The benefits of yoga are vast, and can help the busiest of people unplug, unwind, and reconnect with themselves. It’s one of those activities you can do just about anywhere, be it home, gym, office, and now the airport.
Yesterday San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened a dedicated yoga room within the concourse. It’s been deemed the first of its kind at any airport in the world. Located in terminal two near Virgin America, the yoga room has been well designed. The former storage closet offers a quiet, serene escape from the hustle of the terminal. Inside yogis will find chairs, yoga mats, and low dim lighting. The room cost SFO about $20,000, and they say their work isn’t done. There are plans to add felt-covered “rocks” to the room to inspire a Japanese Zen-garden ambiance later in the spring.
Sure, you could find an unoccupied gate or quite corner anywhere in the airport and do a full yoga practice or just a few simple, gentle stretches to keep your blood moving and heart pounding during what would otherwise be a pretty inactive day. But this alternative is clearly better. There aren’t any televisions or instructors, and the use of any electronics (i.e. your noisy phone or clunky laptop) is not allowed.
The stress that can come with a long day of travel, whether it’s starting, laying over, or ending in San Francisco, can create tension, exhaustion, and lack of energy. If your final destination is business or pleasure, you need to feel as clear-headed and energetic as possible. Renowned yoga expert Kathryn Budig agrees. “I think it’s absolutely genius!” she told us. “Travel is one of the most stressful experiences where people tend to flip out at the drop of a dime (or delay of a plane) and having the chance to stop and breath is priceless. Not to mention, it will feel amazing on the body after hours of being cramped up on an airplane.”
Flyers are already taking notice, too. @MelClose tweeted that “this is so cool.” @Tweakletodd might have airport envy with this tweet, “I sun salute that..Gatwick/Heathrow take note.” And @Pacheightsbuzz joked that the “FAA Warns Of Serious Delays At SFO For Next Few Years.”
We can only hope more airports take notice, too, and that this is one big stretch toward improving the quality of air travel in the U.S.