For the second year in a row The Villages participated in International Yoga Day. Early Tuesday morning on a beautifully not humid sunny day more than 200 people made their way to Lake Sumter Square to participate in one big group yoga practice.
The event, organized by MVP and Villages Recreation and sponsored by Villages Health, rotated several yoga instructors in ten-minute intervals, while many other instructors were throughout the square on mini-stages to help guide everyone through the practice.
Dr. Laura Cloukey, medical director of the Pinellas Care Center with Villages Health, kicked off the event. A firm believer in the benefits of yoga, she noted that the meditation part of yoga is integral in the body mind connection. She believes yoga is very helpful to everyone.
“Anyone can do yoga, doesn’t matter if you are in a wheelchair, anyone can do it. There are no excuses in yoga.” She thanked everyone involved for participating in the journey to make The Villages the healthiest home town.
Katie Burns, group exercise coordinator for MVP, continued touting the 5,000-year-old practice of yoga as an ancient tradition that builds the unity between mind and body.
Popular Spanish Springs MVP yoga instructor Dana Will closed the event with a final relaxation using a rain stick filling the square with a tranquil sound. She reminded people they were participating in a practice taking place all over the world today. The practice ended with Dana’s words “May there be peace in the world and peace in your heart. Namaste”
Carolyn Kroot of the Village of Santa Domingo, Suzette Wilkins of the Village of Del Mar, and Wendy Wolfe of the Village of Santiago became friends taking a class at the Spanish Springs MVP. “We have become friends,” said Kroot. “There is a social element as well. Now we golf together and support each other.”
Trying yoga for the first time was Sheldon Queler. A neighbor told him about it and he thought he would give it a try.
“I thought it was great; I may take it up,” said Queler, a Duval resident who is a retired doctor. I always told my patients that exercise is important, I used to walk a lot.”
Sherry Quintal of Sanibel, takes yoga two or three times a week at the recreation centers.
“I thought this fabulous,” she said. “I think they did a wonderful job putting this event together.”