Upcoming Events

The Yogic Breath

Past Events

Untangling Traditions: Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy

"This conference will present the AyurYog Project results and outputs and showcase our collaborations with other research projects, scholars and practitioners. We will reflect on our research processes and critically explore methodologies. Finally, we will offer important emerging directions for future research."

Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th

Alte Kappelle, University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2., 1090 Vienna

MS Add Ms 4099, fol. 056. British Library.

The Lost Āsanas of Eighteenth-Century Rajasthan

A practical workshop with Jason Birch and Jacqui Hargreaves at Yoga Junction.

Jason Birch (DPhil. Oxon) and Jacqueline Hargreaves (BE Hons.) will present a three-hour interactive session that will focus on a collection of 84 āsanas that was practised in Rajasthan in the eighteenth century. Many of these āsanas were unknown to the gurus who transmitted yoga to an international audience in early twentieth century. This workshop will offer historical information on this unique collection, which has been gleaned from textual and visual material that Jason and Jacqui collected from libraries in Rajasthan during their extensive fieldwork for the Hatha Yoga Project. It will provide an opportunity for participants to practise some of the more accessible āsanas, along with the breathing and gazing practices associated with them. In addition, workshop participants will be invited to an exclusive tour on January 30th of the exhibition, Embodied Liberation, which will show case the research of the Hatha Yoga Project, and is open to the public from 16th January to 21st March at the Brunei Gallery. The time of the tour (on Jan 30th) will be decided during the workshop.

Date and Time 

Sunday, January 26th
14:00 – 17:00 GMT

Booking through Yoga Junction.

A woman acrobat with her belongings.
Watercolour by unknown Indian artist (19th c). 10-7x12-3cm.
Wellcome Library no. 576528i

Haṭhābhyāsapaddhatī: A Precursor of Modern Yoga

This workshop will present the history and practice of the only sequential āsana routine that has been preserved in a premodern manuscript. One hundred and twelve āsanas, many of which are based on the movements of animals, are described in an eighteenth-century yoga text called the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, 'a manual on the practice of Haṭhayoga'. 

The āsanas are divided into six sequences and some of them involve repetitive movement and require extraordinary strength and flexibility, as well as the use of rope. Many of these āsanas remain unknown to modern yoga practitioners.

The first session will introduce the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati with a general lecture on the practice it teaches and its place within the broader history of yoga. Obvious questions will be addressed, such as the text's date and authorship, unique features of its content and the role of its āsanas within the system of yoga it teaches. The text's contribution to the traditions of yoga at the Mysore Palace and its possible influence on Kṛṣṇamācārya will be discussed.

The second session will guide participants through a practice based on a truncated sequence using some of the more accessible āsanas in the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati. The Sanskrit descriptions and some nineteenth-century illustrations will be presented so that various possibilities and ambiguities for each āsana can be explored. The earliest known dog and cat poses, which are very different to those in modern yoga, will be included, as well as various birds and reptiles. The poses will be taught in a safe way with options to make it accessible for most body types.

London Yoga Festival - 13th October 2018
Yoga Junction - 7th October 2018
Triyoga (Camden, London) - 11th August 2018
Yogame Studio (Prague, Czech Republic) - 24th June 2018
Yoga Campus (Finsbury Park, London) - 3rd June 2018
YogaJaya (Tokyo) - 25th - 26th April 2018
Jagiellonian University (Krakow) - August 2017
British Wheel of Yoga (Scotland) - 2016
British Wheel of Yoga (Wales) - 2016
British Wheel of Yoga 50th Anniversary - 2015
COMO Shambhala (Singapore) - 2014

Seminar for the Masters of Yoga Studies
The New Story of Haṭha Yoga
Haṭha Yoga Project Team
University Ca' Foscari
7th - 9th September 2018

Yoga Studies Summer School
The Jagiellonian University Institute for the Study of Religions
21st July - 5th August 2017

21st June 2016

Yoga in Wales: The Hidden History of Yoga
British Wheel of Yoga, Wales
5th - 6th March 2016

The Evolution of Yoga: Is history repeating itself?
British Wheel of Yoga - Congress 2015: 50 year celebrations
10th- 11th April, 2015