In yoga therapy training, we learn about many pathologies and how yoga therapy may be advised in support of people who are managing these pathologies. Yet, very often, people do not seek yoga therapy without having already received other types of therapies, including pharmacotherapies. Such is the case of most people who are dealing with one of the cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure (congestive heart failure) and high blood pressure (hypertension), among others, with type 2 diabetes and stroke being related conditions. Multiple pharmacotherapies are used to treat all of these cardiovascular diseases and the drugs used have a variety of wanted and unwanted effects. For instance, alpha blockers are used, typically in conjunction with diuretics, to lower blood pressure. However, in addition to relaxing the muscles of the blood vessels, alpha blockers relax other muscles of the body and this may affect a yoga practice. In addition, the blood pressure of people with alpha blockers on board may initially be too low, resulting in a feeling of faintness when rising from a lying down pose to an upright or standing pose.
We as yoga therapists are accountable to collect and maintain a current list of the drugs our clients are taking, and we need to know about the various effects of these drugs. This is the reason that I, as a pharmacologist and yoga therapist, designed a continuing education course on pharmacology for yoga therapists. It is an approved professional development course for IAYT.