Bandhas: The Ties That Bind

In both physical and energetic practices is the idea of stabilizing the energy in one area in order to articulate and direct force to another area. In Yogic practices these stablization areas are called “bandhas,” which means to “lock” or “bind.” Hatha Yoga delineates three main bandhas in the torso and two other bandhas in the hands and feet. These three main bandhas correspond physiologically to the three main diaphragms of the body — the pelvic floor, the lung diaphragm, and the upper palate. Further, these three main centers are central to Euro/American movement techniques, as well as Asian Martial Art techniques.

The first “bind” is called “Mula Bandha,” which is located at the base of the pelvic floor in the perineum, and is engaged to lift the energy through the feet and legs into the base root of the spine. The purpose of Mula Bandha is to gather energy into the root of the body to be used for spiritual expansion, mental clarity, emotional well-being, physical longevity and sustained youth.

The second Banda is called “Uddiyana Bandha,” and is located in the area of the solar plexus, which includes the large area of the abdominals and the transition to the lungs and heart. The intent of Uddiyana Bandha is to connect the power center of the solar plexus with the love center of the heart, where energy courses to express truth.

The third bandha is “Jalahandra Bandha,” and is located along the upper palate of the throat, which in Yogic terms, is the center for self-expression. In Yoga, to stimulate the throat center is to move force from the truth of the heart to fuel the third eye of insight, then through the crown center at the top of the head, in order to commune and communicate with the spiritual kingdoms.

Further, these bandhas, according to Yogic traditions, assist in the propulsion of subtle life force, which is identified as spiritual fire, or Kundalini. I find it interesting that the word “Seraphim,” or angel also translates to “winged serpentine fire,” which is another name given to Kundalini. Also, the word “Tantra” means “to loom, wrap, or weave; an interweaving of traditions, and teachings as threads, into a technique, practice, or text.” I have shared varied images which I find compelling that visually present the joining, wrapping, interweaving of forces and frequencies. This is a vast and rich subject of study.

Click on each image for the reference and the context that the image is shown in regard to this section.

This comes from my own imaginings. Take tor leave it as you may:
I think of vortices as spiraling waves. When opposing vortices or spiraling waves intersect, an interference pattern is created, and this creates a field of stillness in space-time. Strands from these vortical forces can be drawn into this field and interweaved. These weavings create webbed patterns of life-force which interact with the web of life we call reality.


Illustration, Martineau, John. 2010. “A Little Book of Coincidence in Our Solar System.” Quadrivium. The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology. New York: Bloomsbury. 299.

Two Models of our Solar System:
a. Corkscrew -Top picture shows our solar system tilts at a 30 degree plane in relation to the Milky Way Galaxy, and moves in a corkscrew-like motion.
b.Gravity Wells – Bottom picture is a visualization of the curve of space/time in our solar system and the force of gravity between the planets. This density of space/time results in gravity wells, where mass is the heaviest expression of the fabric of space/time.

Imagine the vortical patterns and forces that are generated by the combination of the corkscrew patterns and the spiraling gravity wells of our orbiting Sun and planets around the galaxy.


Ashton, Anthony. 2010. “Harmonograph. A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music,” from Quadrivium…., 221. Illustration

Visualized Music/ The Fourth 4:3

These two patterns were created by a Harmonograph, which uses two pendulums that combine two vibrations into a single drawing, as two musical tones produce a single complex sound. The top drawing is of an open Fourth, while the bottom drawing is a more complex closed Fourth.

3. Infinity Cross Detail, Book of Kells:

The Book of Kells. 1994. Described by Sir Edward Sullivan, Bart., Plate XVIII., Portrait of St. John. For. 291V. Cross detail.

A detail of the vortical infinity spiral patterns shaping a cross, forever in motion to the eye.



Balchin, J., Designs from the Book of Kells, Search Press, 2009, Great Britain, p.25

An example of a crossed sacred knot intertwined with a man.








Wilson, D. and Klindt-Jenson, O. 1980. Viking Art. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Plate XLVIII. The Jelling stone, Denmark.

Another example of a man, this time with open arms in the form of a cross and wrapped with knots.






Roob, Alexander. 2001. Alchemy and Mysticism, The Hermetic Museum. Taschen: Koln, Germany. 408, illustration.

In Hatha Yoga there are two opposing energies that intertwine in the spine at energy centers, called chakras or energy vortices: the masculine “Pingala,” or Solar, fire energy, and the Feminine, “Ida,” or Lunar, water energy. The union of these two energies are said to produce “Kundalini,” or soul force.

Burger, Bruce. 1998. Esoteric Anatomy. the Body As Consciousness. Berekely, CA: North Atlantic Books. 40, illustration.

Illustration is labeled “Etheric Atomic Lines of Force”


Illustration, Martineau, J., “The Elements of Music. Melody, Rhythm, & Harmony,” Quadrivium…. 239. illustration.

The Illustration is a Zoomorphic musical diagram by Boethius (480-534 AD) in his book, De Musica. Boethius’ philosophical scholarship was considered a bridge between the classical world of Greece and Rome, and the later Medieval period. His concepts of music, influenced by Pythagoras and Plato, were later central to the development of the Gregorian Chants of the 9th and 10th century Europe. Boethius was also a Roman senator, consul, and magistrate, under King Theodoric, but was eventually executed on conspiracy charges. His last year in prison he wrote his famous, The Consolation of Philosophy.

In Portfolios