The Stories

One Bar Method Member Shares Her Journey From Stroke to Recovery

January 29, 2021

In today’s blog, Alex Castro shares how she has recovered from a stroke two years ago with the help of her Bar Method routine with her studio in Fresno, Cali. Read Alex’s full story below to learn more about her inspiring journey. 


Q&A with Alex! 


January 22nd marks the two-year anniversary of your stroke, and we’re so glad you’ve made a full recovery! Can you describe what happened?  

 I woke up on the morning of January 22, 2019, with my left arm completely numb. At first, I thought I’d slept on it wrong but quickly realized I was having a stroke. I couldn’t move my arm, and when I went to speak to my husband, my speech was completely distorted. The strange thing is that I knew my speech wasn’t right, but I made an effort to really pronounce my words and I understood what I was saying. But my husband said it wasn’t clear at all and realized I was having a stroke when he saw me. I immediately went to the hospital.  

 I guess at this point I should back up to tell you that two days earlier I woke up with stroke symptoms and went to the hospital. By the time I arrived, I was back to normal. But two more times while in the emergency room the same thing happened. They told me I had a few transient ischemic attacks, which are mini-strokes that you completely recover from and don’t cause permanent damage. I stayed at the hospital that night and went home the next afternoon. Unfortunately, that night at home is when I had a full-blown stroke.   

After consultation with the doctor, I was airlifted to Stanford. It was one of the scariest days of my life — and it was also scary for my husband as I was being loaded into the helicopter with him watching from afar. I ended up not needing surgery, and my condition just needed to be managed with medication. Luckily, I only needed one month of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. I’m now back to 100% and everyday I’m grateful for life. 



What was your recovery process like? 

 I was one of the lucky ones. After only a month of therapies, I was probably 80% back to what I was before the stroke. The other 20% was hopefully going to just get better with time — and it did. I attribute my quick recovery to the strength I had from doing The Bar Method. When I talked to the physical therapist about The Bar Method and told her what I did, she encouraged me to go back to it right away. So after two months, I plunged back into my barre routine. It definitely helped and made a difference in my mind, body and spirit.  

How did you get started with The Bar Method? 

I started The Bar Method in Fresno about seven years ago. I saw they were opening a studio in Fresno and thought it sounded interesting. I’d done Pilates for several years and really enjoyed that. I joined The Bar Method a month after they opened the Fresno studio and never looked back. I absolutely love it and how it makes me feel, and I love our studio owner, Lauren Hoestra.  

What drew you to the program? 

I was looking for something new and something that felt doable for me to be consistent with. 

How has The Bar Method impacted your overall health? 

It’s made me stronger in mind, body, and spirit. During the pandemic, I haven’t been as good about working out and really miss it. I’m committed to getting back to a regular Bar Method routine and return to the studio just as soon as possible.  

What would you suggest to someone who’s interested in trying the program? 

I would tell them to do it! It’s a great workout that targets all areas of your body. It’s a good workout for all ages. Even if someone has certain physical limitations, the instructors are always good about working with them on modifications.  


Inspired by Alex’s journey? You can find the same warm, welcoming family environment at a Bar Method studio near you! Click here to find your local studio, or join us at Bar Online to start streaming workouts today from home.