In 2012, San Francisco International Airport kicked off a popular new trend: airport yoga rooms. The airport has two, both open 24 hours, free mats provided. Yoga rooms have since expanded into six US airports, and several others across the world. Busy business travelers, who may only have a short layover but still deserve a bit of relaxation, should get a step ahead of the game before hitting Downward Dog—and since we’re all about taking the hassle out of business travel, here’s what you need to know about airport yoga rooms before you go.
Each has different opening hours
This is one of the most important pieces of advice we can give you before heading for a yoga room: make sure it’s open. Some of them are open 24 hours (like San Francisco’s and Dallas-Fort Worth’s), but others have more limited hours. The yoga rooms in both Chicago airports are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., for example. You don’t want to be perfecting your Balancing Stick outside a dark and locked room.
Not all provide instruction
Unless you’re a seasoned yoga aficionado, you probably don’t have a routine memorized. Some airport studios have thought of that, providing video instruction on multiple monitors. In those that haven’t—you’re on your own. Try piecing one together before you arrive just in case.
Some are more prepared than others
So here’s the thing: yoga in the airport may be a great opportunity to relax, but how comfortable will you be doing your Tree pose if you’re stuck in a rumpled business suit? It’s another thing some airports have thought of, placing their yoga rooms next to bathrooms large enough to change in (provided you’ve brought an exercise outfit). And although mostly all the rooms provide mats free of charge, some airports are upping their yoga game by providing extras—like yoga balls and stretch bands. So even if you don’t have your routine down pat, you could still get in a few good exercises from memory before hopping back on a plane.
Don’t let it interfere with your work
I know, I know, we shouldn’t need to tell you this. Savvy business travelers know when to work and when to play—so make sure you’re not letting your yoga habit get in the way of getting things done. Finish your work first, or take a quick deep breath to center yourself before starting; just remember that your boss probably won’t accept “I was doing yoga” as a legitimate excuse for missing a deadline.
By: Jen B.