The Tantric Origins of Hatha Yoga

The Tantric Origins of HaṬha YOGA


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Ancient History Revealed

Hatha Yoga encompasses most forms of yoga practiced by millions around the world today. It's an ancient Sanskrit term meaning the 'force' (haṭha) or 'power' (shakti). The term originally referred to mantras, as applied to the 'limbs' (aṅgas) of yoga from Patañjali's Yogasūtra. It was later renovated in the medieval Tantras into a life-affirming, body-engaged practice. As such, beginning in 1100 A.D., Hatha yoga gradually came to be a system of practice focused on engaging a sequence (vinyāsa) of mantra-led postures (kāraṇas, āsanas) designed to align the body, mind and spirit.

Yet little is actually known about how these practices were originally engaged. Yogavidhi is the term used in ancient Tantras for the daily Yoga ritual, from which all modern systems of Vinyāsa-based Yoga derive. These include the practice of mantra later omitted in the post-Tantric Hatha Yoga corpus. Christopher's research unveils these ancient Yoga practices from source texts.

Access Christopher's cutting-edge evidence, teachings and downloadable courses to dive deep into Yoga's ancient history.


Christopher P. Tompkins is a scholar of the ancient Sanskrit language. He seeks to bring forth the unknown origins of Hatha Yoga.

Yoga History unveiled

Watch a never before seen video timeline mapping the +1000 evolution of Vinyasa-based Yoga

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Extraordinary Scholarship

Learn about Christopher's nine-year mission to uncover the roots of Vinyasa-based yoga from source texts

Now I will teach you the sequence comprising the ritual of physical yoga practice…which grants all wishes and destroys all suffering
— Lord Shiva to his son Skanda, Sarvajñānottara Tantra, ca. 7th century