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The Benefits Of Winter Yoga

Bernadette O'Donnell

It's easy to make excuses in wintertime and however tempting may be the idea of sleeping in, staying indoors or snuggling up on the couch, try not to avoid your yoga class. The gentle movement in yoga will enhance circulation thereby helping you keep warm. Yoga involves poses and sequences that revitalise and nourish the body. They bring movement to the bones and joints which can help prevent stiffness and rigidity in joints, a common occurrence in winter.

Come winter and behind it follow cold, cough, viral fever and the like. Regular yoga practice helps strengthen body immunity so that you can keep the bacteria at bay thereby promoting good health and vitality. It's normal to feel more sluggish and slower in winter because of the extra energy your body is using to stay warm. Yoga relaxes and brings a calmness to the body which gives you the resilience to face whatever woes winter may bring.

Yoga involves breathing exercises (pranayama) and practicing these helps to open the chest, clear chest congestion, which is so common during winter thereby preventing the common cold, enhancing healing and boosting immunity and wellbeing. It also improves digestion by stimulating the internal body systems, which can slow down in winter.

The dull, gloomy weather outside automatically casts its shadow on us and for no reason, we tend to feel low and lethargic. Yoga involves mindfulness and meditation which slows down the mind and can act like an instant mood changer - you will always feel better after your class!

Yoga has gentle peaceful sequences that help you gain flexibility, improve sleep and dissolve away stress leaving you with an overall feeling of wellness and contentment. It can help you beat those winter blues by reducing fatigue, improving productivity and leaving you feeling focused and alert.

Winter just seems to give an excuse to gorge on countless delicacies - both sweet and savoury. However, don't let it become an excuse to put on weight this winter. Eat whatever you like but make sure to keep up with your yoga practice as the postures and stretches will help reduce weight, build strength and body shape whilst also toning the internal organs.

Bernadette O'Donnell ~ Yoga Teacher

See Bernadette's upcoming classes here

4 Decorating Myths Your Grandmother Told You!

Fiona Barry

It looks as though our current penchant for mid-century modern and modern bohemian home decorating is here to stay, proving that many influences from the past can offer honest, solid, and most of all classic, timeless design. However, one aspect of our modern take on these retrospective styles is that there are certain rules to abide, such as...

1. Don't mix patterns!

Don't believe it! Using a contrast of textures, size of motif and colour to your soft furnishings (including cushions, curtains, wallpaper and more) can only add interest! The only important thing to remember is that there should be a common factor linking all the patterns in a space - the most effective link being one single colour.

2. White walls can make a small space bigger

Not necessarily true! Contrary to popular belief, smaller spaces painted in a darker tone can add dimension, texture and depth to your room. Dark walls with bright white trimmings can be very effective in a small area and actually make it feel larger, and well chosen artwork looks excellent on a dark wall.

3. Fill up those empty spaces...

My favourite... and probably the single most important aspect to be aware of in your home. If you refer to space that has nothing in it as being 'empty' - then you may feel inclined to fill it. Don't. Instead, call it breathing space - which is exactly the effect it has on your home. The key to an ideal interior is the getting the balance right between filled and unfilled space. Breathing space gives a place for the eye to rest.

4. Everything should match

Boring! One of the biggest rules to break is that everything should match, but a space needs variety in order to feel inviting and comfortable. Juxtaposition is what makes interiors interesting! Carefully mixing styles, heights, shapes and colour tones can make an interior feel very special.

Fiona Barry ~ Interior Designer & Educator

See Fiona's upcoming classes here

Mahjong - It's Just Like Cricket

Ron Yap

Mahjong is a game of strategies, probabilities and luck. It is an ancient game that originated in China some 2000 years ago, and it is still a favourite pastime today. The game was initially played by the elite in China's palaces. But in the 1900s, the game was introduced to Britain, USA and Asia, and from there its popularity has spread far and wide - even to Mosman Community College!

In our Mahjong classes, you will learn the history of Mahjong, the materials used and the set, the 3 different suits, the honours suit, the game of Pongs and Chows, the Hands and the scoring. You will learn both Eastern and Western Hands of Mahjong.

After the beginners class, you also get to join our fun 'Social Class'.

Our Mahjong tutor Ron Yap has been teaching Mahjong lessons in various community colleges for past fifteen years, so you are in a very good hands. Born in Malaysia, he qualified as a mechanical engineer in Western Australia and migrated with his family to Sydney in 2000. In 2002, he studied and was awarded his Cert IV in Assessment and Training and has been teaching ever since. Besides teaching Mahjong, he also teaches Mandarin, Cantonese and HSC Mathematics.

He says he guarantees you will learn to play the game with his teachings and, once you have acquired the skill, you're sure to enjoy and play the game for many many years to come. All you have to do is start your Mahjong journey, and see how the game can enhance your memory in a fun sociable setting.

See Ron's upcoming classes here

Magic in a Bottle

Essential Oils

What would you think if I told you a tiny bottle held a magic potion that could improve your health and wellbeing?

You want to know what's in the bottle?

A plant remedy known as Essential Oil!

Plants have been used for millennia around the world. Shamans used them as powerful tools to help our bodies and emotions heal themselves. Yes, Essential Oils are also used for emotional wellbeing!

You can use Essential Oils not only to help you with health concerns, but also for everyday use: cooking, cleaning, pets. I use Lavender and Coconut oil to clean my dog's ears when she is not feeling well or scratching them - it works instantly!

This 'magic in a bottle' is effective in beating various forms of infections, in providing relief from sleeping difficulty, it may also help with anxiety, depression, busy minds, and ADHD.

Have you ever smelt 'Lavender' oil? How did it make you feel? It's very relaxing and you can see the result immediately!

Other oils give different results.

If you want to:

  • live a healthy and balanced Life
  • improve your health, sleep better, feel relaxed, calm your mind
  • be free of dangerous chemicals


You have the choice: harmful side effects OR natural and aromatic solutions… in a bottle! De-Stressing with Essential Oils is a wonderful insightful workshop that will enable you to start living - relaxed, balanced and healthy!

Claudia is a Reiki Master, Crystal Power Healing founder, Angel Intuitive and Shamanic Healer. With extensive experience in Teaching and Educational Psychology, Claudia's classes and workshops are interactive, fun and instructional. Claudia is certified in spiritual counselling and healing techniques and runs a variety of workshops and events in Australia and internationally. Claudia is a caring, loving healer and teacher with spiritual perceptiveness and integrity, who will empower you on your journey in Life.

See Claudia's upcoming classes here

What's the Secret to Writing?

Is there a trick to writing, a secret known only to authors, journalists and academics?

Yes there is! Are you ready for it to be revealed?

The secret to writing is TO WRITE! Get it down on paper or put those pixels on the screen. Here's the unstated part of that secret: KEEP WRITING!

Not what you expected or wanted to hear? Too mundane?

Think for a moment. Talking about 'writing' something is a good start. So is 'thinking' about writing something. But if you keep talking and thinking, nothing gets done. You must get past the 'talking and thinking' stages. Do not turn it into indefinite procrastination. Start writing. It sounds simple and logical, but for many it's a difficult step. Whether your interest lies in fiction (a novel) or non-fiction (a family history, memoir, autobiography or even a cookbook), the actual step from talking and thinking to writing is a giant one. It helps to be prepared to take this big step, to have planned ahead. Taking a course like those offered at the Mosman Community College is a fine idea, but only if you participate in the course. There is absolutely no sense in paying the money, sitting through the course, collecting the handouts, but not writing - not doing your homework and exercises etc. Which brings us back to that key word: WRITE.

You should also think about when and how you are going to write. You need to think ahead. It requires organisation and perhaps even a sacrifice if that invitation for a coffee is right smack in the middle of your 'writing period'. And let me ruin your day completely: after the initial WRITING, there is rewriting and revision and editing - all necessary to get your writing ready to be read. And it is all very time consuming.

So the bottom line for any wannabe writer is: Is it worth all the effort? The answer is YES. Getting your ideas into words, bearing your soul so to speak, is the ultimate ego trip. It will be a great source of pride and accomplishment.

Get started today with any of the amazing writing courses on offer here.

Saul Lockhart has been a writing tutor at the Mosman Community College for the past nine years. He is the author, contributor and/or editor for more than two dozen book projects.


Nik Forster

Kick boxing is often used as a general term for many styles of fighting using kicks and punches. It should not be confused with Muay Thai, which dates back roughly two thousand years and which, modified in the twentieth century, uses western style boxing gloves and equipment. The two are similar but very different.

For example, Muay Thai is referred to as the art of the eight limbs: hands, shins, elbows, knees, also uses throws and clinches. Whereas in kickboxing, until recently, elbows were not allowed and throws were non point scoring, with no kicks below the waist.

In Japan in the 1960s, a Karate practitioner named Osamu Noguchi studied Muay Thai, blended it with full contact karate and called it kick boxing. The name was adopted.

So, although kick boxing has its roots in Muay Thai, it has different rules and a different history.

It is also the answer to a wealth of health and inactivity issues. Eight weeks of relentless fun, utilising muscles you never knew you had, and learning something at the same time - it will revive and energise you! So don't sit at home nibbling something fattening in front of the TV, the calories mounting up with every bite, and the inaction of your body surreptitiously stealing your joie de vivre. Put aside those naughty morsels; scrunch up the chocolate wrapping, resist that last Tim Tam; dismount from that unhealthy couch and start doing something beneficial for your self respect.

What is the answer?

A kick boxing course as you had already guessed!

Working with focus mitts Thai pads and kick shields, you can release all that pent up frustration of city living and kick and punch your way to happiness. Bristle with energy. Beginners welcome. It's a non contact class, so all levels can join in. Join us!

Nik Forster has been teaching martial arts for over thirty years. He is a qualified NSW Boxing Coach and Third Dan Karate Black belt. He trained in Japan for 3 years and has been a kickboxing instructor for more than sixteen years.

Meet Brenton

Brenton White

We have a new guitar teacher - the amazing Brenton White. Welcome to the MCC family, Brenton!

Brenton is a guitarist of many years' experience. Involved in workshops and seminars at the Conservatorium of Music in the late 1970s, he played music professionally in clubs, backing artists and at band gigs.

In the early to mid-1980s, Brenton toured with many artists and bands, including; Roberta Flack, Renee Geyer, Leon Berger Band, Doug Parkinson, Marcia Hines, Julie Anthony, The Seekers, The Sydney Symphony Orchestra with James Galway and many others, while at the same time working as a session musician for jingle and record producers in Sydney.

He has been involved in composing/producing music for Advertising and TV for the last 30 years.

"If I can pass on my knowledge and experience," says Brendon, "then I'm a useful carbon unit!"

See Brenton's upcoming classes here

Mosman Daily 1 June,2017

Mosman Daily 16 February, 2017

Is This The Year Your Book Gets Written?

Zena Shapter

Join Zena Shapter, a Ditmar award-winning author, creative writing tutor and mentor, freelance editor, copywriter and social media consultant. (Phew!) And release your inner book! Zena has won eleven national writing competitions and is published in magazines such as "Midnight Echo" and anthologies such as "Award-Winning Australian Writing" (twice!). She writes from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud, creating what-if worlds, thought experiments, and close-to-reality books of the unexplained. Zena also had some magic left to found and lead the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group. Across the whole year allow Zena to guide you through the task of planning, writing and developing a full-length book. Practical writing exercises will keep you motivated along your journey until you understand what will make your story work. Explore genre, character, point of view, conflict, voice, setting, dialogue, structure and self-editing. Get critical feedback on your writing to ensure you're going in the right direction, support and encouragement from peers to put self-doubt to rest, and the expertise of a professional tutor. Challenge yourself and make this the year you finally write your book! This year-long course includes 11 group meetings and 10 hours one on one mentoring across the year.

Read More Here

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