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Florida Yoga Practitioner Injured When Iguana Falls on his Face

On January 7, savasana proved a little less restful than usual for one Miami yogi, who experienced “excruciating pain” when a giant lizard fell out of a tree onto his face.

The practitioner, named Michael, was nearing the end of the free class that yoga instructor Anamargret Sanchez holds every Saturday in Miami’s Legion Park. After about 47 minutes of peaceful stretching amid the trees, Sanchez invited the participants to lie down on their mats. Attendees then prepared to get into savasana, a posture of rest and a traditional closing pose.

It was at that moment—around 47:40 in the video below—that two iguanas began fighting in a tree above the yogis’ heads. You can hear rustling branches, a loud commotion, and then a heavy thump

That thump was the sound of a 15-pound iguana falling 25 feet onto a man’s face. At first, Sanchez turns, sees the lizard, and laughs. Then she sees Michael’s face covered in blood.

“Oh no,” she says, and she leaps to her feet to help.

“It was a big one!” one participant later commented on Legion Park Yoga’s Instagram page. Around minute 48:00 in the video, a handful of paramedics run over from their shopping at a nearby florist’s stand, bouquets in hand, to help. Sanchez appears on camera shortly after.   

Image by Tier Und Naturfotografie J und C Sohns

“Guys, I think we’re going to close the class right now,” she says. “I’ve got to take care of somebody that just got an iguana dropped on his face.”

Michael later told the Miami New Times that he didn’t see the lizard coming, and that it felt like someone had walloped him in the eye with a sandbag. While iguanas are a common nuisance in many Florida parks (and often fall out of trees) they rarely hit people.  

“Then I thought maybe the guy next to me slugged me — but, I mean, we’re in a yoga class and it’s so calm and peaceful,” he said. “Why would the guy hit me?” It took him a few moments to realize that the cause of the injury was an enormous lizard reaching terminal velocity. 
Understandably, Michael declined to release his last name in relation to the incident. “I don’t want to be known as the guy whose face was used as an iguana landing pad,” he told the Miami New Times. However, the accident doesn’t appear to have impeded his regular yoga practice; Michael allegedly returned to class the following Saturday—albeit with a black eye.

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