YS 206 | The Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭha Yoga's Source Text

Available for Self-Study


Course Description

The Amṛtasiddhi, the "Attainment of Immortality," is the first text to teach any of the practices and principles which came to be classified as haṭhayoga. It is thus the first text to teach physical yoga practices other than seated postures for meditation and basic breath control. The text’s teachings inspired many important subsequent works on yoga, several of which borrowed directly from it. The text's teachings are attributed to a great yogic adept (mahāsiddha) named Virūpa who has strong ties to south India as well as Vajrayāna Buddhism. 

The primary reading material for this course will be the Amṛtasiddhi itself. All enrolled students will be provided a PDF copy ofDr. James Mallinson and Dr. Péter-Dániel Szántó's brand new Sanskrit-English translation featured in The Amṛtasiddhi and Amṛtasiddhimūla: The Earliest Texts of the Haṭhayoga Tradition (École française d’Extreme-orient, Pondicherry, 2021)

Reading the Amṛtasiddhi

This course will begin with an overview of the Amṛtasiddhi in which we will look into its date (c. 11th century), its place of origin (the Deccan or south India) and its religious affiliation (Buddhist), as well as the content and structure of the text, and the manuscript sources that have been used to establish it.

Over the remainder of the course Dr. Mallinson will do a close reading of the text, in translation, with analysis of the Sanskrit where necessary and contextual commentary. The text comprises just over 300 verses, divided into 35 chapters. These cover the elements of the yogic body (chapters 1–10), the core practice of the text including the sequence of mahāmudrāmahābandha and mahāvedha (chapters 11–14), the characteristics of the different grades of practitioner (chapters 15–18), detailed descriptions of the four stages of yoga (chapters 19–31) and the results of success in the practice (chapters 32–35).

Knowledge of Sanskrit is NOT required to take this course. We will be reading the Amṛtasiddhi in English translation. However, having studied some Sanskrit will greatly enhance your ability to understand the subtler dimensions of the text. 

Students Will Receive: 

  • 12 pre-recorded class sessions (90 min each)
  • 5 YS Credits
  • 18 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Course Syllabus (PDF)
  • 6 Multiple Choice Quizzes (for fun)
  • Yogic Studies Certificate upon completion (PDF)
  • Access to the private Yogic Studies Online Community Forum

Dr. James Mallinson

SOAS, University of London

Dr. 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 (2015–2021), a six-person research project on the history of physical yoga funded by the European Research Council. The project’s core outputs will be ten critical editions of Sanskrit texts on physical yoga and four monographs on its history and current practice. Together with Professor Jürgen Hanneder (University of Marburg), Dr. Mallinson is now leading the Light on Hatha Yoga Project (2021–2024) which will produce a critical edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā.

Among Dr. Mallinson’s publications are The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha, a Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text on Haṭhayoga (Routledge, 2007), 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, Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics, 2017, co-authored with Mark Singleton) and The Amṛtasiddhi and Amṛtasiddhimūla: The Earliest Texts of the Haṭhayoga Tradition (École française d’Extreme-orient, Pondicherry, 2021). Dr. Mallinson has spent more than ten 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.

Enrollment is OPEN

Regular Tuition


One-Time Payment

  • Lifetime access to YS 206

Regular Tuition

$100 x 2

Two Monthly Payments

  • Lifetime access to YS 206

Membership Program


Monthly Subscription

  • Access to YS 206

  • Access to all YS + BS courses—including live and future courses 

  • Access to SKT 100a + SKT 100b


This course is eligible for 18 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance

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