Hatha Yoga (Lance Nelson, Spring 2006)

Compiled by Lance Nelson, University of San Diego


Jones, Lindsay, ed. 2005. Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. [look up yoga, hatha yoga, kundalini, siddhis, etc. There’s an index in the final volume]

Burley, Mikel. 2000. Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Strauss, Sarah. 2005. Positioning Yoga. Berg Publishers.


Alter, Joseph S. 2004. Yoga in Modern India: The Body Between Science and Philosophy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Bernard, Theos. 1968. Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience. New York, S. Weiser [or New York: Columbia University Press, 1944]

de Michelis, Elizabeth. 2005. A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali and Western Esotericism. New York: Continuum.

Sjoman, N. E. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1999.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. 1994. Autobiography of a Yogi. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity Publishers.


Magee, Mike. Yoga and the Nath Sampradaya http://www.shivashakti.com/yogas.htm

Banerjea, Akshaya Kumar. 1999. Philosophy of Gorakhnath: With Goraksha-Vacana-Sangraha. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Briggs, George Weston. 2001. Gorakhnath and the Kanphata Yogis. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. [In its last section, deals with Goraksasataka and gives an English translation and annotations, and discusses the physiological concepts, chief aims and methods.]

Flood, Galvin. 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. New York: Cambridge University Press. [See pp. 98-102 for a brief overview of Hatha Yoga.]

Eliade, Mircea. 1969. Yoga, Immortality, and Freedom. Trans. W. R. Trask. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. See pp. 227-249 on Hatha Yoga.

Gheranda. 2004. Gheranda Samhita. Trans. by James Mallinson. Woodstock, NY: YogaVidya.com

Gheranda. 1992. Pure Yoga: A Translation from the Sanskrit into English of the Tantrik Work, The Gherandasamhita, with a Guiding Commentary. Trans. by Yogi Pranavananda, eited with introduction by Tony Rodriguez and Kanshi Ram. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Larson, Gerald. Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophy, volume on yoga (forthcoming). Has a chapter on hatha yoga.

Ruff, Jeffrey Clark. 2002. History, Text, and Context of the Yoga Upanisads. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara. [Univ. Microfilms International 3073645]

Svatmarama, Svami. Hathayogapradipika. Trans. by Brian Dana Akers. Woodstock, NY: YogaVidya.com. [best to look for the Lonavla translation by Swami Digambarji, if possible (EM)]

White, David. 1996. The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.


1. [O]thing that might be of interest esp. to undergraduates is Kadetsky’s _First There is a Mountain_ which is a semi-autobiographical account of a journalist’s stay with the Iyengar’s in Pune and her attempts to get to the bottom of modern yoga’s history. It is a real page-turner, I personally read it in a few hours–couldn’t put it down. Not academic, but has its virtues. Also Alter’s _Gandhi’s Body_ and _The Wrestler’s Body_ are perhaps even better than his _Yoga in Modern India_ for getting at ubiquitous modern yoga practices like “Surya Namaskar” and the physical culture of yoga. N.E. Sjoman also has another book out, _Yoga Touchstone_ which extends some of his ruminations from _Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace_ as well. [S. R. Sarbacker]

2. Newcombe, Suzanne

2005 ? “Spirituality and ‘Mystical Religion’ in Contemporary Society: A Case Study of British Practitioners of the Iyengar Method of Yoga”, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 20, no. 3:305-321.

Singleton, Mark

2005 ? “Salvation Through Relaxation: Proprioceptive Therapy in Relation to Yoga”, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 20, no.3 :289-304.

More details and info on Cambridge research activities in this area may be found at:


[E. De Michelis]

3. Three major recent books:

A History of Modern Yoga by Elizabeth de Michelis (Continuum, 2004)

Positioning Yoga by Sarah Strauss (Berg, 2005)

Yoga in Modern India by Joseph Alter (Princeton, 2004)


The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace by N. Sjoman (Abhinav, 1996).

[C. K. Chapple]