A few years ago I was traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare airport and noticed a sign for a Yoga Room. I can’t recall where I was going. But I had a long enough layover between flights that went up the stairs to the room, opened the door, and stepped inside. One other person was there at the same time. There was another mat in the room, and I stepped onto it and began doing poses. I felt excited, happy, and also a bit nervous that someone was going to tell me I shouldn’t be there.
It was interesting to be in a place associated with quieting the mind housed inside a constant place of intense busyness. Yet, a yoga room in an airport was a welcoming sight.
Another Close Visit to the Airport Yoga Room
The day after a race is the hardest on the body. I got on a plane less than 24 hours after running a half-marathon in Toronto. My body was still very much sore and fatigued. So when I was transferring to my gate at O’hare airport I saw the Yoga Room again.
I had every intention of going in and doing some stretching. Goodness knows I didn’t do that nearly as much as I should’ve after the race.
The only thing stopping me from going in, however, was seeing someone asleep in the Yoga Room. It was obvious this person was looking for some respite and this was the perfect space for it. I didn’t want to disturb their slumber. For the sake of the traveler, I hoped that person was in a deep sleep. I didn’t have the heart to go in, even if I would be my quietest.
The brief moment got me to thinking if other airports have Yoga Rooms. It turns out there are a few U.S. airports that do, but not many. With the nonstop activity, accompanied by the stresses of making it to your flight on time, more airports could use Yoga Rooms.
Airport Yoga Ideas
In my imagination, the perfect airport layout would have Yoga Rooms in each terminal at all major metropolitan airports. Each could include guides to meditation and basic yoga poses on paper, on a touch screen voiced only for the user on the mat, as well as even an on an app. The possibilities are exciting to dream up.
Yoga Rooms won’t change the reality of cancelled, missed, or delayed flights. However, the mere presence of these spaces could be inviting for passengers who want to a way (and place) to manage their stress levels during travel – something that could have a potential positive domino affect on everyone.