Meet the Innovators: Stephen Cope

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Psychotherapist and yoga teacher Stephen Cope is senior scholar in residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was a leader in Kripalu's evolution from ashram to the largest residential yoga center in the world. He writes and teaches about the relationship between contemporary psychology and the Eastern contemplative traditions. In 1999 Bantam published his first book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, an exploration of yoga psychology and its relationship to the goals and practices of Western psychotherapy. He is currently working on a book about raja yoga, forthcoming in 2001. In conjunction with this project he is directing a series of annual raja yoga retreats at Kripalu. He is also directing, with Yoga Journal contributing editor Anne Cushman, a series of international conferences on yoga and Buddhism.

"Interest in yoga is exploding in this country because it speaks in a fresh way to our particular psychological suffering: the problems of self-estrangement," he says. "We live deeply ensconced in the cult of the individual. We feel separate from the body, from our inner sources of guidance, and from our deep mutual belonging and interdependence. Healing this alienation from the Self is the entire focus of yoga psychology. We are welcoming it with open arms!"