SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies Summer School 17 June 2019

WorkshopSOAS Centre of Yoga Studies Summer School
Date17 June 2019 for 3 weeks
LocationSOAS Centre of Yoga Studies, London

SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies Summer School

I will be working with Dr Karen-O’Brien-Kop to frame trips to the British Museum, British Library and Victoria and Albert Museum to explore yoga’s material culture, and also to present critical issues in contemporary yoga.

This summer school provides an introduction to yoga studies with classes on key aspects of yoga history, philosophy and contemporary practice. The course is structured into sections: textual history, philosophy, ethnography and bodily practice, Sanskrit language, and critical thought. The history section will constitute the primary focus of study and draw on the expertise of the SOAS Haṭha Yoga Project team to survey the history of hatha yoga through Sanskrit texts. The philosophy classes will introduce students to key concepts in classical yoga and to contextual readings of the Yogasūtra of Patañjali. In the ethnography class, students will reflect on ways to analyse experience and movement in postural yoga practice. The course also provides an introduction to key terms in the Sanskrit language for yoga studies and to scholarship on critical issues in contemporary yoga.

The summer school will be taught by the research team of the Haṭha Yoga Project (Drs James Mallinson, Mark Singleton, Daniela Bevilacqua, and Jason Birch) and other specialist scholars at SOAS.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Outline key texts and themes in the history of haṭha yoga and tantra
  • Discuss primary developments of modern yoga in the 20th century
  • Describe key schools and terms in classical yoga philosophy
  • Pronounce, spell, and translate a concise vocabulary of specialist yoga terms in Sanskrit
  • Reflect on ethnographic research methods in relation to postural yoga practices
  • Discuss current critical debates in contemporary globalised yoga 


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.


Dr Karen O’Brien-Kop