OPINION: Hindus Critical of Yoga Fees at Denver Airport

By Rajan Zed

Hindus are critical of Denver International Airport (DEN) for fee assigned yoga practice in its recently opened facility.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada yesterday, said that many U.S. and world airports — San Francisco International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Chicago Midway International Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Miami International Airport — reportedly provide yoga rooms and studios for free usage.

Santiago International Airport offers twice-weekly complimentary yoga classes and yoga classes were held at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports last year, reports suggest.

There is reportedly a $15 to $60 fee for yoga and meditation practice at “Yoga on the Fly” launched on November 6 in the center of Concourse A at the Denver International Airport, which claims to offer “passengers an escape from mental and physical stress” and is open daily from 7am to 9pm.

“‘Yoga on the Fly’ Brings Holiday Stress Relief to Denver International Airport,” an official DEN release states.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that DEN, like many other airports, should provide yoga space for the passengers without any charge if it was serious to help reduce their stress levels and be a “world-class” airport and follow its own “Core Objective” of “Winning the hearts of our customers”.

Rajan Zed noted that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all and charging fee for it at a public facility like DEN did not seem right. It would be step in the positive direction if DEN rethinks about the issue and provide a yoga-room to be used by all passengers, employees, vendors and visitors for free.

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 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.

According to U.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 “2016 Yoga in America Study”, about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Rajan Zed added.

Over 58 million passengers travel through DEN each year, making it the 18th-busiest airport in the world and generating over $26 billion for the region annually, reports suggest. Kim Day is Chief Executive Officer.

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