The Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati (HAP), ‘a manual on the practice of Haṭhayoga’, is an eighteenth-century Sanskrit text on Yoga that is preserved by a single manuscript. It extends our knowledge of Haṭhayoga in India prior to British colonialism. The early texts of Haṭhayoga taught only a handful of seated āsanas for the purpose of prāṇāyāma and meditation. After the celebrated Haṭhapradīpikā (fifteenth-century), large numbers of non-seated āsanas, many of which required extraordinary strength and flexibility to accomplish, were documented in some yoga texts. The āsanas of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati seem to represent the culmination of this development. In fact, the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati is the only known premodern work that teaches complex sequences of āsanas, which are said to result in bodily strength and firmness (śārīradārḍhya). It is likely that this tradition of Haṭhayoga was influenced by premodern forms of Indian martial arts and physical culture.

One hundred and twelve āsanas, many of which are based on the movements of animals, are described in the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati. The sequential āsana routine that has been preserved in this premodern manuscript is divided into six groupings, with some āsanas that involve repetitive movement, others that require extraordinary strength and flexibility, as well as the use of rope. Many of these āsanas remain unknown to modern yoga practitioners.


The Haṭha Yoga Project
The Luminescent
Rotary English Medium School, Khed

Project Director

Jacqueline Hargreaves, The Luminescent


Dr Jason Birch, The Haṭha Yoga Project
Dr Mark Singleton, The Haṭha Yoga Project
Dr Jim Mallinson, The Haṭha Yoga Project


(in alphabetical order)

Philippa Asher
Shivani Dilip Chavan
Pawan Parish Chikhale
Agata (Agi) Gazda
Swaphil Balkrishn Jadhav
Aditya Prakash Jangam
Jay Sandeep Kalekar
Mangesh Shashikant Khopkar (Teacher)
Ruth Westoby

Sanskrit Recitation

Dr Bihani Sarkar

Video, Web and Film Editorial

Bruce McCallum, Serious Video
Prashant K P. Sure, Freakozoid
Jacqueline Hargreaves, The Luminescent

Facilities Host

Colin Dunsmuir, True Yoga (London)
Mangesh Shashikant Khopkar, Rotary English Medium School (Khed)


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