’s no cost. No catch. Just music.”

Clever Girl Finance

I might be all over all the yoga courses but in reality, I think this is what I’d actually need. I bet my bank account would be so grateful if I did one of their courses and teach me how to be clever with my finances. Maybe it would help me learn me how to actually save and budget, not spend all my savings on yoga courses, ha!

So yes, there are tons of interesting courses around and now is most definitely an ideal time to dive into something that you’ve been meaning to but never had the time, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that you have to take all the online courses possible and clean the apartment and write your (next) book and be the ultimate “productive” person.

If you got up today, cooked a meal, talked to your loved ones, stayed hydrated and walked your dog, you’ve done enough.

Sure, do the course(s) you love but also give yourself the time and space to just be. It’s an art not many are able to practice and not many have the privilege of being in a safe, healthy, warm home right now. And if you do anything during this quarantine, savor that. It’ll be enough.


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May 1, 2020

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May 1, 2020

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