Speaker Series: A History of Hatha Yoga with Dr. James Mallinson



Speaker Series: A History of Hatha Yoga with Dr. James Mallinson


Wed., Jan 27 2016 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM


Clark Hall, Room 108

Please register here to join us for this event.* 

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.

Dr. Mallinson took his BA in Sanskrit and Old Iranian at the University of Oxford, followed by an MA in Area Studies (South Asia), with Ethnography as his main subject, at SOAS. His doctoral thesis, submitted to the University of Oxford, was a critical edition and annotated translation of the Khecarīvidyā, an early text of hatha yoga.
Dr. Mallinson has published eight books, all of which are editions and translations of Sanskrit yoga texts, epic tales and poetry. His recent work has used philological study of Sanskrit texts, ethnography and art history to explore the history of yoga and yogis. His next book, written in collaboration with Dr. Mark Singleton, is Roots of Yoga, to be published by Penguin Classics in 2016.
This talk is co-sponsored by the South-Asia Center.

Parking is available in the Central Grounds Parking Garage (fees apply).  Find a detailed map of the Grounds here

*Advanced registration preferred but not required. If the event reaches capacity, registered guests will have first seating priority. In the case of unforeseen event changes, we will be sure to communicate to all registered guests.