Stephen Cope was educated at Amherst College, where he converted from Protestantism to being a Presbyterian and subsequently a Quaker. His working life began as a professional dancer. He then became a pianist at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He trained as a priest at Episcopal Divinity School in 1974, but was not ordained as he was openly homosexual. He took a master's degree in social work. He had a career as a psychotherapist in Boston and began practising yoga and Buddhist meditation.
He then became a Kripalu Yoga teacher, and author of several books on yoga and meditation including the bestselling Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. He is the founder of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living and is a scholar-in-residence at Kripalu and has given numerous training courses there. He was identified by Yoga Journal as one of the people who had "each, independently, discovered the benefits of merging mindfulness with asana", leading to "something we might call 'mindful yoga'."
- Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, Bantam, 2000. ISBN 978-0553386073
- Will Yoga & Meditation Really Change My Life?, Storey, 2003. ISBN 978-1580175098
- The Wisdom of Yoga, Bantam, 2007. ISBN 978-0553380545
- The Great Work of Your Life, Bantam Dell, 2015. ISBN 978-0553386073
- Deep Human Connection, Hay House, 2019. ISBN 978-1401946531
- Anderson, Diane. "YJ Interview: A Life Less Ordinary with Stephen Cope". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self". Google Books. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Meet Stephen Cope". Stephen Cope. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Stephen Cope | Scholar-In-Residence and Kripalu Ambassado". Kripalu. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- Isaacs, Nora (21 October 2008). "Bring More Mindfulness Onto the Mat". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope". Yog Sundari. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- Weisenberg, Bob (25 September 2012). "Stephen Cope Changed My Life. He Might Change Yours, Too". Elephant Journal.