Authors of this article: Anna Shestopalova, Alexander Vijaya.
The purpose and objective of this work: to collect the maximum of available historical information (before the beginning-middle of the 20th century) on the gomukhasana pose with quotations and excerpts from treatises.
In this article, we considered the modern yoga posture gomukhasana, as it looked earlier in various primary sources (treatises before the beginning or middle of the 20th century). What was the description of the pose, which was called “gomukhasana”, what is its technique, features and benefits. We also considered the poses similar in technique to the modern version of gomukhasana, but with other names.
We used the list of primary sources (treatises) from the book “Encyclopaedia of Traditional Asanas” (ETA, editor-in-chief M. Gharote), from the article on gomukhasana, as the starting point of the work (road map). Then there was a search for texts on this list, which mention and describe the pose we need. The texts were mostly in Sanskrit, but also in other languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, a mixture of Hindi, Braj bhasha and Khari boli, as well as their translations into English and Russian.
Unlike the previous article on gomukhasana with a historical analysis of the posture
(article in English https://journal.openyogauniversity.com/2023/01/23/gomukhasana/)
this article includes new materials on this pose, not included in the previous one. Also, the emphasis of this article was not on the historical and chronological analysis of texts, where the pose and its interpretation were mentioned (analysis of the development of its various elements: the position of the legs, arms, the peculiarity of Sanskrit, the antiquity of the text, the position of the gaze, the benefits of doing, etc.), but on systematization of currently available to us specific excerpts and quotations from various disparate primary sources. That is, this article is as detailed and encyclopedic as possible.
We used all found quotes from primary sources in different languages, found images of asanas from treatises, books, photographs of figurines of this pose from museums and temples, to illustrate the article and demonstrate the complexity and ambiguity of the process of systematizing yoga asanas as well as the modern adaptation of yoga asanas in the world. We also tried to collect in this article a brief informational note on each of the treatises used: what kind of text, authorship, its dating, content and location (if we are talking about manuscripts). Those texts from the list in the book “Encyclopaedia of Traditional Asanas” (ETA), which we could not find and verify, were left in the article with the notice that we could not verify the material and we rely on the ETA
We used many quotes (in the original language with translation into Russian or English) to demonstrate what the description looks like in each text, rather than how we paraphrase or interpret. Also, a person who knows the language can see the peculiarity of the use of Sanskrit and other languages in the mention of postures.
Historical and detailed analysis of yoga asanas is either not done by almost anyone (with the exception of the Lonavala Yoga Institute and a few other people and organizations), or its results do not reach modern yoga practitioners and teachers. We hope that our article will be able to clarify the information on this pose, at least in the yoga community.
A huge part of the modern names of asanas is invented without reference to early treatises, thanks to the imagination of practitioners or Yoga teachers, so we wanted to understand the historical nomenclature of asanas, to separate which asanas are really found in treatises, and which ones were invented in the 20-21st century, when there was a surge in names asanas and their variants (for each change in the asana, people began to give a separate name). This phenomenon is not bad and not good, but is probably a stage of development, the evolution of yoga in the modern world.
Analysis of gomukhasana pose.
The tradition of yoga in principle and the tradition of using the names of asanas in particular is much richer than the accustomed, known to us, modern people, sometimes stereotyped view of yoga. Which we can find both in yoga classes and on the Internet.
Two extremes can be distinguished: “correct variant only what is written in the treatise” and “correct variant only what the guru said”. We would not like to fall into any of these extremes. We wanted to show people (readers, teachers and practitioners of yoga, possibly future researchers) the beauty and diversity, the huge history of yoga, as opposed to the stereotyping of yoga asanas (there is only one interpretation, name and description of the asana (or list of asanas)). We do not want to proselytize what we think to be the “correct” yoga. In many schools of yoga, the opinion of the guru is considered even higher than what is said in the original source. For the followers of such a school of yoga, it does not matter what the treatise says, the main thing is what the guru said. However, the treatise is also written by some gurus, and ignoring the opinions of previous gurus can lead to a too one-sided and biased view of the issue.
The meaning of the word gomukhasana. गोमुखासन n. gomukhAsana – Cow-faced . Go – cow, mukha – face (mouth, muzzle), asana – pose. Interestingly enough, gomukha, according to the Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary, means “crocodile”. The translation of the asana in modern yoga corresponds to the Sanskrit name of the pose.
Reference to the asana and their description in different texts (Under the name of gomukhasana or other names):
hathapradipika (critical edition of 10 chapters) -1.20, hathapradipika (manuscript) of 6 chapters-2.45-46, gheranda-samhita-2.16, joga-pradipika-482-483, hatha-sanketa-chandrika (manuscript)-33-34, trishikhi-brahmanopanishad-36, jabala-darshanopanishat-3.3, shandilyopanishat-1:3.2, joga-manjari-1.50, yoga-chintamani (by Godavara Mishra)-2, yoga-marga-pradipa-16, hatha-pradipika-doha-3, yuktabhavadeva-6.5, asanani (manuscript)-2, yoga-chintamani (by Sivananda Saraswati) p.75, yoga-siddhanta-chandrika-2.46, vasistha-samhita-1.70, shiva-samhita-5.5, darshanopanishad-3.3, shiva yoga-deepika-2.12, siddhanta-shekhara (kamya-kanda)-12, kalikapuranam (Part 2)-57:67, hatharatnavali-3.53, jyotsna-tika-1.20, yoga-rahasya (by Shrinatha-muni)-2.16, yogarnava p.29, yoga-yajnavalkya-3.5-6, hatha yoga-samhita-23, asana-nirupana (manuscript), sachitra chauryayasin asane-66, shri yoga-kaustubha-52, asana-namani-(50,51,52,55,56), hatha-tattva-kaumudi (f.58 ?), tirumantirum (563), ahirbudhnya-samhita (32:45,46) , manasollasa (9.24), yoga-siddhanta-chandrika (2.46), hathapradipika-vrtti (37), yoga-asanamala-sachitra (54/44), asana-yoga-grantha (38/82), sritattva-nidhi (58), yogasanam (sachitra) (57/96), kirana-tika (2.60), sachitra vyavaharika yoga (18), brhadyoga-sopana (3.19-20), yoga-sopana (6), “9 Naths and 84 Siddhas” (38/40/6/16), and the books of Shivananda Swami Saraswati, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, B.K.S.Iyengar.
Variations of the gomukhasana where only the position of legs is mentioned.
The position of legs which is more usual and widespread in modern yoga.
hathapradipika (critical edition by S.Digambarji and Kokaje)-1.20, hathapradipika (manuscript) of 6 chapters-2.45-46, gheranda-samhita-2.16, joga-pradipika-482-483, hatha-sanketa-chandrika (manuscript)-33-34, trisikhi-brahmanopanishad-36, jabala-darshanopanishat-3.3, shandilyopanishat-1:3.2, joga-manjari (manuscript)-1.50, yoga-chintamani (author Godavara Mishra)-2, yoga-marga-pradipa-16, hatha-pradipika-doha 3, yuktabhavadeva-6.5, asanani (manuscript)-2, yoga-chintamani (author Shivananda Saraswati) – p. 75, yoga-siddhanta-chandrika-2.46, p. 85, vasistha-samhita-1.70, shiva-samhita-5.5, darshanopanishad-3.3, shiva-yoga-deepika-2.12, siddhanta-shekhara (kamya-kanda)-12, kalikapuranam (Part 2)-57:67, hatharatnavali-3.53, jyotsna-tika-1.20, yoga-rahasya (author Shrinatha-muni)-2.16, yogarnava-page 29, yoga-yajnavalkya-3.5-6, hatha yoga-samhita-23, asana-nirupana (manuscript), sachitra chauryayasin asane-66, Sri yoga-kaustubha-52, asana-namani-50, hatha-tattva-kaumudi from Chambers library.58.
According to the critical edition of Hatha Pradipika (Edited by Swami Digambarji and Pitambar Jha,1970) the dating of the text is following.
“Dr. P. K. Gode dates Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika to a period between 1360 and 1650 (Studies in indian literary history Vol 1 p. 379) and Kavi Kavya Kala Kalpana positively mentions 1631 A.D. as the date of its composition.
Dr. P. K. Gode’s later terminus to the date of Hathapradipika is in keeping with the fact that Yogacintamani of Śivananda Sarasvati contains numerous quotations from the Hatha-pradipika, if, as Dr. Gode thinks Shivananda Sarasvati’s work stands somewhere midway between 1500 and 1860 A. D. Svatmarama mentions Nityanatha as one of the ‘maha-siddhas’ and Dr. P. K. Gode agrees with Dr. Farquhar in fixing the earlier terminus to the date of Hathapradipika as 1350 on the strength of the argument that if this Nityanatha is the author of Rasaratnasamuccaya’, which Dr. P.C. Ray (History of Hindu Chemistry Vol. I) considers to have been composed in A. D. 1300, then Hathapradipikà must be later than this. As to the later terminus of this important work on yoga”, however, it is significant that in the National Library at Calcutta, is preserved a manuscript of Hathapradipika (No. T H 321) which is dated Samvat 1868, corresponding to 1629 A. D., 66 years earlier than the earliest MS mentioned by Dr. Gode. We would, therefore, date this text to a period between the middle of the 14th century and the middle of the 16th century (1350-1550) A. D. The 1629 manuscript rules out Kavi Kavya Kala Kalpana’s 1631 A. D.”
“Place the right ankle next to the left buttock and the left [ankle] next to the right [buttock]. This is Gomukhasana, and resembles the face of a cow. ”
The text which we used describes the position of legs. Nothing is said about the arms. Translated by Shrinivasa Iyangar, proofread by A.A. Ramanathan and Pandit S.V. Subrahmanya Shastri. The Adyar Library and Research Center. The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras 20, India, 1972.
Written by Svatmarama (10 chapters) with the commentary of Balakrishna entitled Yoga-Prakashika. Ed. M.L. Gharote & Parimal Devnath. Published by the Lonavala Yoga Institute (India), Lonavala (2001).
The exact date of the composition of the Gheranda-Samhita is not specified, but it is believed to be a relatively recent work related to Hatha Yoga. This belief is based on the fact that the text was not mentioned by medieval commentators on Hatha Yoga. The oldest available manuscript of the text, dated 1802 CE, was found in Bengal and it claims the existence of an established manuscript tradition.
According to the introduction to Gheraṇḍa-saṃhitā (Ed. Swami Digambarji & M. L. Gharote.), the dating of the text is as follows.
“The salutatory verse found in most of the manuscripts of Gheranda Samhita is a clear indication of the influence, on the scribes, of the Hatha-Pradipika where similar salutatory verse occurs. They could not, perhaps, resist the temptation of adding this verse to the original text of the Gheranda Samhita in the beginning. Obviously this verse is an interpolation because nowhere in the text the words like ‘Hatha Yoga’ or ‘Hatha yoga vidya’ occur though at two places the word ‘Hatha’ is used. But there the meaning of ‘Hatha’ is ‘force’. It does not signify the school of Yoga. This leads us to assume that Gheranda Samhita must be a later work than Hatha-Pradipika. Considering the contents of the text of Gheranda Samhita we find elaboration of various Yogic practices like, Shatkarmas, Asanas, Mudras, etc. which are not found in the Hatha-Pradipika. On the basis of the theory of evolution of the practices, Gheranda Samhita must be later than Hatha-Pradipika. There is a mention of “Chandah kapalikas tatha” in the list of Siddhas given in some copies of Hatha-Pradipika. But there is no other evidence of the information contained in the dialogue of Gheranda-Chanda having made use of in Hatha-Pradipika. This rules out the possibility of Gheranda Samhita being earlier than Hatha-Pradipika. Among other reasons why Gheranda Samhita must be later than Hatha-Pradipika, one is that we do not find many copies of this text. Whatever copies are available come from North or East India. These are conspicuously absent in South India. This is, perhaps, due to the short period available for the spread of the copies. It is surprising to find that the writers like Shivananda of Yogacintamani or Sundaradeva of Hathasanketa Candrika do not refer to this text in their digests. This indicates that the text of Gheranda Samhita was not known much, though it may be existing. Having thus seen that Gheranda Samhita cannot be placed before Hatha-Pradipika what could be its period? The period of Hatha-Pradipika has been fixed as between the middle of 14th and middle of 16th century. Readers may refer for this to the critical edition of Hatha-Pradipika published by Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti, Lonavla. The earliest dated manuscript of Gheranda Samhita that we have is of 1802 AD., that is, 175 years old. If we consider a period of about 100 years to have taken for some copies to come into existence, the period of the text could be fixed at the end of the 17th century or the beginning of 18th century. “
Notice that nothing is said about crossing one’s legs. So, one’s pelvis may be between one’s heels as in the popular Virasana pose.
This is manuscript №6543 from Rajasthan Pracya Vidya Pratishthan (Bikaner, Rajasthan). This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard. We could not verify the dating of this text.
Manuscript №4373 from Ranvir Research Institute, Jammu. Author Lacchirama. We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
Manuscript №29893 from Sampurnananda Sansrit University Library (Benares). We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
This text is mentioned in the ETA. There is no description of this text in the ETA. If the ETA to be trusted then the position of legs as in the ordinary traditional gomukhasana.
According to the article by S.V.B.K.V. Gupta, Jason Birch entitled “The Ocean of Yoga: An Unpublished Compendium Called the Yogārnava” the text may be described as follows, “The Yogārṇava (‘the ocean of yoga’) is a Sanskrit compendium on yoga that has not been published, translated or even mentioned in secondary literature on yoga. Citations attributed to it occur in several premodern commentaries and compendiums on yoga, and a few published library catalogs report manuscripts of a work on yoga called the Yogārṇava.” About the date of composition the above-mentioned article says the following: “The name of the author and the region in which the Yogārṇava was composed remain unknown to us. The work is not mentioned at all, let alone discussed, in secondary sources on yoga. Also, the exact date of the text is unknown. We are yet to find a dated manuscript of the Yogārṇava and, as far as we are aware, no such manuscript has been reported in a published catalog. However, the Yogārṇava’s terminus a quo is the Yogayājñavalkya, which means it was composed sometime after the thirteenth or fourteenth century. There are citations of the Yogārṇava in various texts that date from the fifteenth century or later. The most important of these for establishing a terminus ad quem is Rāghavabhaṭṭa’s commentary on the Śāradātilakatantra called the Padārthādarśa. According to Sanderson (2007, p. 230), Rāghavabhaṭṭa was a Maharashtrian scholar who completed this commentary in Varanasi in 1494 CE. Rāghavabhaṭṭa cites the Yogārṇava by name five times on the topics of the formation of the fetus, the nāḍīs and the ten vāyus. Rāghavabhaṭṭa also cites a passage on the process of digestion and attributes it to the Yogārṇava, but this passage is not in the transcripts of the Yogārṇava that we have consulted, which suggests that he was using a slightly different, perhaps longer, version than is currently available. Owing to the content shared between the Yogārṇava and Yogayājñavalkya and the relevant citations in Rāghavabhaṭṭa’s commentary, we can conclude that the Yogārṇava was probably composed in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. The Yogārṇava is also cited by name in the Upāsanāsārasaṅgraha and Yogasārasaṅgraha. Both of these works are compilations on yoga that cite other texts profusely. The Upāsanāsārasaṅgraha was composed in South India, possibly before the seventeenth century (Bouy, 1994, pp. 89–92). It contains citations of three passages in the Yogārṇava’s sections on meditation (dhyāna) and absorption (samādhi). The Yogasārasaṅgraha may post-date the seventeenth-century Haṭharatnāvalī (Birch, 2020, p. 464 n. 43). It cites a verse from the Yogārṇava’s section on dhyāna.
This is a manuscript. Yogatantra 79 K, 1292K, Pustakprakash, Jodhpur.
We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
This text is mentioned in the entry on gomukhasana but there is no information on the text in the ETA. We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
Sacitra Cauryayasin Asane (Marathi, 66).
Ed. Kahanji Dharam Singh, Karnatak Printing Press, Mumbai, 1899. It describes in detail 97 asanas fully illustrated.
We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
Hatha-Tattva-Kaumudi (f.58 ?).
By Sundaradeva (manuscript) deposited in Chambers Library, Chambers; № ch-455-a.
We could not verify the dating of this text. This text is mentioned in the list of texts in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA. If we rely on the ETA then the position of the legs described in this text is standard.
Joga-pradipaka (Joga-pradipyaka, Joga-pradipika).
“It is a hatha yoga text by Ramanandi Jayatarama written in 1737 in a mixture of Hindi, Braj Bhasa, Khari Boli and forms close to Sanskrit. It presents 6 cleansing methods, 84 asanas, 24 mudras and 8 kumbhakas. The text is illustrated in an 1830 manuscript with 84 paintings of asanas, prepared about a hundred years after the text”. (Wikipedia).
It this text the pose is called “siva asana”
We could not find the translation of the text and the commentary. Something about the importance of motionless gaze and kumbhaka.
“One of the texts we have proposed to work on for the Haṭha Yoga Project is the Haṭhasaṅketacandrikā by Sundaradeva, a Brahmin living in Varanasi in the eighteenth century. The colophons of this work identify him as an āyurvedic physician (vaidya) and various catalogs report that he wrote works on Āyurveda, such as the Bhūpālavallabha (or Bhūpacaryā), the Cikitsāsundara, the Līlāvatī, the Yogoktivivekacandra and Yogoktyupadeśāṃrta.” (hyp.soas.ac.uk/the-hathasanketacandrika/)
A scan from the book “Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Texts” (The Lonavala Yoga Institute, India, 2010).
“Gavin Flood dates this and other Yoga Upanishads to be probably from early 1st-millennium CE, but Raman states that it is probably a late Upanishad, composed after the 10th century, because parts of it reflect Hatha yoga traditions. Mikel Burley considers the text as part of the Hatha yoga literature, and states that the composition date of the text is uncertain. Alain Daniélou concurs with the uncertainty with dates when yoga texts were composed, but lists Trishikhibrahmana Upanishad as a Raja yoga text.
The Trishikhibrahmana Upanishad is listed at number 44 in the Telugu language anthology of 108 Upanishads of the Muktika canon, narrated by Rama to Hanuman.” (Wikipedia)
“Place the right ankle by the side of the left buttock and the left ankle by the side of the right buttock, thus forming the head of the cow. “
Jabala-Darshanopanishad / Darshanopanishad.
The Darshana Upanishad is a text written in Sanskrit and is considered one of the minor Upanishads. It is one of twenty Yoga Upanishads and is attached to the Samaveda.
The text presents a form of classical Yoga that is similar to Patanjali’s Yogasutras and is organized into eight stages. Unlike the Yogasutras, however, the Darshana Upanishad also includes concepts related to kundalini yoga. The ultimate goal of Yoga, according to the Upanishad, is to attain self-knowledge and to understand the connection between one’s individual self (Atman) and the universal reality (Brahman).
The exact date of the text is debated among scholars, with some estimating it to be between 100 BCE and 300 CE, while others suggest it post-dates the Yogasutras. The text is also known by different names, including Yoga Darshana Upanishad, Jabala Darshana Upanishad, Jābāladarṣana Upanishad, and Darśanopaniṣad. It is listed as number 90 in the Muktika, a modern era anthology of 108 Upanishads.
“Placing the right ankle by the sale of the left buttock and the left ankle by the side of the right buttock, is known as the Gomukha (posture)”
“Gavin Flood dates the text to around 100 BCE to 300 CE. Roy Eugene Davis suggests Shandilya Upanishad probably predates Patanjali’s Yogasutras, while Georg Feuerstein suggests the text probably post-dates the Yogasutras. Thomas McEvilley states that the chronology of the text is uncertain, but it was probably composed around the time Dhyanabindu Upanishad and before Hatha Yoga Pradipka, Kaulajnananirnaya and Shiva Samhita. Some historical manuscripts of this Upanishad are titled as Śāṇḍilyopaniṣad (शाण्डिल्योपनिषद्). It is listed at number 58 in the serial order of the Muktika enumerated by Rama to Hanuman in the modern era anthology of 108 Upanishads.It is also known as the Shandilya Yoga Sutras. According to Alain Daniélou this Upanishad is one of the three Upanishads in the genre of the Hatha yoga; the others are the Darshana Upanishad and the Yoga-kundalini Upanishad.” (Wikipedia)
“One should place his ankle of the leg on the left side of the back (of the leg) and also the left ankle of the leg on the right side similarly. This is Go-mukha, resembling the face of the cow.”
The Yogasiddhantacandrika is a significant work by Narayantirtha that aims to elevate the significance of Yoga in achieving self-realization. This commentary provides a comprehensive overview of the concept of Yoga, its different types and various beliefs within the Yoga system. The author delves into the definition of Yoga and details the fifteen various forms of Yoga that exist.
According to the paper, “Andrey Safronov. The Relevance of New Translation and Commentaries on Yoga Sutras” Yoga Siddhanta Chandrika was written in ca. 1350 AD.
“Place the right ankle next to the left buttock and the left [ankle] next to the right [buttock]. This is Gomukhasana, and resembles the face of a cow.”
This description is almost identical with the description of Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
The Vasishtha Samhita is a medieval Hindu text believed to have been written in the 13th century. It is attributed to the sage Vasishtha, although the actual author is unknown. The text comprises 45 chapters and covers a range of topics including yoga, peace, religion, astrology, offerings, and charitable giving.
One of the unique features of the Vasishtha Samhita is its description of non-seated hatha yoga poses, including the arm-balancing Kukkutasana (Cockerel Pose) and Mayurasana (Peacock Pose). These descriptions are believed to have been influenced by the 10th-century text Vimanarcanakalpa and later used in the 15(16)th-century Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Additionally, the Vasishtha Samhita shares many verses with the Yoga Yajnavalkya and some of these verses are said to have originated from the Padma Samhita. The text was written by a Vaishnavite Shakta sect and focuses on the importance of peace, chanting of holy names, offerings, and donations.
The description matches that of Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika
As we see there is no description of the pose in the text but only the name. It is listed among “obstacles which arise from knowledge”.
The Shiva Samhita is a Sanskrit text focused on yoga, believed to have been written by an anonymous author. The text is addressed by Shiva, to his partner, Parvati. The Shiva Samhita has five chapters, with the first chapter presenting a summary of Advaita Vedanta philosophy, influenced by the Sri Vidya school of South India. The remaining chapters delve into the practices of yoga, the importance of having a teacher, different yoga postures, mudras, and attainable supernatural abilities through yoga and tantra.
This text is considered one of the three main surviving classical works on Hatha Yoga, the other two being the Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It is considered the most complete work on Hatha Yoga, advocating that all householders practice and benefit from it. Over a dozen versions of the text exist, and a critical edition was published in 1999 by the Kaivalya Dham Yoga Research Institute.
The dating of the Shiva Samhita text has been a topic of debate among scholars, with some placing its origin in the 17th century and others, such as James Mallinson, a prominent expert in Sanskrit and Oriental Studies, believing it to be much older, likely written between 1300 and 1500 CE. Mallinson also suggests, based on information within the text, that it was composed in the vicinity of Varanasi.
The text is written by Sadashiva Yogishvara. The second edition was published In 1978. We can suppose that it is the same text as Shiva-Yoga-Pradipika the author of which is Cennasadāśivayogī. If so, then the date of the text is the 15th century.
“Siddha, ambuja, svastika, mukta, vira, bhadra, ahirbhuk, kesari, gomukha, sukha are the best 10 poses. There is no description of the pose. There is only the name of the posture.
It is an astronomical work believed to have been written by Shripati in the 11th century in Sanskrit. The text is over 1000 pages long and provides detailed information on astronomy. Although there is no available translation of the Sanskrit text into English, there is an introduction available in English.
Somewhere in this text gomukha (asana) is mentioned according to the ETA. As per the ETA it is mentioned in Siddhanta-Shekhara (kamya-kanda)-12.
The Kalika Purana is a Hindu religious text that provides valuable insights into ancient Indian culture, religion, and history. Scholars have long debated the origins and age of this text, with different theories and arguments being put forward over time.
One of the main points of disagreement among scholars is whether there was an older version of the Kalika Purana that predates the current one. Hazra, a prominent Indian historian, argued that such a text existed, and that it originated in Bengal. However, Shastri, another historian, disputed this claim and suggested that the evidence provided by Hazra for an older text can be explained by other means, without invoking an older text.
Shastri believes that the Kalika Purana was written in the Kamarupa region of ancient India, which is now present-day Assam. He bases this claim on several factors, such as the local descriptions in the text, the exposition of the myth of Naraka (the ruler of ancient Pragjyotisha, which corresponds to the modern-day state of Assam) from whom all the dynasties of Kamarupa drew their lineage, the description of the myth of the Brahmaputra River, and the claim that Kamarupa was holier than even Varanasi, an ancient city known for its religious significance.
According to Shastri, the mention of Kālidāsa and Magha in the text indicates that the Kalika Purana is not one of the earliest Puranas. Moreover, the mention of events and places associated with Ratna Pala, a ruler of the Kamrupa region who lived in the 10th century, suggests that the text was written after that time. The text’s explanation for the Mlechchha population, who were considered foreigners by ancient Indians, and the indication of a parallel explanation in Harjaravarman’s (815-832) Hyunthal copper plate inscription, suggest that the text was written closer to his reign.
It is also important to note that different scholars have proposed different timelines for the various sections of the Kalika Purana, with estimates ranging from the 7th to the 12th century. The mention of King Dharmapala of Kamarupa has led some experts to propose that the Kalika Purana was an 11th or 12th-century text.
In conclusion, the origins and age of the Kalika Purana remain a subject of debate among scholars, and more research is needed to shed further light on this ancient text. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Kalika Purana is an important work that provides valuable insights into ancient Indian culture and religion, and continues to be studied and revered by scholars and devotees alike.
Kalikapuranam (part 2)-57:67. There is no pose description. “The best poses for deity (sura) worship are svastika, gomukha, padma, ardhasvastika, paryanka”.
The Haṭha Ratnāvalī is a book about Haṭha yoga that was written in the 17th century by a person named Srinivasa. This text is significant because it is one of the earliest texts to actually give names to 84 different yoga postures, or asanas. Prior to this text, other yoga texts had mentioned there were 84 asanas but hadn’t given them specific names. The Haṭha Ratnāvalī goes further and actually describes 36 of these asanas in detail.
Hatha-ratnavali 3.53 gives the following description of gomukhasana: “Place the right ankle by the side of the left hip and the left ankle by the right hip, thus imitating the shape of a cow’s head. This is gomukhasana.”
The note to this pose in the critically edited version (Dr. M.L. Gharote, Dr. Parimal Devnath, Dr. Vijay Kant Jha) says: “Another popular variety of gomukhasana requires the hands to be braced on the back, left hand coming from below and the right hand coming from above over the right shoulder. This arrangement of the hands is described in Brihad-Yoga-Sopana (3.19,20) and generally it is practiced. This may be called baddha-hasta-gomukhasana. The text Hatha-Yoga (we are not sure which text is meant) however, suggests to hold the big toes by crossing the hands behind. For detailed discussion on varieties of gomukhasana, refer to Yoga Mimamsa (vol xviii, No 1, pp 41-44).
Jyotsna-Tika is a commentary on Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika written by Brahmananda probably around the 18th century. The pose description corresponds to the text Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika. Here is the word-for-word translation of what is in the commentary. “Savye (on the left) vame (on the left, synonym) prishthasya (of the back) parshve (on the side) sampradayat (from tradition) kater (of the thigh) adhobhage (on the lower part) dakshinam (right) gulpham (ankle) nitaram (always) yojayet (one should join). Gomukhasya (of cow-face) akritir (form) yasya (of which) tat (that) tadrisham (of that kind) gomukha-samjnakam (named gomukha) asanam (pose) bhavet (shall be).”
Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), a renowned yoga teacher, stated that he received the teachings of the Yoga Rahasya at the age of sixteen. According to him, he met a manifestation of Nathamuni, a saint who lived 1200 years ago, and “channeled” the knowledge of the ancient text through him. This means that Krishnamacharya believed that he received the information directly from Nathamuni, who was believed to have written the text. Krishnamacharya’s claim suggests that he felt he had a special connection to the ancient teachings of yoga, which he went on to teach and share with others throughout his life.
The text itself was written in the 20th century by Krishnamacharya. It is unusual to find hatha-yoga poses prescribed for pregnant women and stressing the importance of yoga practice for women.
Only the name is mentioned. There is no description. However, there is an image of this pose.
The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a traditional yoga text in Sanskrit that presents a dialogue between Yajnavalkya, a revered sage, and Gargi, a female scholar. The text is organized into 12 chapters and contains 504 verses.
The text is written in the form of a conversation between Yajnavalkya and Gargi, where they discuss various aspects of yoga practice and philosophy. They delve into topics such as pranayama (breath control), asanas (physical postures), meditation, and spiritual liberation.
The Yoga Yajnavalkya is considered to be one of the primary texts on hatha yoga and is highly respected in the yoga community. Its teachings have influenced many modern yoga practices and continue to be studied and practiced by yoga practitioners around the world. The text offers a valuable insight into the ancient wisdom of yoga and provides guidance for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the practice.
The exact date of composition of the Yoga Yajnavalkya is uncertain. Scholars have proposed different timelines based on various factors. Prahlad Divanji, an Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, suggests that the text was composed between the 2nd century BCE and 4th century CE, citing references to it in other ancient texts. Divanji believes that the text was likely composed after Patanjali’s Yogasutra, which is estimated to have been composed sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE. A. G. Mohan, on the other hand, suggests that the text was likely completed before the 4th century CE.
David White, a scholar of religion, proposes that the text was composed much later, between the 10th and 12th centuries. White points out that a 13th-century text, the Dattatreya Yoga-shastra, refers to the teachings of Yoga Yajnavalkya as “supplementary” to its own teachings, suggesting that the text was already established and accepted by then. Other manuscripts also reference the teachings of the Yoga Yajnavalkya, indicating that it may have originated before many other yoga texts.
Ram Shankar Bhattacharya, another Indologist, dates the Pune version of a manuscript of the text to about the 13th or 14th century CE. He notes that this version of the text quotes verses from Hatha Yoga texts and mentions Gargi as the wife of Yajnavalkya, which is inconsistent with other texts that list his wives as Maitreyi and Katyayani. This has led to the theory that the Pune manuscript is a corrupted and more modern edition of the original text.
According to Dominik Wujastyk, an Indologist and historian of medicine, two surviving manuscripts of the Yoga Yajnavalkya are among the oldest Sanskrit manuscripts found on the Indian subcontinent. The first is dated to the early 10th or late 9th century, while the second, discovered in Nepal, is dated to 1024 CE. The original text is believed to be even older than these manuscript copies.
(edited by Sambashiva Shastri, 1938)
The translation of the passage from Yoga-Yajnavalkya (edited by Sambashiva Shastri, 1938). “Place the right (ankle?) next to the left buttock and the left ankle next to the right buttock, resembling the mouth of a cow.” We could not adequately translate the words “dakshinaprishtham” (the right back?). Probably there is some mistake in the Sanskrit text of this edition of Yoga Yajnavalkya.
(Translated by A.G.Mohan)
The next line “angushthau ca nibadhyiyad dhastabhyam vyutkramena” attributes to the next pose which is padmasana. The line reads, “grasp the big toes with fingers crosswise”
The ETA uses this version of Yoga-Yajnyavalkya (by A.G. Mohan) and says that it “recommends to hold the big toes with hands crossed over the back”.
But it is not clear to us why the ETA says so. We do not see this in the Mohan version.
According to the Divanji version of Yoga-Yajnyavalkya it seems that the line “angushthau ca nibadhyiyad dhastabhyam vyutkramena tu” is attributed to gomukhasana, rather than padmasana (the next pose described).
Shri Yoga Kaustubha.
The text is probably of the 20th century. It is written in Gujarati by Sharma Nathuram. We could not find any available translation of the text. Gomukhasana is described in the 52 verse and according to the ETA the description corresponds to two different variations: with hands placed on the knees and with index fingers clasped behind the back (the position of arms corresponds to the popular modern version).
Variations of gomukhasana where the position of arms is mentioned.
Shri tattva nidhi.
The Sritattvanidhi is a text written in the 19th century in the Karnataka region of South India. It is a treatise on the iconography and iconometry of divine figures and contains detailed instructions and illustrations of 122 hatha yoga postures. The text is attributed to Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, who was a patron of art and learning and a scholar and writer himself. The Sritattvanidhi is one of around 50 works ascribed to him. An original copy of the text is available in the Oriental Research Institute at the University of Mysore, and another is in the possession of the Royal Family of Mysore. The text has been published in various forms, including an unedited version with Devanagari script and three volumes published by the Oriental Research Institute.
The pose is called dhenukasana. This pose is listed in the ETA as a pose resembling gomukhasana. In Sanskrit the word dhenuka means “cow”.
According to the ETA it is the description of dhenukasana in Shri tattva nidhi: “Place the right ankle at the left side of the buttock and similarly arrange the left ankle on the right and cross the knees one over the other. Both palms are placed on the left thigh. (Sri Tattva Nidhi 58)
“It is a hatha yoga text by Ramanandi Jayatarama written in 1737 in a mixture of Hindi, Braj Bhasa, Khari Boli and forms close to Sanskrit. It presents 6 cleansing methods, 84 asanas, 24 mudras and 8 kumbhakas. The text is illustrated in an 1830 manuscript with 84 paintings of asanas, prepared about a hundred years after the text”. (Wikipedia)
This pose is called vrisapati asana in this text. This is how it is described, “bend the right knee and project it forward. Then bend the left leg and place its foot on the right side under the buttock. Hands are placed over the knees. Fis the gaze at the tip of the nose.” (Translation is taken from the ETA).
hatha pradipika vritti (37).
This text is a commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Bhojatmaja. It is written in Marathi. We could not find the date of this text. According to the commentary this pose has two names: gomukhasana and virasana. We do not have the translation of this text yet.
Variations of gomukhasana. Another position of the legs.
The ETA describes another leg position in the gomukhasana pose. According to the illustration in the text yogasanam (sacitra)-57 the feet are everted under the anus, and the hands are placed on the thighs.
Images above are from the ETA. On the left is gomukhasana from Yoga-Asana (Sachitra). On the right is kurmasana from Sachitra-Cauryayasin Asane.
This pose is called kurmasana in the texts Sacitra cauryayasin asane (66) and Kirana-tika (2.60). We could not obtain Sacitra cauryayasin asane and Yoga Asana (Sachitra) texts.
Yogasanam (Sachitra) according to the ETA is ms. №63548/15294 and it is deposited in the Rajasthan Pracyavidya Pratishthan, Bikaner. It contains 108 illustrations of asanas but only 17 asanas are described in the Hindi language.
According to the ETA the text Sacitra cauryayasin asane is edited by Kahanji Dharam Singh, Karnatak Printing Press, Mumbai, 1899. It describes in detail 97 asanas fully illustrated.
Kirana-tika (20c.) is a commentary by Krishna-Vallabha-Acharya on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Two pose names are given in this text, kurmasana (kurma-turtle or tortoise) and gomukhasana.
Translation: “Having pressed the anus with heels, having spread the front part of both feet under the back part of the body, as if the feet of a turtle, and having placed one’s hands by the side of one’s hips. This is known as kurmasana or gomukhasana. As a result one gets going upwards of semen (virility) with apana.”.
Variation of gomukhasana where the description of the asana is not clear.
The Ahirbudhnya Samhita is an ancient Hindu Vaishnava text that is part of the Pancharatra tradition. It is believed to have been composed over several centuries, after 300 CE. The name of the text means a compendium of the serpent-from-the-depths, with ‘ahi’ referring to the serpent and ‘budhna’ referring to the bottom or root. Unfortunately, the text is now practically extinct, with only fragments surviving in certain areas of India, such as Kashmir, Orissa, and Mysore.
“Having placed both ankles by the sides of the back, and having grasped the big toes with hands in an inverted order from the back. This is called gomukham”.
In the description of the hands there is a word “vyutkramena” which means, according to the Sanskrit dictionary by Monire-Williams “going astray or out of the right course, inverted order”. According to this description the position of one’s legs can be interpreted as the variant in which one sits between one’s heels (modern virasana pose) and as the variant in which one’s crosses one leg over the other and places one’s knees one on top of the other (gomukhasana). The description is too vague and ambiguous.
In the Jaipur Central Museum there is a figurine collection which depicts yogis in different poses. Some of those figurines are dated by the 19th century. There are about one hundred figurines. This collection is documented in the ETA. The museum began to collect those figurines in the august of 1881. The catalog of this collection was first published in 1896.
In this collection there is a figurine which depicts an asana in which a yogi holds his toes but without crossing his arms. The figurine is of the 19 century.
According to the ETA, this is the same as datta-digambara-asana from yoga-asanamala-sachitra (54). We do not have this text yet, so we cannot verify that.
Gomukhasana variant in which the modern position of arms is mentioned.
Brihad-yoga-sopana-3.19-20 (XX c), by Pt. Ram Naresh Mishra Shastri, Sanskrit with Hindi translation.
We could not find an adequate translation of the word gulma from this passage. Probably the word gulpha was meant. The word gulma means copse. And the word gulpha means ankle.
Translation from Sanskrit. On the non-left side of the back let one place the left ankle, and the right one on the left too. This is gomukha in the shape of a cow-face. Let one bring the right arm from above behind the back and the left from below. Let one grasp one’s index finger with one’s index finger.
The Hindi translation gives the full translation of the Sanskrit verse. The word gulma translated as gulpha (ankle). There are fruits of the practice in the Hindi translation. The apana vayu becomes upward-going and the prana vayu becomes downward-going. Thus Citta becomes pacified.
According to the ETA the same translation is given in the text Shri-Yoga-Kaustubha (52) which is in Gujarati (one verse but two variants of gomukhasana are attributed to this verse according to the ETA and in the text Sachitra Vyavaharika Yoga (18) which we could not find. The pose is described according to the ETA in the following way: “One should place the right hand vertically over the back from above and the left hand on the back from below to hold the fingers of the hands together. Also according to the ETA Sachitra-Vyavaharika-Yoga suggests “corresponding hand to the knee to be put up behind the head”.
According to the ETA Sachitra Vyavaharika Yoga was written by Mahajan, Panduranga Gopal Bal, Loksevak press, Govardhan House, Girgaon, Bombay, 1923.
The Yogasopana Purvacatuska is a book on hatha yoga by Yogi Narayana Ghamande, written in Marathi in 1905. The book contains illustrations of 37 asanas, including Matsyendrasana and Sarvangasana, as well as mudras like Viparita Karani. What sets this book apart from previous yoga texts is that it was the first to be illustrated with halftone plates. The book was instrumental in transitioning yoga from traditional secrecy to public access, and from symbolic to naturalistic representations of the yoga body. Probably for the first time, the yogic body was depicted naturalistically, as a three-dimensional, muscled body in physical postures. The illustrator of the book is Purusottam Sadashiv Joshi.
The ETA attributes the pose from this book to the modern variant of the pose.
Translation of the verse: “Place the right ankle next to the left buttock (back side) and the left [ankle] next to the right [buttock (back side)]. This is Gomukha and resembles the face of a cow. ”
The Sanskrit verse itself does not tell us anything about the arm position. Probably, the Marathi commentary elaborates on the position of the arms.
The variant of gomukhasana in which there is a different position of the arms.
According to the ETA the manuscript of hatha-pradipika (consists of 6 chapters) (2.46) and the text called asana-namani (50) suggest to take hold of one’s shoulders with one’s arms crossed behind one’s head.
Asana-namani, according to the ETA, the manuscript is deposited in the Maharaja Sawai Mansingh (II) Museum, Jaipur. It is incomplete. It mentions 500 asanas but only 57 asanas with descriptions in Rajasthani language are available.
Hatha-pradipika (6ch.), according to the ETA, is also known as siddhanta-muktavali. Manuscript №6756; Rajasthan Pracya Vidya Pratisthan, Jodhpur.
According to the ETA the text manasollasa (9.24) (12 cent.) considers gomukhasana to be one of bhrahmasana.
The Mānasollāsa is a comprehensive Sanskrit text written by Someshvara III, a king of the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty who ruled in present-day Karnataka during the early 12th century. The text covers a wide range of subjects including governance, ethics, economics, astronomy, astrology, rhetoric, veterinary medicine, horticulture, perfumes, food, architecture, games, painting, poetry, dance, and music. It consists of five sub-books and 100 chapters, with a notable focus on the arts, particularly music and dance. The text also includes recipes and information on festivals that are still a part of modern Indian culture. Someshvara III wrote the text in the early years of his reign, which began in 1127 or 1125 CE. The Kalyani Chalukya dynasty was known for its support of Shaivism and monastic scholarship, and the dynasty made numerous land grants and financial awards to support these causes. The Mānasollāsa is a valuable source of socio-cultural information on 11th- and 12th-century India.
The text manasollasa-9.24 places the poses svastika, gomukha, padma and hamsasana in the category of brahma-asanas. This text separates different poses into 5 groups, namely. brahma, vaishnava, raudra, shakta, and shaiva (manasollasa – 9.24-26)
We could not match the numbering of chapters and verses in the Manasollasa text which we have with that of the ETA. So although we have the text we could not find the exact places where gomukhasana is mentioned and verify what the ETA says about it.
Variations of gomukhasana in which the asanas are named differently but look similar to gomukhasana.
This is an illustration from (Navnath 84 siddhas) (38). The description of this illustration in the ETA is as follows, “Cross the right leg over the left thigh, thus sitting on toes of both legs. Arrange the hands one over the other at the abdomen and hold the position upright”. We do not have this text at this moment.
Bend the legs and place the left knee over the right knee and spread the
legs. Hold the two big toes with the two respective hands. Fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. Regular practice of this asana makes the body lustrous like gold and it does not suffer from any disease. Yogasanamala describes another arrangement
of hands in addition to the one given above. Another arrangement requires forming
a finger-lock at the back and touching the nose on the ground and fixing the gaze at the tip of the nose.
This description is taken from the book “Joga Pradipika” published by Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur (1999). The treatise was written in 1737 by Jayatarama. A more detailed description is in this article in the Sivasana description.
These 3 images above are taken from the book “Joga Pradipika” published by Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur (1999). The text is written in the mix of Hindi, Braj bhasa, Khari boli.
This picture is taken from the British Library here: https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/asanas-and-mudras
Anasuya-asana 1 from “Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Text”.
The complete description of the technique from “Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Text”: “Yoga Asana Mala Sachitra has a different version of the same asana. After spreading the feet wide apart followed by placing one knee over the other*, one is supposed to catch hold of the hands over the back. Then one should bend the head down and touch the nose to the ground. The body becomes lustrous like gold and free from diseases.
*The translation is not quite clear to us. Because one should first place one knee over the other and only after then one should spread one’s feet.
(mathana means churning in Sanskrit)
According to the ETA the description of mathanasana in Asana-namani is as follows: “Sit with legs extended. Bend the right leg in the knee and place the right foot on the left side of the buttocks. Similarly, place the left foot on the right side of the buttocks. Place the hands on the knee and fix the gaze on the nose” (asana namani (manuscript)-55).
According to the ETA, this manuscript is deposited in the Maharaja Mansingh (II) Museum in Jaipur. It is incomplete. It mentions 500 asanas but only 57 asanas with descriptions in Rajasthani language are available.
Sanak is one of the names of the Nathas.
Describing the image we can give the following description of sanakasana.
“Place the right ankle over the left in front of the generative organ. Place hands on respective knees. Fix the gaze between eyebrows. (Navnath 84 siddhas)-40).
According to the ETA, the book contains images which were copied from ancient figures in Rajasthan Jodhpur style. The figures have been drawn by Prabhatanatha Yogi of Shri Siddha Ratnanatha Kalakendra. (1967). At this moment we do not have this book.
It is mentioned in the texts Joga-Pradipika and Yoga-Asana-Mala-Sachitra. The word Shuka means “parrot”. Shukadeva is the name of a sage who spoke Bhagavata-Purana.
Charpati is the name of a siddha (natha)
According to the image from Navnath 84 siddhas (6) the description of the pose is as follows: place the left ankle by the side of the right hip and the right ankle by the side of the left hip. The knees are placed one over the other. Place the hands on the hips with the palms turned upwards. (The description of the pose is taken from the ETA).
In the picture the fingers are directed inwards.
This is a screenshot from the “Therapeutic References in Traditional Texts” which quotes the book Bhakti-sagaradi (Ashtangayoga) (5.32). “Ashtanga yoga” was written by Charandas (1706 – 1785). Yogi Charandas ji wrote numerous texts, drawing from his practical experiences during his spiritual practices. Among his works, 17 short texts are accessible and available to readers.
There is no Gaumukhasana pose in the ETA. “Therapeutic References in Traditional Texts” was published in 2010. But the second edition of the ETA was published in 2013.
dakshina-janvasana / vama-janvasana.
Dakshina means “right”, vama means “left”, janu means “knee”.
The above screenshots are taken from the ETA.
The translation of the Kirana-Tika passage. “Having bent the left leg at the knee, having placed its tiptoes under the buttocks in the middle, having made the right knee over the left knee, this way of sitting is called vama-janvasana. And vice versa if having bent the right leg at the knee having placed its tiptoes under the buttocks in middle having made the left knee over the right knee this way of sitting is called dakshina-janvasana.
This pose is also described in Sachitra Cauryayasin Asane (61) according to the ETA but we do not have this text so we could not verify what can be found in the ETA.
According to the ETA these two poses are described in Yoga Kaustubha (47) but although we have this text we could not find the pose with this name in the text.
Yogasanam sachitra (96) gives the illustration of this asana the description can be given in the following way: “The right knee is placed over the left by bending at the knees and hands are placed over the upper belly by interlocking the fingers. Keep the left foot under the right bottom. The eyes are gazing at the nose. (According to the ETA). We are not sure that the person in the picture is looking at the tip of the nose.
We could not verify the information in this text because at the moment we do not have this text.
The translation of the words of the pose from Sanskrit: datta – given, dig (dish)- direction, cardinal point, ambara – clothes, digambara – naked (sky-clothed)
The illustration on the left is taken from the ETA and probably is from the text Yoga Asana Mala Sachitra. The illustration on the right is taken from the ETA. This is a photo of a figurine from the Jaipur Central Museum.
According to the ETA yoga-asanamala-sachitra (manuscript) №5450 is from Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur. Written by Jaitaram. Copied by Swami Sobharama of Khatipur on shuddha 5 on Wednesday in samvat 1846 (1789-1790 AD). It contains 108 asanas all illustrated and described. Some of the 12 asanas are repeated. Many of the asanas are described in Jogapradipika by Jayatarama.
datta-digambara-asana from Joga-pradipika (1737).
The text is written in the mix of Hindi, Braj bhasa, Khari boli
According to the “Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Texts” and the ETA the description of datta-digambara-asana from Jogapradipika (246-249) is as follows, “While sitting, bring the right leg over the left thigh and place the foot touching the ground. Bring the left foot on the right side and place its heel close to the buttock. Place the hands on the feet and hold them firmly. Sit straight and direct the gaze in between the eyebrows. If one practices pranayama in this posture, one gets rid of shita-vata vitiation (rheumatic disorders) caused due to cold.
According to the ETA datta-digamara-asana that looks like gomukhasana is described in the following texts: joga-pradipika (246-249), yoga-asana-mala-sachitra (54), asana-yoga-grantha (38), asana-namani (52). We could not verify the information in the last two texts.
This description, illustration and the text in the mix of languages are taken from the book “Joga Pradipika” published by Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur (1999).
(Durvasa is a name of an angry sage)
According to the “Therapeutic references in traditional yoga texts” Yoga Asana Mala Sachitra (87) gives the description as follows, “while sitting on the ground, bend the right leg in the knee and place its foot on the left side of the hip. Similarly, bend the left leg in the knee and place its foot on the right side of the hip. This brings the knees one over the other. Touch the tips of the fingers of the right hand to the middle joints of the left fingers. Place the hands supine on the genital and direct the gaze in between the eyebrows. It cools down bodily excessive heat.
According to the ETA the text asana-yoga-grantha (82) also has this pose. We do not have these two texts and we could not verify this information in it.
govinda means shepheard and one of the names of the Absolute
According to the picture in “Navnath 84 siddhas” (16) as per the ETA the description can be as follows, “The left foot is placed on the right side of the hip and the right foot on the left side of the hip, thus bringing knees one over the other and hands are kept on the knees or thighs.
According to the ETA, the book contains images which were copied from ancient figures in Rajasthan Jodhpur style. The figures have been drawn by Prabhatanatha Yogi of Shri Siddha Ratnanatha Kalakendra. (1967). At this moment we do not have this book.
Kankana means bracelet in Sanskrit
According to the ETA this pose is mentioned in the manuscript of Hatha-Pradipika №6756 (also known as Siddhanta-Muktavali) (2.48). It consists of 6 chapters and is deposited in the Rajasthan Pracya Vidya Pratishthan, Jodhput.
It is also described in Asana-Namani (56). Asana-namani, according to the ETA, the manuscript is deposited in the Maharaja Sawai Mansingh (II) Museum, Jaipur. It is incomplete. It mentions 500 asanas but only 57 asanas with descriptions in Rajasthani language are available.
We do not have these texts and we cannot verify the description. This pose according to the ETA is described as follows in these texts. “Place the right knee over the left and place the feet on the opposite sides of the hips. Keeping the buttocks on the ground bend forward and touch the forehead to the right knee. The hands are placed over the feet. Direct the gaze at the tip of the nose.”
The first screenshot above is the description of mriga-svastikasana from Yoga-Siddhanta-Chandrika. The second screenshot is a list of poses in which the pose is mentioned but there is only name without any description.
According to the Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary “mriga” means a forest animal or wild beast, game of any kind, (esp.) a deer, fawn, gazelle, antelope, stag, musk-deer. The word “svastika” any lucky or auspicious object, (esp.) a kind of mystical cross or mark made on persons and things to denote good luck.
The pose is described in Yoga-Siddhanta-Chandrika (2.46) and in two texts with the same name, Yoga-Chintamani. The first text Yoga-Chintamani (p.75) is by Shivananda Sarasvati, Manuscript № MaI/312, D-74, Tubingen University Library. The second text Yoga-Chintamani (II) is by Godavara Mishra, Manuscript № 220/1882-83, Bhandarkar Oriental Research.
According to “Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions”
1) Yogacintāmaṇi (योगचिन्तामणि) represents a 16th-century text on Yoga by Godāvaramiśra.—in the Yogacintāmaṇi, Godāvaramiśra integrated the physical methods of Haṭhayoga with the auxiliaries of āsana and prāṇāyāma in Patañjali’s aṣṭāṅga system.
2) Yogacintāmaṇi (योगचिन्तामणि) or Śrīyogacintāmaṇi represents a 17th-century text on Haṭhayoga by Śivānandasarasvatī consisting of 3423 verses.—The approximate number of verses is given in a scribal comment at the end of a manuscript of the Yogacintāmaṇi held at the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute (ms. No. 9785 p. 257, line 14).
According to the ETA the translation is as follows, “While sitting, place the right foot on the left side and the left foot on the right. Arrange both hands imitating the head of a deer facing each other.
This is our translation: “On the stable ground (or on the ground which is supposed to be stood upon) by a yogin who remains in the asana having done the feet [like this]: the right on the left part and the left on the right and having done the hands facing each other in the form of the head of a deer because [it gives] siddhis it is called mriga-svastikam”.
Also there may be a mistake in Sanskrit, “sthatavye bhutale padau” should be “sthatavyau bhutale padau”. With this corrected mistake the text would read, “With feet placed on the ground by a yogin who stays in asana [they should be arranged in the following way] the right on the left part and the left on the right and having done the hands facing each other in the form of the head of a deer because [it gives] siddhis it is called mriga-svastikam”.
On the second screenshot there is a list of different poses in which mrigasvastika is mentioned: “kurma-dhanu-mrigasvastika-ardhachandra-anjalika-pitha-vajra-mukta-chandra- ardhaprasarita-shava-kapala-garuda-ardhasana-kamala-kraunchanishadana-hastinishadana-ushtranishadana-kapinishadana-yogasana-yonyasana-samasthana and so on. In such a way 84 asanas are divided.”
Probably “tura” means some kind of musical instrument.
According to the ETA the description is as follows, “Place the right ankle by the side of the left hip and similarly the left ankle by the side of the right hip. The knees are brought one over the other. Take both hands over the back and hold the toes. Bend forward and touch the forehead to the knee and direct the gaze at the nose.
This text is described in Hatha-Pradipika manuscript №6756 (2.47) and in Asana-Namani (51).
This pose can be found in Matsyendra-Samhita.
Probably the author of this text by the name Mansyendranatha lived in the early 10th century. According to Wikipedia, “Matsyendra is credited with composing Hatha and Tantric works such as the Kaulajñānanirnāya (“Discussion of the Knowledge Pertaining to the Kaula Tradition”), the Matsyendrasamhita and “Akula-Viratantra”, some of the earliest texts on hatha yoga in Sanskrit in the eleventh century. James Mallinson, Alexis Sanderson, David Gordon White and others theorize that many works were attributed to him posthumously”
The translation of the passage above from Matsyendra Samhita is taken from the ETA. “Place the right thigh over the left thigh. Place the left hell below the right thigh. The hands are arranged left over right on the lap” (MtS -3.20-21)
This is our translation, “A sense-conquer having placed the right shank over the left one should place the side of the left ankle under the right shank. One should do as in padmasana from the hands to the navel. This is vijayasana giving all siddhis the supreme”
The word jangha according to the Monier-Williams dictionary can be translated as “shank” or “leg”. If we translate this word as “leg” the description of this pose will be clearer.
The name of the pose is a compound with the word gomukha in it.
Аdhara-gomukhasana (adhara means basis or foundation). One can describe the figurine from Jaipur Central Museum (7190) as follows as per the ETA, “place one foot under the opposite buttock and place the other foot on the shoulder. Join the palms together at the chest.” The collection of the figurines in the Jaipur Central Museum is of the 19th century.
(this text is neither mentioned in the “Abbreviation and bibliography” nor in the gomukhasana entry in the ETA)
This is a Tamil poetic work written either in the 6th century or after the 10th century (Wikipedia). There are several poses mentioned but none are described.
An image which looks like Gomukhasana.
This is a photo of bas-relief which looks like Gomukhasana. This photo is taken from the website https://www.yogaalliance.org/PhotoGallery/AlbumId/2626/UserId/9596. But originally we found this image in appendix 6 in the ETA. We do not know for sure where exactly this photo was taken but we suppose it might be The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai. According to Wikipedia “The temple is at the center of the ancient temple city of Madurai mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature, with the goddess temple mentioned in 6th-century-CE texts. This temple is one of the Paadal Petra Sthalams, which are 275 temples of Shiva that are revered in the verses of Tamil Saiva Nayanars of 6th-9th century CE. Though the temple has historic roots, most of the present campus structure was rebuilt after the 14th century CE, further repaired, renovated and expanded in the 17th century by Tirumala Nayaka.”
Gomukhasana in the 20th century (in the example of yoga teachers of the 20th century).
Shivananda Swami Saraswati (1887-1963) wrote a great number of books (wikipedia says that there are 296 books). In the book “Yoga Asanas” there is a thorough description of the asana with its benefits and slight variations/changes of the pose (different variation with a fingerlock behind the back)
We know of the 4 books by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). Gomukhasana without an elaborate description is mentioned in some of them. A portion of one of the books is not translated. An elaborate description of the asana was given by his disciples, including B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois.
B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014), is the author of at least 30 books (according to https://bksiyengar.com/). There is an elaborate description of gomukhasana in some of his books with different variations.
Shivananda Swami Sarasvati (1887-1963). “Yoga Asanas” (editions from 1931 to 2004).
Shri Tirumulai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989).
We know of at least 4 books by Krishnamacharya: “Yoga Rahasya” (1965), “Yoga Makaranda” (1934) and “Yoga-asana-galu” (1941). Gomukhasana is mentioned in the text Yoga Rahasaya and in the text Yoga-asana-galu but not described.
This is a table from the book Yoga-asana-galu with the reference to the pose.
B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014). From the book “Yoga Dipika”.
In this article, we took as a basis a list of texts where the gomukhasana pose and poses similar to it, but with a different name, from the book ETA (“Encyclopaedia of Traditional Asanas”) are found. At the same time, there are quite a few poses in ETA that look like gomukhasana (by the position of the legs), but in ETA these poses are not included in the main article on gomukhasana, apparently due to the strong difference in the description in Sanskrit and other languages, and also due to differences in body position (bending forward of the body, etc.). We took all these references for research in this article. We set ourselves the goal of making an encyclopedic material on this pose, where we show quotes from all the treatises found with the mention of the pose in different languages. Interested people and other researchers can check us out on them. We also included brief references to the texts which we took quotes from. With our work, we wanted to show the diversity and grandiosity of both the yoga tradition and specifically its asanas and practices. So far, with the example of only one asana. We have already done a similar analysis in a previous article on gomukhasana (in English https://journal.openyogauniversity.com/2023/01/23/gomukhasana/).
Perhaps in the future more texts on yoga asanas will be found, and we will also be able to find texts that are not currently in the public domain (for example, they are on the ETA list), and the material will be replenished. That is why we constantly use the phrase “according to currently available data” in the article (and lectures).
Additional analysis (not included in the previous gomukhasana article):
An almost identical description of the pose in Sanskrit (with the exception of a couple of words) is found in the following series of texts (11 texts, without taking into account different versions of Hatha Pradipika and comments on it):
Hatha Yoga Pradipika edited by Swami Digambarji, Hatha Yoga Pradipika of 10 chapters, Hatha Sanketa Candrika, Trishikhibrahmana Upanishad, Jabala Darshana Upanishad, Shandilyaupanishad, Yoga Sidhanta Candrika, Vasistha Samhita, Hatha Ratnavali, Jyotsna-Tika (commentary on Hatha Pradipika), Yoga-Yajnavalkya, Hatha-Pradipika-Vritti, Brihad-Yoga-Sopana (but more differences than in previous texts), Yoga-Sopana (purva chatushka).
Earliest such descriptions are found in at least three Upanishads, other texts may repeat them (that is, they may take them as a basis). It is important to remember that in the beginning there was an oral tradition and only then it was written down in treatises. That is, we are talking about either an oral tradition, which is reflected in the description of asana in treatises, or a written tradition and the texts in fact quote each other, from the Upanishads and beyond. The question remains why the authors of the texts do not add other words to the description of the asana or do not use other words to describe the posture in this way.
Two texts with ambiguous descriptions of the asana.
The Gheranda Samhita text is highlighted, where words similar to “place the feet on the sides of the back part of the back” are used, but the “left-right” location markers are not indicated, which means that there may not be a crossing of the legs and stacking of the knee over the oher knee.
As if one part of the verse coincides, and the other does not, as if the author of the verse took liberty in the description and as a result, an ambiguity in the description of the asana occurred. Maybe this is the traditional description coming from the Upanishads, or a posture that is described resembles a modern virasana, when the practitioner sits between the feet: “placing two feet on the ground by the sides of the back part of the back, one should keep the body straight. This is gomukhasana, resembling the muzzle of a cow.”
The situation is similar in the text Ahirbudhnya-Samhita, where the description also turns out to be ambiguous. Other Sanskrit words are used to describe the asana (“placing the ankles on the sides of the buttocks [on either side of the back], and making the hands differently. Grabbing the big toes from behind with the hands. This is called Gomukha.”). Again, the left-right markers are missing, only the Sanskrit words “ankle” and “back part of the back” match, the description of the hands (“not as usual” or “cross the arms”, the ambiguous term vyutkramena) and the capture of the big toes are added. Under the arrangement of the arms “not as usual” one can assume crossed arms either in front or behind, a vague description of the position of the legs also gives two possible variants of the pose.
Gomukha pose is mentioned without description:
Ka̅lik̅purāṇam of the XI-XII century (or VII-XII some parts of the text), Ma̅nasollasa of the XII century (according to ETA), Shiva-Saṃhita̅ of the XVII century (or XIV-XVII centuries) – mentioning the name of the pose (in the context of obstacles in the practice of yoga), Yoga- Rahasya (by Krishnamacharya of the 20th century), Shiva-Yoga-Dipika (15th or 20th century), Tirumantiram, a number of statuettes and bas-reliefs in museums and temples.
In the text of the Shiva Samhita there is no description of the posture. There is only a reference to the pose in the context of the obstacles arising from knowledge.
Texts without verification are given in this article according to ETA materials: some of the Hatha Pradipika variants (for example, we do not have the text of Hatha Pradipika from 6 chapters also known as Siddhanta-Muktavali, or manuscript No. 6756), Joga-Manjari, hatha-pradipika-doha, asanani , yogarnava, asana-nirupana, hatha yoga samhita, Sachitra-Chauryayasin-Asane, one of the varieties of Hatha-Tattva-Kaumudi, Yogasana-Sachitra, photos of statuettes from Jaipur Central Museum are taken from the ETA, Asana-Namani, 9 Nathas and 84 Siddhas, Yoga-asana-Mala-Sachitra (we don’t have this specific text, the necessary quote is taken from the book “Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Text”), Yoga Cintamani, photograph of a bas-relief (?) presumably from the Meenakshi temple (we could not identify it for sure).
The texts that we have, but the word gomukha there either has not yet been found or no translation of the desired fragment is available: Siddhanta-Shekhara (not found, voluminous text in Sanskrit), Sri-Yoga-Kaustubha (in the Gujarati language, there are two options in the ETA list, the text has not yet been translated), Shri-Tattva-Nidhi (in the Kannada language, there is an illustration, text in Kannada, but there is no translation), Manasolasa (this is a voluminous text, the numbering in it is not clear and we could not find the desired fragment by matching the numbering in the text and in the ETA).
New texts not included in the previous article: 9 Naths 84 Siddhas (agochara asana), Joga Pradipika (anasuya asana), Yoga Asana Mala (anasuya asana and shuka deva asana), Joga Pradipika (shuka deva -asana), kirana-tika, Sachitra-Chauryasin-asana and Shri-Yoga-Kaustubha (dakshina-janvasana and vama-janvasana), Bhakti-Sagaradi text (“Ashtanga Yoga” and the name of the posture gaumukhasana), Matsyendra-Samhita (vijaya-asana) , Hatha Pradipika, Sidhanta Muktavali and Asana Namani (kankanasana in these texts), Yoga Siddhanta Candrika and both text by the name Yoga Cintamani (mriga svastikasana), Hatha Pradipika, Siddhanta Muktavali and Asana Namani (turasana) , a bas-relief(?), presumably from the Meenakshi temple, depicting a similar asana.
Forward bend in the asana: Yoga Asana Mala (anasuya asana), Siddhanta Mukvali and Asana Namani (kankanasana and turasana).
Description of the posture (gomukhasna or a similar posture with another name) not in Sanskrit: Sachitra-Chauryasin-Asane in Marathi, Joga-Pradipika in a mixture of Hindi dialects, Brajbhasha and Khariboli, Shri-Yoga-kaustubha in Gujarati, Shri-Tattva-Niddhi in the Kannada language, Hatha Pradipika Vritti in Marathi, Brihad Yoga Sopana (Sanskrit verse, Hindi commentary), Yoga Sopana (Purva Chatushka) with Marathi commentary, 9 Nathas and 84 Siddhas probably (we don’t have the text, the name itself is not Sanskrit), Yogasana-Mala-Sachitra, presumably in a mixture of languages, as well as Joga-Pradipika (one author), Bhakti-Sagaradi (Ashtanga Yoga) in (?) Hindi, Tirumantiram in Tamil, Yogasana-Galu (Krishnamacharya) in Kannada language.
Mentioning of hands joined behind the back (modern version), XX century: Bṛhayoga-Sopa̅na, Yoga-Sopa̅na (illustration to the text), Shri-Yoga-Kaustubha (according to the ETA), Sachitra Vyavaharika Yoga (according to the ETA), books by Shivananda Swami Saraswati (1887-1963), books by B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014), disciple of Krishnamacharya. In Bṛhayoga-sopana and in works by Shivananda, the variant of clutching not all fingers behind the back, but only the index ones, is described. The now popular version of gomuhkasana with the position of the hands clasped behind the back is described exclusively in the texts of the 20th century. With this position of the hands, the pose has become entrenched in the mass consciousness in the 21st century, being now, in fact, one of the hallmarks of yoga.
Sanskrit English dictionaries:
Spoken Sanskrit English dictionary (https://www.learnsanskrit.cc/ ).
Monier-Williams Sanskrit English dictionary (https://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/ )
The Encyclopaedia of Traditional Asanas ─ Second Edition 2013. Editor-in-Chief: Dr. M. L. Gharote. Editors: Dr. V. K. Jha, Dr. Parimal Devnath, Dr. S. B. Sakhalkar, The Lonavala Yoga Institute (India).
Yoga-Yājñavalkya ─ Edited by Sri Prahlad C. Divanji, M.A., LL.M., Editor, siddhantabindu with English Translation, Notes, Introduction etc., and Author, Critical Word-Index to the Bhagavadgita, (1954).
Jābāladarśana Upanishad (Darśana Upanishad) ─ from sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by: Sunder Hattangadi. Latest update: April 15, 2021.
Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad ─ from sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by: Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by: Sunder Hattangadi. Last updated on Sat 20 Feb 2021.
Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad – The Yoga-Upanishads with the commentary of Shri Upanishad Brahmayogin, Ed. Shastri, A. Mahadev Adyar Library and Research Center, Adyar, Madras, 1983.
Triśikhi-brāhmaṇa Upaniṣad ─ from sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by: Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by: Sunder Hattangadi. Latest update: Mar. 4, 2000.
Triśikhi-brāhmaṇa Upaniṣad ─ The Yoga-Upanishads with the commentary of Shri Upanishad Brahmayogin, Ed. Shastri, A. Mahadev Adyar Library and Research Center, Adyar, Madras, 1983.
Haṭhayogapradīpikā – By Svatmarama, translated by Shrinivasa Iyangar, proofread by A.A. Ramanathan and Pandit S.V. Subrahmanya Shastri. The Adyar Library and Research Center. The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras 20, India, 1972.
Haṭhayogapradīpikā – by Svatmarama (10 chapters) with the commentary of Balakrishna entitled Yoga-Prakashika. Ed. M.L. Gharote & Parimal Devnath. Published by the Lonavala Yoga Institute (India), Lonavala (2001).
gheraṇḍa-saṃhitā – Ed. Swami Digambarji & M. L. Gharote. Publisher Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti, Lonavala. 1978. It is a critical edition based on 14 manuscripts and 6 printed texts. It describes 32 poses.
Joga Pradīpikā (Joga Pradīpakā) ─ Editor Gharote, M.L. Published by the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jaipur, 1999. 84 asanas are described here, many of them are similar to those described in Yogasana-Mala (sachitra). Sachitra means with pictures — translator’s note.
Therapeutic References in Traditional Yoga Texts ─ Editors Dr. Manmath M. Ghrarote, Dr. Vijay Kant Jha, Dr. Parimal Devnath. The Lonavala Yoga Institute, India, 2010 (Hatha-Sanketa-Candrika is quoted in this book).
Triśikhi-brāhmaṇa Upaniṣad ─ http://sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by Sunder Hattangadi, 2000.
The Yoga Upanishads ─ translated into English by T.R. Shrinivasa Ayyangar and edited by Pandit S. Subrahmanya Shastri. The Adyar Library. 1938. (The translation into English of Jābāladarśana Upanishad and Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad is taken from this book.)
Jābāladarśana Upanishad ─ sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by Sunder Hattangadi. April 15, 2021.
Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad ─ http://sanskritdocuments.org. Transliterated by Sunder Hattangadi. Proofread by Sunder Hattangadi, 2000.
Yoga-Siddhanta-Chandrika ─ by Sri Narayana Tirtha. Editor dr. Vimala Karnatak. Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi.
Vāsiṣṭha Saṁhitā (Yoga Khanda) ─ Revised Edition, Editors & Commentators: Philosophico-Literary Research Department of Kaivaiyadhama. First Publication: August, 1984, Revised Publication: March, 2005.
siva-saṃhitā ─ translated by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu, published by the Panini Office, Bhuvaneshvari Ashrama Bahadurganj, printed by Apurva Krishna Bose at the Indian Press, 1914.
Shiva yoga deepika ─ by Sadashiva Yogishvara. Publisher: Anandashram, 1978.
A Lamp on Śiva’s Yoga: The Unification of Yoga, Ritual, and Devotion in the Fifteenth-Century Śivayogapradīpikā (PhD Prospectus) by Seth Powell, 2018.
Siddhanta Sekhara (kamya-kanda) ─ by Shripati. A Sanskrit Astronomical Work of the 11th century. Calcutta University Press, 1932.
Kālikā Purāṇa ─ Edited and translated by Acharya Mrityunjai Tripathi. Published by Navshakti Prakashan. First Edition 2006.
haṭha ratnāvalī ─ A treatise of hatha yoga of Shrinivasa. Critically edited by Dr. M. L. Gharote, Dr. Parimal Devnath, Dr. Vijay Kant Jha. Published by The Lonavla Yoga Institute, 2019.
jyotsna-tika ─ a commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Shri Venkateshvar Steam Press, 1952.
Yoga Rahasya ─ Sri Nathamuni, an ancient treatise on yoga as presented by Sri Krishnamacharya, Janus Books Publishing House, A. Sidersky and A. Lappa. Trans. from English into Russian – S.-Pt.: “Exlibris” LLC, 2002.
Yoga Rahasya ─ Presented by T. Krishnamacharya. Translated by T.K.V. Deshikachar. Krishnamachaya Granthamala Series II. Published by Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, 2010.
Yoga-Yājñavalkya ─ translation of the critical edition into Russian, A. N. Rybakov from the website: http://wildyogi.info/ru.html from the book Divanji, Prahlad (1954), Yoga Yajnavalkya: A Treatise on Yoga as Taught by Yogi Yajnavalkya. Bombay, India.
Yoga-Yājñavalkya ─ Translated by A. G. Mohan. Edited by John. J. Ely Ph.D. Published by Ganesh &Co. An imprint of Productivity & Quality Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 38, Thanikachalarn Road. T. Nagar, Madras 600 017, India.
Yoga-Yājñavalkya ─ B.B.R.A. Society Monograph №3. Edited by Shri Prahlad C. Divanji, M.A. LL. M. Bombay, 1954.
Shri yoga kaustubha ─ in Gujarati, by Sharma, Sri Nathurama, Anandashrama, Kathiawad, 6 ed., 1942.
The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace ─ by N. E. Sjoman, Publisher: Abhinav Publications; 2nd edition (June 1, 1999). This is the text where one can find illustrations from Śrītattvanidhi.
Joga Pradīpikā ─ Editor Gharote, M.L. Published by the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jaipur, 1999. 84 asanas are described in this text, many of them are similar to those described in Yogasana-mala (sachitra).
Haṭhayogapradīpikā-vṛtti ─By Bhojatmaja (Commentary in Marathi), Ed. Gharote, M. L. The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India), Lonavla, 2000.
A brief introduction of “Yogāsana – Jaina”: An unpublished yoga manuscript. Satapathy B., Sahay GS. Yoga Mimamsa, 2014; 46:43-55.
Kiranatika ─ Commentary on the Yogasutras of Patanjali. Vallabhacharya, Sri Krishna, Ed. Jyotish Prakash Press, Vishweshwarganj, Benares.
Ahirbudhnya Saṃhitā ─ Ed. Ramanujacharya, MD., Ed. Library and Research Center in the city of Adyar, 1916.
Āsanas in Clay ─ an article in ‘the Luminescent’ by Jacqueline Hargreaves (images of figurines), 2018.
Brihad Yoga Sopana ─Ed. Shastri, Ram Naresh Mishra, Ed. Sri Venkateswara Steam Press, Mumbai, V.S. 2009.
Yoga-sopāna (Purva-Chatushka) ─ in Marathi by Yogi Narayana Ghamande. Pub. by Tukaram Pundlik Shetye.
Tirumantiram (by Tirumular) – The text is in Tamil with an English translation. The text was downloaded from the website: https://himalayanacademy.com/
The Yoga Asanas ─ by Sivananda Saraswati, published by Swami Jivanmuktananda for the Divine Life Society, Shivanandanagar, and printed
by him at the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press, P.O. Shivanandanagar, Distr. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, India. 2004.
Yoga Rahasya ─ Sri Nathamuni. The ancient treatise on yoga as presented by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Publisher “Janus books” A. Sidersky and A. Lappa. Trans. from English into Russian – S.-Pt.: LLC. “Exlibris” LLC, 2002.
Yogasanagalu ─ Third Edition, English translation is of the 1981 ‘New and revised edition’.
Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika ─ By B. K. S. Iyengar. George Allen and Unwin LTD, 2001.
Bhakti-Sagaradi (Ashtangayoga) by Charanadasa. Published by Khemaraj Shri Krishnadas Shri Venkateshwara Press Bombay, Samvat 2030; Shake 1894.