James Mallinson

When he is not paragliding across the Himalayan sky, Sir James Mallinson is a Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. Mallinson has published several books and papers of translated Sanskrit yoga texts, epic tales and poetry. He is an internationally recognized textual scholar, yoga practitioner, and documentary filmmaker with a public intellectual profile that speaks in equal measure to Sanskrit scholars as well as international yoga practitioners.

In 2015 he was ordained as a Mahant in the yogic sect of the 13 renouncers at the Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious festivals in the world. He was the subject of a BBC4 Documentary ‘West Meets East’ that followed him and Dominic West to the Kumbh Mela.

Mallinson serves as the Principal Investigator of a five-year multi-million-dollar research project called The Hatha Yoga Project (HYP). By studying yoga texts and conducting fieldwork among practitioners, the project hopes to chart the history of yoga practice. His latest book, Roots Of Yoga, was co-authored by Mark Singleton in 2017. It features translations of over 100 texts in 12 different languages.