Hindus have applauded launching of “Yoga Room” at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, calling it a “step in right direction”.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Burlington International Airport Vermont—all in USA, already offer yoga facilities. “Yoga Room” at O’Hare International Airport, located on Terminal three Rotunda and opened on December 10, “provides a space for yoga practice as well as a place to relax or meditate”, an announcement said. This free facility features a sustainable bamboo wood floor, floor to ceiling mirror, exercise mats, frosted windows, video monitor displaying yoga exercise techniques, soothing sounds, plants lining outside windows and a clothes changing facility nearby. “Find your inner peace at our Yoga Room”, a website tagline says. There are reportedly plans to open similar facility at Chicago Midway International Airport in the near future.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged other top world airports—Singapore Changi, Incheon (South Korea) International, Amsterdam Schiphol, Hong Kong International, Beijing Capital International, Munich, Zurich, Vancouver International, Tokyo (Haneda) International, London Heathrow—to provide yoga facilities for the passengers if they wanted to help reduce their stress levels and be “world-class” airports.
Welcoming gesture of Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Burlington airports for availability of yoga for passengers, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all.
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical, Zed added.
No-charge San Francisco International Airport “Yoga Room” is described as “space devoted to relaxation, self-reflection and practicing yoga”. No-charge Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport “Yoga Studio” is fully equipped with yoga mats and urges to “take a minute to relax and stretch between flights”. Burlington International Airport’s yoga space invites to “stretch out and relax before or between flights and enjoy a calm, quiet space” and it has a “family bathroom with a shower”.
According to USA’s National Institutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. According to an estimate, about 21 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga.