Maybe it’s due to stressful, ever-changing TSA regulations or cramp-inducing airplane seats, but a growing number of airports worldwide have begun to offer dedicated practice spaces for traveling yogis. It’s far better than trying to find a quiet corner on the concourse for your downward dog.
Most dedicated spaces are very basic, but because of the increase in interest, airports are testing other options to get a sense of customer need. Recently, Yoga on the Fly—the first guided, private airport yoga and meditation experience—launched in Denver. While the offering was popular with travelers, a temporary lease means that the space will close at the end of March. Cofounders Elizabeth Feinstone and Avery Westlund already have future locations in the works.
There’s never been a better time to enhance your air travel experience with a little yoga between flights. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to airport yoga, which lets you know how to navigate communal expectations, how to share the space, and what’s available where.
How to use an airport yoga room The vast majority of airport yoga spaces are communal rooms, so consider your fellow passengers and follow a few simple steps to help keep everyone feeling peaceful, just as you would at a yoga studio at home:
• Remove your shoes upon entering the room
• Don’t bring food and drinks into the space
• Silence your phone and other electronic devices
• Respect other yogis and keep your practice quiet
• Use disinfecting wipes (often provided but it’s a good idea to bring your own) to clean mats available to the public
Most yoga rooms can double as meditation spaces, if that’s the zen you’re looking for, provided that you’re not easily distracted by others practicing yoga in the same room. Just in case, travel with earplugs, or consider downloading a guided meditation app or one that plays relaxing sounds that will help you in your meditation without derailing your focus. A few airports have dedicated meditation rooms, but unlike yoga rooms, they often have benches as small chapels do.
What to consider
Travel in active wear or pack a change in your carry-on bag, so that you can be comfortable when you practice. Few yoga spaces offer changing areas, so use a nearby restroom instead. Don’t forget to consider the items you’ll need to bring along to freshen up for your onward travels.
Many airport yoga spaces aren’t open 24 hours, so check in advance of your trip to make sure you won’t be disappointed when you show up. At Yoga on the Fly in Denver, you can reserve your private mini-studio in advance, so there’s no reason to leave things to chance.
Airports are naturally noisy places, even in the serene spots created to give passengers respite. Consider bringing wireless earbuds to play relaxing sounds while you practice, or pack earplugs to keep the airport roar at a reasonable level.
Where to get your om on
Burlington International Airport (BTV)
Yoga Room (second floor)
This practice room designed by a local yoga and physical therapy studio includes mats, cushions, and blocks. Showers in the family bathroom across the hall are a welcome extra.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Yoga Studio (Terminal B, Terminal E)
Expect complimentary practice mats, exercise balls, and stretch mats, as well as instructional videos in these two rooms.
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Yoga on the Fly (New location TBD)
These fully outfitted, private mini-studios can be booked for guided yoga, meditation, or breathing experiences (lasting from 8 to 20 minutes), which is far better than going it alone in a communal yoga room.
Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Yoga Room (Terminal 1, Terminal 2)
Mats are provided in these two rooms that help you relax and recharge between flights.
Heathrow Airport (LHR)
FlyFit (Terminal 2)
Scheduled to open in summer 2018, FlyFit is a wellness and fitness studio with both instructor-led and interactive strength, restorative yoga, and cardio classes.
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Yoga Room (Terminal H, pre-security)
This serene space for yoga includes mats for those who don’t travel with their personal yoga mat.
Midway International Airport (MDW)
Yoga Room (Concourse C)
Frosted glass windows on one side of this room let in natural light while you practice on complimentary mats.
O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Yoga Room (Terminal 3)
This practice space has exercise mats and a video monitor that displays yoga exercise techniques and images of nature.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Yoga Room (Terminal 2, Terminal 3)
The world’s first airport yoga studio opened in 2012, and then the airport added a second. Mats are available for those who don’t travel with their own.