2012-02-03 / World

San Francisco airport opens yoga room

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stressed out by flying?

Travelers in Northern California can now find their inner calm in the Yoga Room at San Francisco International Airport.

The quiet, dimly lit studio officially opened last week in a former storage room just past the security checkpoint at SFO’s Terminal 2.

Airport officials believe the 150- square- foot room with mirrored walls is the world’s first airport yoga studio, said spokesman Mike McCarron.

The room, open to all ticketed passengers, contains a few chairs and yoga mats but no instructors or televisions. No shoes, food, drinks or cellphones are allowed.

“ Silence is appreciated,” says a sign spelling out “Yoga Room Etiquette.”

A prominent blue- andwhite sign with a Buddha-like pictogram beckons visitors: “ Come check out our Yoga Room.”

Frequent flyer Maria Poole accepted the invitation, practicing a downward dog asana and other yoga poses before boarding her flight.

“It’s perfect,” said Poole, 47, of Lafayette. “ I think it should be in every airport, especially the terminals that I fly through. This would be such a great way for me to get my exercise in, get a little peace and quiet — a little Zen moment.”

The Yoga Room is just the latest example of how airports are trying to improve the passenger experience and showcase their regional culture, noting the ancient practice’s popularity in the San Francisco Bay area, said Debby McElroy, executive vice president of Airports Council International-North America.

In recent years, airports have upgraded their food and shopping venues and added massage parlors, nail salons, dry cleaners and pet hotels, McElroy said, but SFO is the first to add a yoga room in North America and probably the world.

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