Haṭha Yoga from a Historical and Ethnographic Perspective
Daniela Bevilacqua [+]
SOAS, University of London
Chapter 4 deals with haṭha yoga. It initially considers definitions and the development of the label and its related practices found in Sanskrit textual sources. Then, it looks for haṭha yoga in vernacular sources, highlighting the absence of this label with the exceptions of a few references that, nevertheless, link it to tapasyā. This ‘vernacular’ understanding is then related to the understandings of haṭha yoga among contemporary sādhus. These emic understandings are here properly analyzed since they open up new scenarios for interpreting the role and audience of haṭha yoga textual sources.