Yoga instructor in China accidentally breaks woman's thighbone at private class

Wang is suing a yoga studio for future payments in her recovery.

A woman in eastern China said she plans to sue a yoga studio after the instructor accidentally broke her thighbone, or femur, during a class.

The woman, surnamed Wang, was attending her first-ever private lesson taught by a woman surnamed Li at the end of August in Anhui province, the Xinan Evening News reported.

During the class, Wang was told to practice the dragon pose, a hip-opening move with multiple variations stemming from a lunge-like posture.

Wang said the teacher gave her instructions and said that her left leg was in the wrong position.

“She was pushing down on my thigh, and pressed too hard. Suddenly, I just felt severe pain and could not move at all,” Wang was quoted as saying.

It turned out she had broken her leg and required medical attention. Li called an ambulance to take Wang to the hospital and doctors said she had a compound fracture on her femur and needed surgery.

The studio had already paid 50,000 yuan (S$10,500) for her medical fees but refused to pay more when the woman asked for compensation for her future treatment.

Wang was discharged from the hospital after 16 days but said she still cannot walk.

She said she would take the studio to court because she felt they had not handled the situation appropriately.

“I paid 6,000 yuan from my own pocket for the medical treatment because the hospital charged 56,000 yuan and the yoga studio only covered 50,000 yuan,” said Wang.

“What’s more, there will be other costs for rehabilitation in the future and my work will be affected due to this injury. I want reasonable compensation.”

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The studio told the newspaper that it was preparing for the lawsuit.

Orthopaedists in China said they had seen an increase in the number of visits due to injuries related to yoga, albeit usually not as serious as a fractured femur, state media Xinhua reported.

At the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, doctors received three to four such patients per month, far more than years ago, the report said. Most of them were young women.

Pan Jun, a doctor from the hospital’s orthopaedics department, said common problems caused by over-exercising in yoga are lumbar disc protrusions, ligament strains, muscle tweaks, knee damage, soft bone tearing and heel tendon injuries.

“Many patients said that they felt it was hard to bear their weight when doing some yoga poses but would try to carry on. This way of practising, challenging the limit of human bodies, often causes bad results for their health,” Pan was quoted as saying.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.