SOAS University of London

School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Dr James Mallinson

  • Teaching
  • Expertise
  • Publications


James Mallinson
Department of Religions and Philosophies, School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Reader in Indology and Yoga Studies

Centre of Jaina Studies

Member, Centre of Jaina Studies

Centre of Buddhist Studies


SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Centre of Yoga Studies


Dr James Mallinson
Email address:
020 7898 4368
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
By appointment


James Mallinson is Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London.

He 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 haṭhayoga.

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.

From 2015 to 2020 Dr Mallinson will be leading and ERC - funded research project on the history of hatha yoga which will result in ten critical editions and translations of key yoga texts, four monographs and two large conferences to be held at SOAS in 2017 and 2019.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Monika Hirmer, Becoming the Goddess: Study of a Contemporary South Indian Tantric Tradition and its Implications for Concepts of Personhood, Gender Relations and Everyday Life
  • Ruth Westoby, Gendered constructs in Haṭha Yoga
  • Sandra Sattler, Cāmuṇḍā’s Glory:Representations of the Fierce Goddess in Puranic Literature and (Temple) Art
  • Shubha Shanthamurthy, Evolution of Śaivism in the Deccan in the 12th to 14th centuries CE


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Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
Regional Expertise
  • South Asia
Country Expertise
  • India
  • Hindi


Authored Books

Mallinson, James and Singleton, Mark (2017) Roots of Yoga. London: Penguin Books.

Mallinson, James (2007) The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of An Early text of Haṭhayoga. London: Routledge.


Flügel, Peter and Balogh, Dániel and Wright, J. Clifford and Mallinson, James (2020) 'Jaina Non-Tīrthas in Madhyadeśa I: Fragments of Digambara Temples and A New Vaiṣṇava Inscription in Tumain'. Jaina Studies - Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies, (15), pp 23-30.

Mallinson, James (2019) 'Kālavañcana in the Konkan: How a Vajrayāna Haṭhayoga Tradition Cheated Buddhism’s Death in India'. Religions, (10) 4, pp 1-33.

Mallinson, James (2014) 'Haṭhayoga’s Philosophy: A Fortuitous Union of Non-Dualities'. Journal of Indian Philosophy, (42) 1, pp 225-247.

Mallinson, James (2014) 'The Yogīs’ Latest Trick'. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, (24) 1, pp 165-180.

Mallinson, James (2013) 'Yogic Identities: Tradition and Transformation'. Smithsonian Institute Research Online.

Book Chapters

Mallinson, James (2020) 'Haṭhayoga’s Early History: From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology'. In: Flood, Gavin D., (ed.), Hindu Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 177-199.

Mallinson, James (2020) 'The Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭhayoga’s Tantric Buddhist Source Text'. In: Goodall, Dominic and Hatley, Shaman and Isaacson, Harunaga and Raman, Srilata, (eds.), Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions. Leiden: Brill, pp 409-425.

Mallinson, James (2018) 'Yoga and Sex: What is the Purpose of Vajrolīmudrā?'. In: Baier, Karl and Maas, Philipp André and Preisendanz, Karin, (eds.), Yoga in Transformation. Vienna: V&R Unipress, pp 181-222.

Mallinson, James (2016) 'Yogi Insignia in Mughal Painting and Avadhi Romances'. In: Orsini, Francesca and Lunn, David, (eds.), Objects, Images, Stories: Simon Digby’s historical method. OUP. [Forthcoming]

Mallinson, James (2011) 'The Original Gorakṣaśataka'. In: White, David Gordon, (ed.), Yoga in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp 257-272.

Mallinson, James (2011) 'Nāth Saṃpradāya'. In: Jacobsen, Knut A. and Basu, Helene and Malinar, Angelika and Narayanan, Vasudha, (eds.), Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol. 3. Leiden: Brill, pp 407-428.

Mallinson, James (2011) 'Haṭha Yoga'. In: Jacobsen, Knut A. and Basu, Helene and Malinar, Angelika and Narayanan, Vasudha, (eds.), Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Leiden: Brill, pp 770-781.

Mallinson, James (2011) 'Siddhi and Mahāsiddhi in Early Haṭhayoga'. In: Jacobsen, Knut A., (ed.), Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration. Leiden: Brill, pp 327-344.

Conference Items

Mallinson, James (2018) 'Yoga and Sex: What is the Purpose of Vajrolımudra?' In: Yoga in Transformation. [Unpublished]


This list was last generated on Sunday, 2nd October 2022, 10:53 Europe/London.