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Going to Helsinki? Relax at the Airport's 'Yoga Gate'!

By Sravanth Verma     Aug 3, 2014 in Travel
Helsinki - Helsinki Airport recently launched its 24-hour “Yoga Gate” service located near gate 30, which offers passengers yoga classes to help them relax and beat jet lag.
It is part of the airport’s plan to serve 20 million passengers annually by 2020. The airport is following in the footsteps of Chicago O'Hare and San Francisco International Airports' “Yoga Room” and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's “Yoga Studio,” which offer no-charge yoga facilities — complete with yoga mats.
The classes are held in the "Kainuu" relaxation space that was opened recently by Finavia, Finland's state-owned civil aviation authority. It is designed by TravelLab, and focuses on a relaxing ambiance based on an outdoors theme. After a short test-run with 20-minute classes that included yoga and Pilates, the facility has now been formally launched.
The National Institutes of Health has conducted studies that reflect the many benefits of meditation and yoga. Yoga is thought to have originated many thousands of years ago, and is attributed to the god Shiva in Hindu scriptures. It is famously codified by Patanjali in his book, "The Yoga Sutras."
The lounge has been decorated as per the atmosphere of the Kainuu region of Finland with ergonomic chairs made from wind-felled trees and singing deadwood. Forest sounds play in the background, including birdsong, wind in the treetops and bear growls.The sound installation named Finnish Forest Frequencies has been put together by sound designer and artist Kirsi Ihalainen. Deadwood hangs from the ceiling and new sound technology turns the deadwood into speakers.
“We want to create services and spaces at the airport where passengers can relax and momentarily transport themselves away from the hectic airport atmosphere. The forest is an important recreational location for us Finns and part of our national identity. At the same time, we will make Finland known to our international passengers,” says Ville Haapasaari, Finavia's Helsinki Airport director.
“You can and you should touch the deadwood, since the vibration and the smell of the deadwood transport you directly to the centre of natural environment. The forest sounds combined with furniture made from Finnish natural materials bring a piece of Finland to the airport”, says Ihalainen.
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