Alchemy! The secret roots of hatha yoga.
The desire to transmute the body into a worthy vessel was inspired in part by the alchemical explorations of turning lead into gold. “The siddha is a spiritual alchemist who works on and transmutes impure matter, the human body-mind, into pure gold, the immortal spiritual essence.” – Georg Feurstein, “The Yoga Tradition, Chapter 18: Yoga as Spiritual Alchemy: The Philosophy and Practice of Hatha Yoga.”
Learn more about the history of alchemy with this fun podcast from the gals of “Stuff you missed in history class.” An interesting detour into one of the influences of our modern day yoga.