Heathrow Express passengers travelling yesterday 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 is designed so that all levels of traveller can do the exercises from their seats. It’s also believed to be the first ever yoga class on a moving train.
To get people in the right mindset, the ‘Tranquil Train” carriage that hosted the sessions was filled with relaxing aromas of fresh eucalyptus or lavender.
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 stated that travel can be very stressful. There are many things going on and lots to consider. It can also be very time-driven, so it can become very intense.
By hosting these classes, we hope to ease those pressures and allow passengers to be more present in the moment, less overwhelmed, and reduce muscle tension. There’s no reason travel shouldn’t be peaceful. Often, it’s all about training your brain to think differently.
“And that’s largely what these meditation and yoga sessions are doing – they aim to help passengers clear their heads through breathing exercises and particular body stretches.”
The study of 2,000 adults also identified the most frustrating aspects of travel – including delayed departures (52 per cent) and crowds (48 per cent).
Missing flights, trains, or buses (47 per cent) also leads to aggravation, as does trying to find a seat (43 per cent) and worrying you’ve forgotten something like your passport or the tickets (40 per cent).
Other worries include getting lost (38 per cent), being separated from your luggage (33 per cent), and missing travel announcements (29 per cent).
So perhaps it’s no wonder 72 per cent 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.”
And 31-year-old Talitha Lindo, also from London, added: “I enjoy going to new places but I’m not too keen on the travel aspect – it’s too busy and rushed.
” “I feel very zen, so the exercise has definitely worked.”
“I’m feeling very zen, so the exercise has definitely worked.”
Those polled also revealed how operators might be able to reduce passenger worry when travelling – including more ‘quiet carriages’ (39 per cent) and reserved seats (39 per cent).
Free snacks or refreshments (36 per cent) would also make a difference, as would reserved places for luggage (32 per cent) and onboard entertainment to take mind off things (30 per cent).
Three in 10 (30 per cent) would also like tranquil music to be played during journeys, while a quarter (24 per cent) think calming fragrances would help, according to the OnePoll.com data. The eucalyptus scent on the “Tranquil Train” made a lasting impression on many passengers.
Commenting on her experience, Elizabeth, from Washington DC, said: “This was a real pick me up, especially after a long over night flight. The smell is so wonderful.”
The poll revealed onboard yoga classes get the thumbs up from around a fifth (18 per cent), so passengers who missed this experience on the ‘Tranquil Train’ yesterday can relive the moment on Heathrow Express over the next year as their on board media screens will show a short recording of the class, for future passengers to get involved and relax.
The flowers used on board for the event have been fashioned into 45 beautiful bouquets and donated to a local Paddington charity, LDN London – who are giving a bouquet to brighten each of their 45 services. A spokesperson for Heathrow Express stated that they have always strived to offer a premium service, which is simple and straightforward while still giving all passengers the amenities they need.
“Our trains run every 15 minutes and offer the quickest transfer between Heathrow and Central London, so if passengers need to get somewhere fast our service is one they can rely on.
” “But that’s only part of the journey. Many passengers have spent hours travelling by train or plane before getting on our trains.
“So hopefully initiatives like the ‘Tranquil Train’ will ease worries and help to relax passengers as they get back to travelling following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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