SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Dr Jason Birch

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Birch Jason - SAS IMG 240 186 56
South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Research Associate

Centre of Yoga Studies


Dr Jason Birch
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SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
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After completing a first class honours degree in Sanskrit and Hindi at the University of Sydney under Dr Peter Oldmeadow, Jason was awarded a Clarendon scholarship to undertake a DPhil in Oriental Studies at Balliol College, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Alexis Sanderson, All Souls College. Jason was a student of Prof. Sanderson for six years. His dissertation (submitted 2013) focused on the earliest known Rājayoga text called the Amanaska and included a critical edition and annotated translation of this Sanskrit work along with a monographic introduction which examines the influence of earlier Śaiva tantric traditions on the Amanaska as well as the significance of the Amanaska in more recent yoga traditions.

In 2014 Jason was a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and a visiting associate professor at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. In 2015 he was invited to research the histories of yoga, āyurveda and rasaśāstra as a visiting post-doctoral fellow on a project called Ayuryog at the University of Vienna. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at SOAS University of London on the Haṭha Yoga Project, which has been funded for five years by the ERC. His area of research is the history of physical yoga on the eve of colonialism. He is editing and translating six texts on Haṭha and Rājayoga, which are outputs of the project, and supervising the work of two research assistants at the Ecole française d' Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry. 

At SOAS Jason has taught two courses for the MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation and a Sanskrit reading course for fourth-year undergraduates. He has given seminars on the history of yoga for MA programs at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice, Italy and Won Kwang University in Iksan, South Korea. He also collaborates with Jacqueline Hargreaves on TheLuminescent.





In general, Indian history, religions and Sanskrit.

More specifically, yoga, Śaivism, āyurveda, textual criticism and codicology.



Jump to: Articles | Book Chapters |

Birch, Jason and Singleton, Mark (2019) 'The Yoga of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati: Haṭhayoga on the Cusp of Modernity'. Journal of Yoga Studies, (2) 1, pp 3-70.

Birch, Jason Eric (2019) 'The Amaraughaprabodha: New Evidence on the Manuscript Transmission of an Early Work on Haṭha- and Rājayoga'. Journal of Indian Philosophy, (47) 5, pp 947-977.

Birch, Jason (2018) 'Premodern Yoga Traditions and Ayurveda'. History of Science in South Asia, (6), pp 1-83.

Birch, Jason (2013) 'Rājayoga: The Reincarnations of the King of All Yogas'. International Journal of Hindu Studies, (17) 3, pp 399-442.

Birch, Jason (2011) 'The Meaning of haṭha in Early Haṭhayoga'. Journal of the American Oriental Society, (131) 4, pp 527-554.

Book Chapters

Jump to: Articles | Book Chapters |

Birch, Jason (2018) 'The Proliferation of A ̄sana-s in Late-Medieval Yoga Texts'. In: Baier, Karl and Maas, Philipp A. and Preisendanz, Karin, (eds.), Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Vienna: V&R unipress/ Vienna University Press, pp 101-180.


This list was last generated on Thursday, 6th May 2021, 22:10 Europe/London.