An interactive workshop on “Yoga and psychotherapy (Bridging East and West)” was presented by Dr STEPHEN PARKER (Stomaji) Psy.D from the USA on the auspicious day of Saraswati Puja, 29th September 2017 at the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research of the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth at MGMC&RI.
Stomaji (Dr Parker) specializes in counseling psychology and serves on the teaching faculties of several Universities in Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He studied Sanskrit at the University of Minnesota under Swami Veda Bharati. Dr. Parker has been a teacher of yoga and meditation for over 30 years and is a grandparented Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level of the Yoga Alliance. A member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, he serves on the faculties of the Meditation Center in Minneapolis and the Sadhanamandir and Sadhaka Gram ashrams in Rishikesh, India. He is also a senior faculty member of the International Himalayan Yoga Teachers’ Association. He has lectured on yoga, meditation and spiritual practice throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as in Carribean countries, Holland, 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. He is a Sanskrit scholar and has been the chief editor of Swami Veda’s commentaries on Yoga Sutras. Dr. Parker was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition in 1971 by Swami Veda Bharati (formerly Dr. Usharbudh Arya), and was given the initiate name Stoma. He served for a year in the ashram at the Meditation Center in Minneapolis, MN.
The workshop organized by Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Director of CYTER and his team was attended by faculty members, students and staff of the CYTER, MGMCRI, IGIDS, AYUSH department of Puducherry as well as invited guests in the field of Yoga and Yoga therapy. Topics covered include a detailed understanding the links between Yoga and psychotherapy as well as the concepts and techniques of Yoga that are amiable to be utilised in psychological counselling and therapy. Important case studies and anecdotes from his nearly four decade career were shared in a jovial and enlightening manner. All participants felt renewed by the session that gave an impetus to the work being done at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth towards the integration of yoga therapy in mainstream modern medicine.
“Make your work a play, then all life will be joyful” was the parting message from Stomaji