A 40-year old woman from Gambrills, Maryland, suffered a stroke after attempting a yoga position. Rebecca Leigh suffered the injury while filming a yoga handstand pose tutorial for her social media followers in October 2017.
Warning Signs Of Stroke
Leigh said that just hours after she finished filming the tutorial, she started to feel weak. Her vision also started to blur, but she assumed the symptoms were caused by herniated discs in her neck.
She decided to go to the ER two days later when she noticed her right eye drooped and her pupils were different sizes. An MRI scan revealed she had torn her right carotid artery, one of the four arteries supplying blood to the brain.
The injury occurred while Leigh was doing an advanced type of handstand called "hollowback." The position requires extending the neck, dropping the hips back, and arching the lower spine all while in a headstand.
Doctors said the tear caused a blood clot in Leigh's brain, which led to stroke. The trauma of the tear in the artery's wall also caused a small aneurysm, a bulge in the blood vessel. Aneurysm may remain dormant for years, but it could rupture, which may cause deadly hemorrhagic stroke.
Leigh said she experienced terrible headaches that made light unendurable following her injury. She could neither do things such as eat and shower all by herself.
She also heard constant "whooshing" sound in the right ear apparently caused by blood trying to get through her artery up into the brain.
Leigh fortunately got better. After a month of pain, she managed to achieve milestones such as sitting up in bed and taking short walks outside.
Warning To Other Yogis
A year after the incident, Leigh said she is 75 percent back to normal, but she is speaking up to warn others who practice yoga to be more careful.
"I wanted to share my story so that something like this doesn't happen to any other yogis," she said.
"If I had read of just one incidence of something similar, I would have known that a stroke was a very real possibility when I was experiencing my symptoms."