SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

James Mallinson

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James Mallinson
Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia

Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies

Centre of Buddhist Studies

Member, Centre of Buddhist Studies

Centre of Jaina Studies

Member, Centre of Jaina Studies

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

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:
On Sabbatical:
On Research Leave 2015-2020


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
PhD Students supervised
  • Avni Chag, Strategies of Sectarian Institutionalisation and Survival: Textual Antiquation and Redaction in the Svāminārāyaṇa Sampradāya
  • Georgie Carroll, Working Title: Towards an Eco-Aesthetic of Indian Poetry
  • Karen O'Brien-Kop, The Pātañjalayogaśāstra: An Intertextual Study (working title)
  • Maddalena Italia, The erotic untranslatable: the modern reception of Sanskrit love poetry in the West and in India
  • Patricia Sauthoff, Open Secrets and the Retention of Power in Kashmir Saivism


Authored Books

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

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

Book Chapters

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

Mallinson, James (2011) 'Haṭha Yoga.' In: Jacobsen, Knut A. and Basu, Helen and Malinar, Angelika and Narayanan, Vasudha, (eds.), Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Leiden: Brill, pp. 770-781. (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 2 South Asia)

Mallinson, James (2011) 'Nāth Saṃpradāya.' In: Jacobsen, Knut A. and Basu, Helen and Malinar, Angelika and Narayanan, Vasudha, (eds.), Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol. 3. Leiden: Brill, pp. 407-428. (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 2 South Asia)

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.


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.

This list was generated on Sun Jul 23 03:25:05 2017 BST.