Michael was a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, Buddhist teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and philosophical understanding. The components of his practice included yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation and textual study. His research and teaching explored the intersection of committed spiritual practice and social action. His primary yoga teacher was Richard Freeman.
Michael’s yoga teaching method was rooted in slowing down the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa krama sequences in order to bring deeper awareness to the subtle aspects of postures, balancing attention to alignment with meditative awareness. His meditation teachings integrated traditional Vipassana and Zen forms with insights from Yoga and Mahayana Buddhism, without losing the integrity of each tradition.
Michael’s books include – The Inner Tradition of Yoga, Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life, and Yoga for a World Out of Balance: Teachings on Ethics and Social Action. At the time of his death, Stone was working on a book he was calling The National Parks of the Mind: A Field Guide to Mental States.
In addition to yoga and Buddhism, social action was important to him. Describing his personal mission on his website, he wrote that it was:
“To translate traditional wisdom teachings into contemporary tools and make them available globally. Tools to create a culture of compassion and collaboration. I’ve realized that the habits I once thought were personal are actually internalized narratives from the culture we live in. Therefore, I believe that inner transformation and social awakening are one.”
Michael tragically passed away in July 2017.