San Francisco Airport introduces yoga lounge
Travel can be stressful, so it is not unusual for airports to offer a secluded room for quiet prayer and reflection.
But San Francisco Airport has taken the idea one step further, offering a yoga room for passengers in need of a stretch and a little savasana before their flight.
With soothing blue walls and a rule of silence, the room in the newly refurbished Terminal 2 was designed at the suggestion of a passenger during an open meeting.
'As far as we know it's the first (yoga room) at an airport anywhere in the world,' said Michael C. McCarron, director of community affairs for the airport.
Airport Director John L. Martin called the room, which opened last week, 'another leap forward in providing our travelers the opportunity and space to relax and decompress on their own terms.'
The architects, Gensler Design, set the lights low and warm in contrast to the light, bright concourse, according to a statement, and a floating wall was constructed to symbolize 'a buoyant spirit and enlightened mind.'
Large felt-constructed rocks will be installed in the Spring in a nod to the Zen gardens of Japan.
John Walsh, duty manager at San Francisco Airport, said the room is already attracting its share of travelling yogis, many equipped with their own props.
'I've seen people using it. They do yoga,' Mr Walsh said. 'We have mats, but some people actually bring their own.'
There are also folding chairs, popular in many senior yoga sessions. So far there are no plans to hold classes.
Located just past security, it's a particular draw for people with time to kill before their flight, Walsh said.
Santa Monica-based yoga teacher Tamal Dodge believes the yoga room at the airport will be the first of many yoga spaces to be attached to airports and public transportation venues.
'How amazing will it be to stretch out and meditate before you get on a plane for a 12-hour flight,' said Mr Dodge.
'You are now given the opportunity to really relax and prepare your body for something as taxing as sitting in an seat for hours on end,' he said. Airport yogis are directed to their room by the usual method - the pictograph. This one features a figure seated in full lotus position.
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