traveling this time of year has a special way of inducing rip-your-hair-out kind of stress. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading home to see your fam for the holidays or off to a tropical island (to see no one for a week), we’ve all felt those layover feels.
This year, friends and yogis, Avery Westlund and Elizabeth Feinstone are launching the first of what we hope becomes an international phenomenon: private airport yoga studios.
Yoga on the Fly, which opened at the Denver Airport earlier this week, allows fliers to pop in, book a private hub and grab a set of sound-isolating headphones. Inside a private studio sized for one, complete with a yoga mat and plants, a wall-mounted iPad is loaded with instructional yoga and meditation videos.
We’re watching with a keen eye to see how Yoga on the Fly’s first location performs in Denver — the debut studio launched on November 6th for a 90-day residency through the holiday season, and is open seven days a week starting at 7am! Could this be the future of air travel? We sure hope so. Til yoga reaches LAX and JFK, we asked Avery and Elizabeth to share other tips for healthier airport survival here…
5 mindful airport activities
for long delays
Walk! When killing time in the airport, it’s tempting to sit down and watch TV or play on your phone. Instead, make yourself a playlist and take a little tour of the terminal to see what there is – so many airports have art and local culture on display!
Travel with a backpack or a rolling bag. It may sound silly, but having the weight of your carry-on evenly distributed during extended transit can prevent some of the aches and imbalances we experience in our bodies and make that economy seat a little more bearable once you finally take off.
Carry an empty water bottle with you – ideally a reusable one. All airports have water-refill stations ready to be used, if you can find them! Given the alternatives, this makes it easier, healthier and more affordable to stay hydrated while you wait.
Stand rather than sit as much as possible during your delay, even if reading or on your phone. Staying mobile is a great way to prevent stiffness and maintain good circulation pre-flight.
Yoga on the Fly, anyone? We happened to have built a company intended to help with this exact situation! Come to our serene escape for a private, guided yoga or meditation class to pass the time while also alleviating travel-induced muscle aches or anxiety.
5 in-flight wellness hacks
Water. Water water water. Hydration is key to staying healthy while traveling, paying dividends both in-flight and when you arrive at your destination.
Pack essential oils to help alleviate stress, tension and exhaustion. Lavender is really soothing and peppermint is a great pick-me-up, especially after a sleepless flight (we’re looking at you, red eye).
Just Breathe. Cranky? Person next to you cranky? Stuck on the tarmac? Breathe. Close your eyes and begin to count the lengths of your inhales and exhales, matching them to one another. Inhale for four, pause, exhale for four, pause. Don’t strain yourself at all, but if you’re comfortable, you can gradually increase to an eight count on your inhale and exhale. You can do this for one minute or five – either way you will feel better after.
Airplane yoga! One of our favorites for tension relief is the side stretch: Bring your left arm to the left side of the seat, reach your right arm up and tilt to the left. Hold for three to five breaths. Then, bring your right arm to the right side of the seat. Reach your left arm up and tilt to the right. Hold for three to five breaths. This is a great stretch you can really feel the benefits of without bothering your sleeping neighbor!
Blanket Scarf. Always bring a “blanket scarf.” Lightweight, large scarves are the best when traveling – this can take the form of an actual scarf, or also a pillow, wrap or blanket. This will come in handy when dealing with the frequent changes in temperature.
I tried the yoga space at the O’hara Chicago airport and did about 15-minute yoga session there, while somebody of the airport staff was having a lunch there!?!? Notified the airport about that later on via twitter because that was odd.. However, having a yoga or meditation space at an airport is fantastic for long layovers 🙂