Maryland woman suffers stroke after tearing an artery in a yoga handstand pose

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A Maryland woman suffered a massive stroke after attempting a yoga pose, according to Southwest News Service.

Rebecca Leigh, 40, attempted to do a “hollowback handstand” pose. Afterward, she said she had blurry vision and could not control her arm.

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“It only lasted five minutes but then my head hurt,” Leigh said. “I suffered from headaches and migraines since I was a teenager but I knew this was different.”

She noticed her eye was drooping in the following days and was rushed to the hospital by her husband.

A CT scan revealed Leigh had torn her right carotid artery, sending a blood clot to her brain, which caused the stroke.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a stroke is the most serious risk resulting from the tear. Treatments for the tear focus on preventing blood clots from forming and potentially causing a stroke.

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After spending weeks recovering in bed, Leigh said she got back into yoga. She said she focuses on simple stretches and poses she feels safe in.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, yoga is considered a safe physical activity when done correctly.

“The most common injuries are sprains and strains,” the government said. “Serious injuries are rare. The risk of injury associated with yoga is lower than that for higher impact sports activities.”

It recommends yoga beginners avoid “extreme” poses like handstands or the lotus position.

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