Traveling can be exciting, but also stressful. The type of services that airports offer can make a huge difference when it comes to travelers’  experiences. Travelers are often exhausted by the long hours of layover or the stress of short connection times. It’s likely they’re not finding comfort in the overpriced pre-packaged food options or those hard, waiting-room chairs that make quick naps almost impossible. So, let’s admit it: traveling can drive some people crazy.

Body stiffness, anxiety and fatigue are common traveling symptoms. Finding some comfort may feel like finding an oasis in a desert.

Taking this into consideration, a few airports have decided to open yoga rooms, including the San Francisco International Airport, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the Burlington International Airport. San Francisco started the trend in 2012 followed by Chicago and Vermont in 2013. These spaces were designed to offer a relaxing place for passengers. All of them are open to everyone, free and have yoga mats available. Most of them have windows for natural light or big mirrors along the wall, or both. Except for the yoga studio in the Burlington Airport, which was built in a hallway separated by a privacy screen, all others look just like your local yoga studio.

Who would like yoga space at the airport? Well, opening yoga rooms in airports has proved to be very popular.

One passenger, Stacy McCarthy, tweeted:

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She is just one among many. Another traveler tweeted:

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Seattle is the fourth most popular city for yoga and I think the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) should include a studio.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Providing space for relaxation and stress relief can benefit travelers, as well as the whole airport environment. Airports need a private place like this, to help travelers release physically from the hours of sitting on hard chairs, standing in crowds and endless waiting.
  • With a chance to stretch, meditate and practice yoga, travelers will be able to calm down. An escape from anxiety, bustle and crowds will improve mental health.
  • Sea-Tac is the 15th busiest U.S. airport, based on boarding statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration. Besides that, as the home city for many companies and institutions like Microsoft, Amazon and the University of Washington, international professionals are constantly coming and going. Having a yoga space could be a great benefit for the enormous flow of travelers, and this might just be one reason they want to return.
  • Building a yoga room in the airport does cost money. Chicago O’Hare paid around $75,000 to build its yoga rooms, but they were sponsored by a healthcare company. So was Burlington International Airport’s room. The Sea-Tac airport should pursue potential funding and sponsorships from local corporations.

If you are a frequent flyer or someone who just needs a quiet space to stretch and relax, you would probably agree that convenience matters. Accommodating the needs of travelers with a space where they can have healthy exercise and enjoy a moment of tranquility and relaxation may be as important as having access to an ATM machine.

So Seattleites, what do you think? Should Sea-Tac airport get its own yoga room?

[Photo by Mike Procario – CC BY]


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