9 Best Airports for Yoga

July 5, 2023 0 Comments

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During a recent layover at Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, I was traveling for six hours when I happened to walk past a space in Terminal E marked as a “yoga lounge.” It wasn’t a yoga studio. Although it was a (relatively) quiet place where I could take a few minutes away from the chaos and crowds to focus on my physical and mental well-being. And it was as much a surprise as it was a relief.

That’s exactly what officials at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) had in mind 11 years ago when they redesigned one of their terminals to include a yoga room, says Doug Yakel, SFO’s public information officer. “We thought it would be great to have unique amenities that also reflected the idea of, ‘Let’s make this a place where you can catch your breath and relax a little bit,'” Yakel says.

Travelers demanded more in response. “Every airport should have a yoga room,” yoga teacher Kate Davis blogged after visiting the area, confirming that it makes “air travel much more bearable.”

Since then, airports from Miami to Frankfurt have set aside similar spaces for weary passengers. Sometimes yoga rooms mimic yoga studios. In other cases, the emphasis is less on aesthetics and more on a simple place to stretch out without facing the gaze of strangers.

Yoga rooms also remind you that yoga can help you connect not only with yourself, but also with others. One day, yoga and mindfulness teacher Kate Mitcheom found herself in a pose next to a fellow traveler in a yoga room at Midway International Airport. The strangers reflected on their relief at being able to stretch out in peace at the airport, then parted ways. Mitcheom said, “I still don’t know who she was/is, except that her wonderful practice touched my heart.”

Below is a list of yoga rooms where you can work out discreetly or sit for a while before your next flight.

9 Best Airports for Yoga

1. Burlington International Airport (BTV)

Location: Second floor

Work time: 4 in the morning – 10 in the evening

Children: Can any place in an airport be so peaceful that you forget you’re in an airport? The yoga room at BTV can be just that. Sponsored by a local studio, the space features hardwood floors, pale green walls, soft lighting, and rugs and rugs. At least one parent traveling with children praised it as a calming space, while another traveler heading to a funeral wrote in the guest book: “I’m really grateful to have this place to focus before a long day at airports “.

Rating: 5/5

2. O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Location: Terminal 3

Work time: 6:00-22:00

Children: One of the busiest airports in the world is a quiet place for those who take to the air. Combined with earthy tones, natural lighting, and soft music, the ORD yoga room is “a little oasis of relaxation in the desert of chaos that is most modern airports,” according to one Yelp reviewer. A television screen displays yoga techniques for those who appreciate a reminder.

Rating: 4/5

Chicago Midway Airport Yoga Lounge.
(Photo: Courtesy of Midway International Airport)

3. Midway International Airport (MDW)

Location: Hall C

Work time: 6:00-22:00

Children: With sustainable bamboo flooring, natural lighting, mats and plants, this yoga room feels very much like a small yoga studio. While there are no blocks or straps, blogger Shannan Younger notes at Between Us Parents, she claims it might be “the best-kept secret at the airport.”

Rating: 4/5

Airport yoga room at SFO
(Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco International Airport)

4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Location: Terminals 2 and 3

Work time: 5:00-22:30

Children: SFO has the distinction of building the world’s first airport yoga room. Soundproofing, dim lighting and a supply of free yoga mats make dedicated yoga areas in both terminals ideal for relaxing before or after your flight.

Rating: 4/5

5. Helsinki Airport (FIN)

Location: Gate 52

Work time: 24 hours

Children: Although not a yoga space, Maja Living Room is a place where weary travelers can relax and practice a few poses if they wish. It was inspired by requests from postmen who wanted somewhere to stretch out while sitting and waiting for a long time. The room has a wooden finish and enough space to move through the soft flow (though without a mat). It also features a quiet room that offers exactly what the name suggests.

Rating: 3/5

6. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Location: Terminals 1 and 2

Work time: 24 hours

Children: The yoga rooms are open 24/7, so you can get into the flow whenever you find yourself in this German airport. Complimentary mats, blocks and pillows support your body and your practice, while floor-to-ceiling mirrors allow you to check your alignment.

Rating: 3/5

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Yoga Room
(Photo: Courtesy of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport)

7. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Location: Terminal E

Work time: 24 hours

Children: Located along a corridor, this yoga space is separated from the rest of the terminal by sturdy partitions—yes, the partitions you wanted in college to make room for your roommate. Nevertheless, it serves its purpose, which is a place to stretch and relax. Yoga mats are provided, but if not your own Pratyahara practice is strong, you may want your own headphones to block out ambient noise from the terminal.

Rating: 3/5

8. Miami International Airport (MIA)

Location: Terminal H near exit 21

Work time: 9 am-9 pm

Children: Bamboo wallpaper and ambient music help create a peaceful atmosphere in the room, which also features a 14-foot mirrored wall for alignment adjustments. However, mats are not provided.

Rating: 2/5

9. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)

Location: Terminal 3

Children: Okay, so this spiral sculpture is in the middle of a bustling hall, not in a dedicated yoga room. But the bronze artwork at India’s busiest airport is a great reminder of the strength and ease that yoga can cultivate. Created by sculptor Nikhil Bhandari and architect Ayush Kasliwal, the piece is called Surya Namaskar and consists of 12 statues, each in a different pose during the traditional sun salutation. Even if you exhale a little more slowly as you walk by, that’s yoga too.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), London Heathrow (LHR) and Hong Kong (HKG) also offer yoga lounges, although these services are either members-only or for a fee.

About our contributor

Skyler Aickerson is a freelance journalist and editor. She wrote for Chicago magazine, In these timesand Baltimore Journal. She enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and exploring Chicago.

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