SOAS University of London

Embodied Liberation: The Textual, Ethnographic and Historical Research of the Hatha Yoga Project

Nāgā saṃnyāsin, Ambubāchī Melā 2017, Kāmākhyā Temple (Guwahati, Assam). Photography: Daniela Bevilacqua.

Date: 17 January 2020Time: 10:30 AM

Finishes: 21 March 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Exhibition Rooms

Type of Event: Exhibition

SOAS’s Brunei Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Embodied Liberation which aims to highlight the most recent research discoveries in the field of Yoga Studies as identified by the Hatha Yoga Project, SOAS.

The exhibition will lead the audience through different chronological periods of yoga’s history using a variety of visual and interactive mediums which derive from the diverse methodological approaches used by the research team. Handwritten Sanskrit manuscripts, which are fascinating samples of the principal textual discoveries of the project, will be on display. A vivid Mughal painting of pre-modern asceticism will be contrasted with photographs and video material sourced during extensive ethnographic fieldwork of present-day ascetic practitioners in India, including very rare examples of female practitioners.

Two of the highlights of the exhibition will be photographs of the oldest known sculptures of complex yoga postures (i.e., the twelfth-century Mehudī Gate of Gujarat, India) and a multimedia video installation of embodied philology - the reconstruction of the āsanas (along with Sanskrit recitation and English translation) of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, an eighteenth-century Sanskrit manual on the practice of haṭhayoga, which is one of the ten critical editions to be published by the project.

Find out more about the Hatha Yoga Project, SOAS

Images from the exhibition