It happens to all of us at some point as we travel. You’ve been dreaming about your upcoming yoga retreat, family holiday or exotic vacation destination for weeks. Your suitcase is packed, you woke up at an hour you didn’t know existed and made it through the inevitable airport lines at check in and security only to find your flight delayed or cancelled. Frustration automatically sets in.
Or maybe not? Our lives are so busy these days, particularly when preparing to leave for a big trip, that we rarely get an extra hour or two to ourselves without extra family, life or work commitments. So, next time you’re stranded in the airport, take a big, deep yogic inhale (fill it up…) and exhale (sigh it out…) and choose to make the delay part of your adventure. Here are a few of our favorite ways to pass extra time in the airport.
Yoga on the Fly…
If you’re lucky enough to spend a little extra time exploring in San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Burlington (BTV) or Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) you’ve hit the yoga travel jackpot. Each of these airports features an area dedicated to yoga – SFO has a yoga room in Terminal 2, the BTV yoga room is on the second floor on the west side of the airport (there’s a sign that will point the way) and DFW has a dedicated yoga space in Terminal D/Gate 40.
Be sure to pack some yoga pants in your carry on, though the versatility of yoga pants makes them the perfect choice for the entire travel process, and maybe your yoga towel if you aren’t traveling with your yoga mat.
If the idea of leading yourself through a practice is a little intimidating, remember the basics – a handful of sun salutations to warm your body, some core work if you’d like, hip openers, forward folds and a twist or two. Your hamstrings, hips and low back tighten during long periods of sitting, so try to focus on those areas to prepare your body for the more sedentary part of your trip. If a physical asana practice is more than you want to take on in an airport, find an unused gate or a quiet corner and spend a few minutes meditating or writing in your journal if it is traveling with you.
There’s An App for That…
There’s an app for basically everything these days and when you find yourself stranded in the airport, your phone or other handheld electronic device can provide hours of entertainment. If you’re traveling to a new country and are unfamiliar with the language, you can begin your immersion with Duolingo or Busuu (these are our favorites, but there are many more out there…). If you’re an avid camera phone photographer, find a new photo app to use to document your trip with fresh filters or new frames. Check out Filter Mania for hours of photo editing fun. App opportunities are endless and a great way to add value to travel time (just don’t forget to pack your phone charger and some headphones!).
Make A Friend or Two…
Yoga is all about building community and stepping in to relationship with the people around you, so why not take the concept of community with you to the airport? Strike up a conversation with at least one new person while you’re at the airport. It could be the person behind you in the long security line, the person sitting next to you as you wait at the gate or your the people seated around you on the plane. Connecting with new people is fun for many reasons but one of our favorites is learning tips from people who live in the location we’re traveling to. Recommendations from locals are better than what books and websites could ever offer and add excitement in preparing for your trip. Besides, who knows, maybe you’ll make some new life long friends? Social media has made global connection a breeze. We’re still in touch with new friends made during a layover on our way home from a visit to our Galapagos retreat location, and can’t wait for our next trip to see who we meet next!
Leave a comment and let us know your favorite way to pass the time on your airport delays …and ask away if you have any travel related questions before you embark on your next big trip.