“Yoga doesn’t change the way we see, it transforms the person who sees.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
Iyengar—one of the most revered yogis—was once a child severely sick with tuberculosis, typhus, malaria and malnutrition. He wasn’t expected to survive. Everything changed for Iyengar when his brother-in-law introduced him to yoga. Feeling how his breath, matter and mind started to align, Iyengar understood that everything a body could achieve and a mind could grasp was always within his reach; only he needed to change himself to be a fit receptor for it. This was the beginning of Iyengar’s transformation from the sickly little child to the mountain of a man that he came to be known as.
Iyengar practised day and night, sometimes for 16 hrs at a stretch. When he had no money to take the bus, he would ride a borrowed cycle to give yoga lessons. When he had no food, he drank water and returned to practice. Anyone who saw the intensity and focus of his practice thought Iyengar was a mad man. But, for Iyengar, hardships were not daunting. He once said that the most striking quality of a diamond is not its hardness, but the luminosity. The harder life got, the clearer he saw the lesson. His teaching changed the way people practised yoga, bringing precision to alignment and movement, and understanding the body from muscle, bone and breath to subtle life energy. He showed us how the hardest part of perceiving this world is in becoming a decent perceptor.
We created this screen-printed T-shirt of Iyengar as part of a series featuring some of our favourite sages. A ‘sage’—a relentless pursuer of knowledge and truth—is one of the archetypes in Jungian psychology that we use in storytelling. The sage archetype is special to us as a business because it’s one of the two primary archetypes shaping Public Works. This T-shirt series featuring some iconic sages is for all inquiring minds looking to understand this world a little better.
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