People who do yoga in airports

Via Vanessa Fiola (Recovering Yogi)
on Oct 11, 2011
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I wish I had taken a picture of this woman, who looked like a very tall ferret, doing yoga at our gate just before we were to board a flight from JFK. I was trying to focus on a work call, so I missed the photojournalistic opportunity.

The very tall ferret held pyramid pose (admittedly, her alignment was lovely), while her husband looked the other direction. I would too, buddy. I would too.

I don’t have anything against yoga in airports, per se.  I’ve done yoga in airports, plenty.  Traveling is uncomfortable and constricting and stressful.  Yoga’s good for all of those.  It’s just that when you’re IN THE MIDDLE OF A CROWDED GATE, seriously practicing a standing posture, or handstand, or anything other than say, easy pose, you kind of look like an asshole. We get it. You do yoga. You’re spiritual. Yay for you.

And this is where it gets good.

So I board the plane, and there’s a guy in front of me blocking the aisle as he puts away his carry-on, which is not fitting into the overhead compartment. I’m waiting patiently. (In fairness, this is only because I’m distracted by my phone call. I can’t actually count patience among my virtues.) I feel a nudge on my arm. I turn around and see that it’s very tall ferret.  She glares down at me and shoos me forward.  Like in the way you would dismiss a pest.  I turn back around where suitcase guy is still blocking the aisle. I then turn back and look at her with confusion.

Very tall ferret towers over me, so she/it had to see that I couldn’t go around suitcase guy. “Did you want me to physically move him?” I asked sweetly. Her glare turned to scowl. Very tall ferret was good at non-verbal communication. Maybe she is mute? A surly, lanky polecat-type mute who also does yoga in airports.

Moments later, suitcase guy stepped aside and everyone went to their seats.  The very tall ferret sat down and continued her yoga practice with hand mudras.  And that’s when I contemplated my own hand mudra.


About Vanessa Fiola (Recovering Yogi)

Vanessa Fiola is a business consultant, artist, writer, and—after years spent teaching yoga—a co-founder of You can find her micro-blogging at @vanessafiola or through her personal website, wants to hear your 5 things.


14 Responses to “People who do yoga in airports”

  1. tensirk says:

    People can really be interesting sometimes. This is why I love people watching. Loved the story.


  2. dan says:

    May all assholes practice some form of mindfulness or awareness; piece by piece to peace. ha ha.

  3. catnipkiss says:

    FUNNY. But think of how hard it is to keep your practice while traveling! I have let the thoughts of "Looking like a Dork" stop me from my practice far too often (other times I can onlY blame my own laziness) My last public display of yoga was a few dazs ago at a service station near Casablanca, Morocco, tucked discretely behind a building, while the bathroom attendant looked on. Allah knows what she was thinking….
    (my article on a similar subject 🙂

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    LOL – thanks for sharing!!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  5. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  6. Sang says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t travel if little things like this bother you so much.

  7. Joe Sparks says:

    Next time you see someone doing yoga at an airport..ask, may I join you? More fun sharing something you love.

  8. Leslie says:

    Maybe you shouldn't comment if little things like the point of the article elude you so much.

  9. Kellie says:


  10. vanessafiola says:

    Your travels sound amazing!

  11. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Right back at ya! 🙂