When Manduka have learned about Vincent van Gogh – specifically, his story and challenges with mental health, they knew they were the right partner to help bring attention to his work and continue to speak to the power that yoga, meditation, and mindfulness provide to those struggling.
They were inspired not only by Van Gogh’s art when he was happiest but also by how openly he approached his challenges. He served as an inspiration to us, as we hope he does for you.
Van Gogh painted this bouquet style still life towards the end of his journey in Saint-Rémy. He set out to achieve a powerful color contrast. By placing the purple flowers against a yellow background, he made the decorative forms stand out even more strongly. The irises were originally purple. But as the red pigment has faded, they have turned blue.
The first painting he did when he arrived at the Saint-Rémy mental hospital. In the first weeks, he wasn't allowed to leave the grounds, so he focused on subjects within the institution's walled garden.
Despite his unstable mental health, he was very productive: he made about 150 paintings in a year, including Almond Blossom. The painting was a gift for his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo, who had just had a baby son, Vincent Willem. Enlarged here to the biggest scale possible on our restorative round mat, to show every brush stroke and detail.
The goal of their collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum and this collection is to encourage an open dialogue around the subject of mental health, but also to provide tools for coping – meditation, breathing techniques, and yoga to support a healthier mind and body connection.