Speaker Series: A History of Hatha Yoga with Dr. James Mallinson
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Hatha yoga is the method of premodern yoga practice in which physical methods are most prominent. It was first codified in Sanskrit texts in the 11th-15th centuries CE, and its practices are the source of much of the yoga practiced around the world today. In this talk, Dr. James Mallinson will draw on textual and ethnographic study to trace hatha yoga’s history. The talk will be accompanied by illustrations of historical materials and photographs of traditional practitioners of hatha yoga in India today.
James Mallinson spent several years living with itinerant ascetic practitioners of yoga in India and is now a Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. At the 2013 Kumbh Mela festival he was honored with the title of “Mahant” by the Rāmānandī Sampradāya, the largest ascetic order in India today. The ceremony was filmed as part of a documentary on the Kumbh Mela broadcast by the Smithsonian Channel.
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