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UK Airports Installing Yoga Rooms To Chill You Out Between Flights

Posted on July 28, 2015 by James

The very first airport room dedicated to yoga was first opened in 2012 in San Francisco International Airport. At first, as when anything new is introduced to the world, there were a lot of naysayers. People who thought that the idea would never catch on and how it was doomed for failure. However, to the surprise of many, it has caught on.

Many more US based airports started introducing their own yoga rooms much to the pleasure of many a weary, stiff-backed traveller. It appears that the idea of stretching out and relaxing in a calm environment with relaxing music and scenic photographs after a long flight, especially when facing a long stopover, does appeal to a lot of people…who’d have thought?!

It took a few years for the concept to trickle through to Europe but it did eventually do just that in the summer of 2014 when Helsinki Airport opened its own room, where, complete with mats, instructions and huge windows (which overlook the runway), it invites travellers to unwind and do some yoga, Pilates or even some meditation.

Now comes the UK’s turn when Heathrow Airport in the latter half of 2014, as a test, introduced a pop-up yoga studio in its Skyteam Lounge. It has been such a popular and well-used feature that it is now being made into a permanent fixture. Heathrow is also expanding the services and information offered in the room, from its current supply of handy yoga instructional videos to videos that show people how to stretch out before and after their flights.

However, even though most other airports offering the use of a yoga room are free, the Skyteam Lounge yoga space is only made available to passengers who have lounge access. But don’t worry, if you really want to visit the yoga room, you can also purchase a pass for the cost of £27.50.

This is clearly an idea that is catching on throughout the world and is a move that has been welcomed by the yoga community with yoga teacher and founder of Camyoga, Louise Palmer-Masterton stating that she thinks: “It is a brilliant idea. Yoga, being both physically stimulating and mentally relaxing, is exactly what our bodies need more of when we travel.”

Louise is right – in airports we are often so bored with the (often overpriced) shopping that we just eat and drink, which is never ideal before a flight. Time moves so slowly in airports but despite this, we hardly ever make the most of this time, often lending it instead to unhealthy habits.

In a time where we are constantly reminded of how flying can be bad for our health (lack of clean air and long periods of inactivity which can lead to blood clots etc.) many Brits will welcome the UK airports looking into ways travellers can de-stress, relax and stretch out before and after being in the air for an extended period of time.

It is estimated that around 2.5 million Brits partake in a bit of yoga, so no doubt these people are the audience currently being targeted by the UK airports who are introducing their own yoga or meditation rooms. The good news for these airports is that there is no doubt that this audience can be grown easily. After all, who better to target than a cranky, stiff traveller who is sitting uncomfortably in a departure lounge only midway through their five hour stopover?!

The UK is chock-a-block full of people who are extremely busy and who just want their travels to run as smoothly as possible. If an airport can offer the comfort of a relaxing room where someone can retreat to gain a few moment’s peace before getting on their 14 hour flight, no doubt they will take the chance.

Palmer-Masterton strongly accepts this point of view, stating: "For business travellers in particular, meditation is an invaluable tool. I use my Happiness app to do a timed meditation several times across a long flight and this really boosts mental clarity and innovation by the time I land."

The one thing to keep in mind is that you will need to bring your own clothes that are suitable for yoga but this only means adding a few things to pack into your hand luggage and is most surely worth it for the peace of mind and relaxation you’ll achieve.

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