Start stretching: International Yoga Day is approaching

Yoga has universal appeal. So much so that in 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as International Yoga Day.

The Villages will celebrate at 8am that day with Yoga on the Square at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square. Everyone is welcome to attend, and participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and to bring their own yoga mats. A limited number of mats will be available for use. The workout is presented by The Villages Health and the Recreation & Parks Department. For more information, call 352.674.8460.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word “yoga” derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness, according to the U.N. website.

Yoga is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga, which can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body, the website states.

Practitioners believe that this approach to health and well-being can make a direct and useful contribution to humankind’s quest to move towards lifestyles that are in harmony with nature.