Hindus have applauded launching of “Yoga Gate” at Helsinki Airport in Finland, calling it a “step in right direction”.
At this recently launched “Yoga Gate”, located in “harmonious Kainuu space” open round-the-clock near gate 30, passengers could take part in instructed yoga classes, using instructions provided in the space. Yoga mats were also provided and “Jet Lag Yoga” instructed classes were recently held here. It is part of Helsinki Airport’s preparation to serve 20 million passengers annually in 2020. Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Burlington International Airport Vermont—all in USA, already offer yoga facilities.
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 Helsinki, 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. Zed hoped that “Yoga Gate” at Helsinki Airport will continue.
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”. The free “Yoga Room” at Chicago O’Hare International Airport “provides a space for yoga practice as well as a place to relax or meditate”. There are reportedly plans to open similar facility at Chicago Midway International Airport in the near future.
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.
Kari Savolainen is the President of Finavia Corporation owned by Finnish State, which operates 25 airports of Finland.