The trancelike yogi bows his body and presses his head against open palms, rocking back and forth on folded legs. The muscles and tendons of his arms and legs are stretched tautly as he prays with unrelenting fervor. This suar wood sculpture by Wayan Rendah masterfully communicates the yogi’s piety, religious asceticism, and self-denial.
Yogis are holy men and great mystics, many of whom also possess the gift of prophecy. They are beloved figures in the countryside, and villagers will feed and care for the yogis as they roam from region to region searching for perfect purity and knowledge through meditation, ecstatic trances and frightening self-mortification.