Namaste: Chicago Airports Offer Yoga Rooms for Stressed-Out Travelers
If there is any place in Chicago where we all could use a little serenity, it’s Midway and O’Hare International airports.
Delayed flights, long lines and sometimes poor customer service are enough to put a traveler on edge.
The Chicago Department of Aviation has recognized the stress of flying, and the Chicago airports now offer free yoga rooms at both Midway and O'Hare for travelers to escape the stress that comes with flying. O’Hare’s yoga room opened in December. Midway opened its yoga room this month, along with a room for breastfeeding moms.
“I think these yoga rooms are a response to the popularity of yoga studios, but even more it’s a response to all of the ways that travelers are more stressed out,” says Mary Frances, owner of Divine Power Yoga, which has locations in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and suburban Naperville, Illinois. “We’ve all heard these stories of seat rage recently. If there’s something you can do to relieve that stress before you get on a flight, you’re one step ahead of the game.”
All the amenities
The yoga rooms at both airports feature bamboo floors, full-length mirrors on one wall, yoga mats and space for personal belongings. Wall-mounted televisions display yoga techniques and play soothing music to help airline passengers relax.
O’Hare’s yoga room can be found on the Mezzanine Level of Terminal 3 near the Urban Garden.
At Midway, both the yoga and mothers room are located on Concourse C.
All the rooms are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
A healthier way to relax
Before opening her yoga studios, Frances worked at a job that required a lot of travel. So she’s all too familiar with long delays and stressed-out fellow passengers.
She says for those who practice yoga regularly or may have never tried it, a few minutes away from the chaos of terminals can do wonders for the mind and body.
“Even if you can get five minutes of quiet deep breathing, that’s better than nothing, and certainly better than sitting in the bar,” she says.