Head and shoulders of depiction of the 'yogic body'.

Event information

7 Jan 2021


Online event

Please note this is an online event and will require you to use the video conferencing system Zoom.

These events are free however donations are greatly appreciated.

Professor James Mallinson is considered by many to be the world's leading scholar in the field of Haṭha yoga studies. His pioneering research has radically altered our knowledge of yoga's history.

In this live virtual discussion, he joins Imma Ramos, British Museum curator of the current exhibition Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, to explore the links between Haṭha yoga and ancient Tantric traditions, in light of the completion of a five-year research project at SOAS that examined the history of Hatha yoga in unprecedented depth.

Supported by the Bagri Foundation.

To attend this online event

Click 'Book now' to secure your place. We are hosting the event on Zoom – a free video conferencing system that requires users to register in advance. If you do not already use Zoom, you can sign up using this registration link.

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About the speakers

Dr James Mallinson is Reader in Indology and Yoga Studies at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on the history and current traditional practice of yoga and his primary methods are philology, ethnography and art history. Dr Mallinson led the Haṭha Yoga Project, a five-year six-person research project on the history of physical yoga funded by the European Research Council. The project's core output are 10 critical editions of Sanskrit texts on physical yoga and four monographs on its history and current practice.

Dr Mallinson's publications include the Penguin Classics book Roots of Yoga and The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha: a Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text on Haṭhayoga. The latter is a revision of his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Professor Alexis Sanderson at the University of Oxford, where Dr Mallinson also read Sanskrit as an undergraduate. Dr Mallinson has spent more than 10 years living in India with traditional ascetics and practitioners of yoga, and at the 2013 Kumbh Mela was awarded the title of Mahant by the Rāmānandī Saṃpradāya.

Imma Ramos

Dr Imma Ramos is the curator of the medieval to modern South Asia collections at the British Museum. She curated the current exhibition, Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, and is the author of its accompanying book which presents the first historical exploration of Tantric visual culture from its origins in India to its reimagining in the West. Her research interests revolve around the relationship between religion, politics and gender in South Asian visual culture. 

Imma completed her BA, MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, where she taught as a supervisor and lecturer. Her first book, Pilgrimage and Politics in Colonial Bengal: The myth of the goddess Sati, examines an ancient network of pilgrimage sites dedicated to Sati. Imma is also interested in filmmaking – before arriving at the Museum she worked as an arts researcher and associate producer on four BBC Four art documentaries.

Privacy policy

Privacy policy

The personal data you provide to us on the event booking form is being collected so that we can administer the event efficiently and, if necessary, contact you with important updates about the event. It will only be used by the British Museum for this purpose, it will not be shared with any third parties and it will be securely deleted as soon as the event has ended. This privacy information does not apply to the processing of your personal data by Zoom which will be governed by the terms of the agreement made between you and Zoom when you subscribed to their service.