Dr. Stephen Parker was initiated in the Himalayan Yoga tradition by Swami Veda Bharati and was given the initiate name Stoma in 1971. Among the first teachers certified by the Himalayan International Teachers’ Association, H.I.T.A., he began teaching hatha-yoga in 1974. During that time he also studied Sanskrit with Swami Veda and South Asian languages and culture for his B.A. at the University of Minnesota. Stoma is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level of the Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500). A member of the International Association of Y.T., he serves on the faculties of the Meditation Center in Minneapolis and the Sadhaka Gram ashram in Rishikesh, India. He is also a senior faculty member of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition Teachers’ Training Program. He has lectured on yoga, meditation, yoga psychology and spiritual practice in the U.S. and Canada as well as in Carribean countries, Holland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Lithuania, South Africa, Korea, Hong Kong and India. In 2004 he helped originate and teach the first course on yoga in an American medical school at the University of Minnesota Academic Medical Center. In 2007 he received preliminary vows of renunciation from Swami Veda and the Shankaracharya of Karvirapitha.
Stoma has been a licensed psychologist in private practice in St. Paul, MN since 1985. He also serves as Adjunct Assistant School Professor of Counseling and Psychological Services at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. He teaches on the faculty of the Introductory Workshops of the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis. In addition to authoring journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Parker edited volume two of Swami Veda’s definitive scholarly work on the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali and he has been a peer review editor for the Journal of Men’s Studies, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, the International Journal of Yoga T. and Yoga Mimamsa. He is also the author of Clearing the Path, The Yoga Way to a Clear and Pleasant Mind: Yoga, Neuroscience and Emotion (2017) published by AHYMSA publishers and distributed by Lotus Press.