What is the Shiva Samhita in Relation to Yoga? - Yoga Practice Blog

What is the Shiva Samhita?

Shiva SamhitaBy Faye Martins

The Shiva Samhita or the compendium of Shiva, is an ancient anonymous Sanskrit text on the practice and art of Yoga. It is one of three surviving classical Yogic scriptures. The other two yogic texts are the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita. The Shiva Samhita is considered by many scholars to be the most complete Yogic compendium to date. The Shiva Samhita is a dialogue between Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati. This discourse includes detailed instructions on how to perform various Yoga asanas, mudras, pranayams, meditation, tantric practices and even the finer points of abstract Yogic philosophy.


The text is beautifully written as if the reader is listening to a conversation between Shiva and Parvati. Shiva is the symbolic representation of the creative and destructive power of the divine masculine. His consort, Parvati, represents the gentle feminine creative power of the universe. The Shiva Samhita discusses many of the esoteric details of the practice of Yoga. In fact, the text discusses eighty-four different asanas, four of which are described in detail, along with the benefits of mantra repetition, Yogic philosophy, five different types of prana, tantric practices, and the art of meditation.

The chapters of the Shiva Samhita cover various aspects of the practice of Yoga. The word “Yoga” means the union of a human soul with the divine. Some of the aspects that are covered in the chapters of the Shiva Samhita are several methods of liberation, the structure of our 72,000 nadis, and the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti energy. Additionally, the Shiva Samhita outlines the importance of having a true Guru who can awaken the Kundalini energy safely, as well as describing the subtle body and the movement of prana.


There is an explanation in the Shiva Samhita of hand mudras or sacred gestures, eleven of which may substantially support a Yoga practitioner in reaching liberation. In the text, Shiva also clarifies obstacles that a seeker may encounter on the spiritual path and outlines techniques for working with both those obstacles and our shadow aspects. In addition, the Yoga of sacred sound or Nada Yoga is discussed along with the practice of mantra repetition.

Many scholars believe that the Shiva Samhita was written between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, in or around Varanasi, India. It is a beautiful text that enumerates and explains how to practice and succeed on a classical Yogic path.

Even though the text discusses many esoteric aspects of practicing Yoga, Shiva himself emphasizes that even an ordinary individual, or family, living in the middle of the maelstrom of the world can benefit from a regular practice of Yoga.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Yoga instructor courses and continuing education courses for specialized Yoga certification, please visit the following link.


Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources


52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz


A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman


by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of inexpensive yoga teacher courses.

0 thoughts on “What is the Shiva Samhita?”

  1. Shiva Samhita is a beautiful text that enumerates and explains how to practice and succeed on a classical Yogic path. Its really informative post, Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your Cart