Principles and Practices of the Haṭha[yoga]pradīpikā

Join Dr Graham Burns for a look at the yoga of the Haṭhapradīpikā and some of its important principles which can usefully be brought into teaching.

History of Yoga image

‘The science of haṭha yoga should be kept top secret by the yogi desirous of success. It is potent when concealed and impotent when revealed.’ (Haṭha[yoga]pradīpikā 1.11)

The Haṭhapradīpikā

Despite the verse above, the Haṭhapradīpikā – often referred to as the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā – is one of the best known source texts of haṭha yoga. This is, at least in part, because, although very largely a compilation of verses from earlier texts, it is one of the first texts to offer a thorough and complete haṭha yoga system.

The Haṭhapradīpikā was probably composed in the 15th century. It is attributed to an author called Svātmārāma, about whom nothing is known. Its name means ‘the casting of light on haṭha yoga’, and it was specifically composed (it says) ‘for those wandering in the darkness of too many theories’ as a ‘stairway’ or ‘ladder’ leading to rāja yoga (here a synonym for samādhi, the deepest state of yoga).

Which teachings of the the Haṭhapradīpikā will we study?

‘Haṭha yoga’ is often used in the contemporary yoga world as a synonym for any non-lineage based physical yoga practice. However, the yoga of the Haṭhapradīpikā contains many elements not routinely found in most 21st century yoga classes, and a number of important principles which can usefully be brought into teaching. In this workshop, Graham will present a brief introduction to the text, focussing on some of those important principles and their relevance to contemporary practice and teaching, before leading you through an integrated practice incorporating accessible physical cleansing techniques, āsana, mudrā and bandha, prāṇāyāma, and meditation

Workshop Format

A 2.5 hour theory and practice workshop via Zoom.

Who is this for?

The workshop is suitable for all levels of yoga experience, other than beginners, though some familiarity with prāṇāyāma is desirable. We are sorry, but some of the practices will not be appropriate for those who are pregnant or who have recently given birth – you are welcome to join the workshop, but will need to modify your practice accordingly.

‘Haṭha yoga is a sanctuary for those experiencing every type of suffering. It is the foundation for those practising every type of yoga.’ (Haṭha[yoga]pradīpikā 1.11)


The live session is recorded and access to replay is included for 21 days after the event.

Certification & Hours

You will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Completion. The Principles and Practices of the Haṭha[yoga]pradīpikā counts for 2.5 Continuing Education hours through Yoga Alliance.

In affiliation with OrangeYoga Education

OrangeYoga Education

Meet the Teacher

Dr. Graham Burns has taught regular yoga classes for over 20 years. He is a faculty member of the Yogacampus Yoga Teacher Training Programme, where he teaches, amongst other things, the history and philosophies of yoga, Sanskrit, and meditation. He holds a Master’s degree in Indian religions and a PhD in Indian philosophy, both from SOAS University of London, where he has also lectured on the MA programme in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation. Graham particularly enjoys bringing some of the ancient textual teachings of yoga to life through practice, and is known for his accessible and light hearted style of teaching.

Graham Burns Teaching