A TRAIN operator from Britain has made travelling more tranquil – by hosting live yoga classes during journeys.
Heathrow Express passengers travelling on October 13 were treated to sessions with yoga influencer Celest Pereira, who has developed a 12-minute seat-yoga and meditation session to help travellers relax.
The class has been developed so travellers of all ages and abilities can perform the exercises safely from their seats – and it’s believed to be the first time a yoga class has taken place on a moving train.
To get passengers in the right frame of mind, the ‘Tranquil Train’ carriage hosting the sessions was decorated with fresh eucalyptus and lavender to fill the carriage with soothing aromas.
The initiative was trialled after a study also commissioned by Heathrow Express found more than half of public transport users find travel stressful following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Celest Pereira said: “Travelling can get very fraught – there’s lots going on, lots of things to think about, and it’s very deadline driven - so it can be a very intense experience.
"By hosting these classes we’re hoping to alleviate those pressures and help passengers be in the present moment, feel less overwhelmed and relieve any muscle tension.
The study of 2,000 adults also identified the most frustrating aspects of travel – including delayed departures (52 percent) and crowds (48 percent).
Missing flights, trains, or buses (47 percent) also leads to aggravation, as does trying to find a seat (43 percent) and worrying you’ve forgotten something like your passport or the tickets (40 percent).
Other worries include getting lost (38 percent), being separated from your luggage (33 percent), and missing travel announcements (29 percent).
So perhaps it’s no wonder 72 percent would like operators do more to make travelling on public transport more relaxing.
Joe Bence, a 26-year-old from London who was among those who boarded the Heathrow Express ‘Tranquil Train’, said: “I have such a busy life and usually look at my phone on the train - but today I completely switched off.
"The class was a nice distraction from life, it made my day.”
Those polled also revealed how operators might be able to reduce passenger worry when travelling – including more ‘quiet carriages’ (39 percent) and reserved seats (39 percent).
Free snacks or refreshments (36 percent) would also make a difference, as would reserved places for luggage (32 percent) and onboard entertainment to take mind off things (30 percent).
Three in 10 (30 percent) would also like tranquil music to be played during journeys, while a quarter (24 percent) think calming fragrances would help, according to the OnePoll.com data.
The eucalyptus aroma on the ‘Tranquil Train’ made an impression on many passengers.
Commenting on her experience, Elizabeth, from Washington DC, said: “This was a real pick me up, especially after a long overnight flight. The smell is so wonderful.”