yoga room

Fresh new amenities at SFO Airport


Boarding Are E at San Francisco International Airport’ Terminal 3 re-opens to passengers on Tuesday.

With the $138 million renovation comes a long list of fresh new amenities travelers will definitely notice and enjoy, including lounge seating that includes the iconic Fritz Hansen “egg” chairs, the airport’s second yoga room (with loaner mats), 375 power outlets, nine work stations and an interactive “infotainment” center with information about SFO and the city.

The new boarding area, which has 10 gates for United Airlines, has a 23-foot-tall window wall offering views of the airfield and the Bay Area, changing areas (with doors, full-length mirrors, sinks/counters, hooks and benches) in the restrooms and private areas with loungers where mothers can nurse their children.

The artwork includes the re-installation of five paintings from SFO’s art collection, “Sky” (above), which is a suspended light sculpture and “Spirogyrate,” an interactive art installation by Bay Area artist Eric Staller


There are two pop-up stores mixed in with the dining and retail outlets:
Collector offers art from Bay Area artists and McEvoy Ranch presents locally-sourced olive oils and body care products.

Boarding Area E is connected post-security to the rest of Terminal 3, which is also connected to Concourse G of the International Terminal. So if you’re flying on United or any Star Alliance partner, you should be able to access these amenities.

Yoga room opens at O’Hare Airport

(An expanded post on O’Hare’s new yoga room.)

Chicago O’Hare International, one of the country’s busiest and most stressful airports, took a decidedly mellow turn this week with the opening of a yoga room in Terminal 3, adjacent to the airport’s indoor urban garden.


Yoga at ORD

“The yoga room provides a space for yoga practice as well as a place to relax or meditate,” said Rosemarie Andolini, Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner. “This is yet another amenity to help make the travel experience at O’Hare ‘best-in-class.’ ”

YOGA now available at O'Hare's new Yoga Room

O’Hare’s yoga room has a sustainable bamboo wood floor, floor-to-ceiling mirrors along one wall, exercise mats and an area to store personal articles and garments. A wall-mounted video monitor plays soothing sounds and displays yoga exercise techniques and images of nature. Frosted windows along one side of the room provide privacy and natural light.

“The importance of exercise and the opportunity in clearing the mind and body during long travel days cannot be overstated as it relates to one’s health,” said Brad Jersey, CEO and founder of nLIVEn Health, a company that places sponsored interactive health-care campaigns in airports. “We know from our studies that 75 percent of frequent fliers participate in some workout regimen, so this is a perfect complement at ORD.”

Wellness tourism is a $438.6 billion global market “and a rapidly growing niche within the $3.2 trillion global tourism economy,” according to the a study presented in October at the Global Wellness Tourism Congress in New Delhi, India.

The Global Wellness Tourism Economy report, conducted by SRI International, found that wellness tourism accounts for 14 percent of all domestic and international tourism expenditures and is a segment projected to grow by more than 9 percent a year through 2017, nearly twice the rate of global tourism overall.

Chicago’s O’Hare’s yoga room continues a trend begun at San Francisco International in January 2012, when it opened the world’s first yoga room at an airport. Located in the refurbished Terminal 2, just past the security checkpoint, SFO’s space is a calming blue, with subdued lighting.

“Feedback on the space in T2 has been so positive that a second yoga room is being built as part of the new Boarding Area E in T3, which is scheduled to open at the end of January,” said airport spokesman Charles Schuler.

Other airports have also set aside designated space for yoga and stretching, including Dallas/Fort Worth International, which created a yoga “studio” by installing a privacy screen in front of a window on a walkway between Terminals B and D, and Burlington International Airport in Vermont.

“As a practitioner of Ashtanga yoga, I see a yoga room as a priceless benefit to have at an airport,” said Stacy Lu, a health writer in training to be a yoga teacher. “Not only does doing yoga increase circulation—which is good prep for a long-haul flight—it may have a calming effect on jittery fliers like myself.”

For those planning to take advantage of an airport yoga room, Lu suggests dressing in layers: long leggings or yoga pants with a camisole, topped by a long-sleeve top and maybe sweater to stay warm on the flight.

“I would avoid wearing anything too tight or revealing,” she said, “particularly in an international hub.”

(My story about O’Hare’s new yoga room first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior)

Stress-busting yoga room opens at San Francisco Int’l Airport

Many of the cranky and stressed-out travelers delayed by bad weather at San Fransisco International Airport on Monday could have used a bit of time out in the airport’s newest amenity: the world’s first and only dedicated yoga room, located just past the security checkpoint in Terminal 2.

SFO’s Yoga Room officially opens on Thursday, but the doors are open now, so don’t be shy about giving it a whirl.They’ve even got some loaner mats there in the corner.

When you’re blissed out and ready to go, take a moment fire up your smartphone and download 22 short podcast descriptions of the great art you’ll notice scattered around the airport.