Although he’s not a yoga practitioner, 45-year old Daniel Miller from New South Wales, Australia knew enough about yoga to know how doing a common pose saved his life. Miller was stuck in a water hole with his nose just a few centimeters above the water line. He survived by doing Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) for hours until a neighbor heard his screams for help.
According to a report in 9NEWS Australia, on Tuesday, Miller was working on his property in Charlotte Bay, when the banks of a dam gave way. He became trapped in the open cabin of his mini-excavator with the beam of the machinery pinning him down. He had to struggle to hold himself up with his back arched to be able to breathe for two hours as he shouted for help.
Rescuers got the call from Miller’s neighbor at 2:30pm. When Firefighters arrived at the scene, they said by pure chance, a large rock at the edge of the water hole managed to hold most of the weight of the rolling arm, preventing it from crushing Miller completely.
Miller said that holding his nose above the water line in a yoga pose enabled him to survive the ordeal.
“I was trapped and had to keep my head up above water using my arms. I guess it was the cobra position… I’m not a yogi but I guess you could say yoga saved my life, that and the will to live,” he said.
In order to free him, resuers had to remove the mud underneath Miller to lower his body away from the excavator’s roll bar and pull him out to safety.
Miller’s wife, Saimaa, wrote on Facebook that it was more than just luck that kept her husband alive to come home to her and their two children
“It was literally sheer mental strength and determination to survive that got him through. As well as being fit, strong and healthy… It had nothing to do with luck. Legendary effort from a legendary man,” she wrote.
Miller is reportedly currently in stable condition. He was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital where medical staff said that he only suffered minor physical injuries, however was traumatized by his two hour struggle to live.