Harried travelers who prefer to chill out in chaturanga instead of at the bar can now breathe a deep, restorative sigh of relief at a growing number of airport yoga rooms.
"I definitely have found myself going to the bar and having a glass of wine," Ritu Riyat, a yoga instructor and life coach who has used airport yoga rooms, told The New York Times. "With yoga, I don’t need to have that glass of wine."
A growing trend
Airport yoga rooms have taken off since San Francisco International Airport launched the first one in 2012. Now at least four U.S. airports have yoga rooms. One recently opened at Heathrow in London and its operator plans another in Hong Kong, the Times reported.
"The Yoga Room gives modern travelers a space that fosters and supports quiet and reflection," says Melissan Mizell, design director at Gensler architects, which created San Francisco's first room. "Those aren't emotions that people typically encounter at the airport."
Calm amid the storm
Because though vacations may be restorative, travel itself is stressful (especially business travel). Planes run late, people run late, and on top of that, many of us have a fear of flying. Perhaps that's what makes an airport the perfect place to stop what you're doing (if you have time—perhaps time you didn't know you were going to have) to stop for a moment of peace and mindfulness.
"Yoga's probably a lot healthier than trying to quell the stress at an airport bar," Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst, told the Times.
Where to find airport yoga rooms:
Burlington, Vermont: Evolution Yoga room, second floor.
Chicago: O'Hare Yoga Room, Terminal 3.
Dallas-Fort Worth: Yoga studio, near Gate 40 between Terminals B and D.
San Francisco: Yoga Rooms, Terminals 2 and 3.
Jim Gold is a veteran journalist who splits his time between Seattle and the Bay Area.