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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Knot of Vishnu: Stuck between two Chakras

I came across an old, but new to me, concept the other day called the "Knot of Vishnu". It felt like it warranted some examination.

In kundalini yoga there are considered to be three knots of attachment. As kundalini rises and you wind energy through the chakra system, you can get "tied up" on one of these knots it would seem. The second knot is the Knot of Vishnu. This area of potential trapped energy is found between the third and fourth chakras- right around the area of your diaphragm.

This concept of the Knot of Vishnu is explained briefly in "Unplugging The Patriarchy" by Lucia Rene

The third chakra is concerned with power. The location of the third chakra corresponds to just above the navel in the physical body. The central theme of this chakra is will power, personality, and self control. Balanced third chakras help you feel able to trust your feelings, emotions and sense of spontaneity. When you are balanced in your third chakra you know who you are and feel pretty secure in knowing what you want and how to get it.

The fourth chakra is concerned with love. It is located at the level of the heart. We sometimes confuse love with sexuality and the quest for a partner, but those issues are centered more in the lower chakras. The love of the fourth chakra is empathy for others, a sense of humanity, love of the "collective", everything and everyone in the universe and beyond, equally. It is about the complete release of power structures and heirarchies by allowing equality.

So, it seems kind of obvious how we end up with a knot in between these two chakars. Having grasped a sense of our own power and how we can in some way manipulate events and control our outcomes, it's hard to let go of that to move into working for "the good of all". At this "in between knot", we harbor lots of fear and the desire for, or fear of, control.

The Knot of Vishnu corresponds to the level of the diaphragm. Again, no surprise I guess. The diaphragm is a pretty interesting organ. It's pure muscle, but under both voluntary and involuntary control. To a point you can hold your breath, but as long as your nervous system is functioning, you can only do that to a point. If you pass out and loose conscious control, the diaphragm can do it's thing without you. The diaphragm separates the chest cavity from the abdomenal cavity. In emergency medicine, wounds and injuries are classified as "below the diaphragm" and "above the diaphragm" and there are very different treatments and outcomes associated with both. To have a perforation in the diaphragm and therefore mixing between the chest and abdomen is a very bad thing for both cavities. Babies are considered to be "diaphragmatic breathers". They breath differently than adults and more under involuntary control until they develop other muscles that encourage more "self-control" over this vital function.

Okay, so I got a bit carried away with the biology. The point is, this Knot of Vishnu, in my opinion, sounds like a very defining line in our lives. We can choose to stay balanced and focused on the lower charkra levels and probably function very well on the earth right now. We can move through the systems that are in place, probably be quite successful in a career and remain very much in control. Or...

We can choose to move up a bit and be more focused at the level of the fourth chakra, the heart. But to move up to that level, you have to release some fear and control issues that may be a bit stuck in between. To truly move to the upper chakra levels, you may have to pass through a knot of fear that suggests if you walk away from controlling structures, organizations, and accepted ways of functioning, something bad will happen to you. Many powerful structures are based on this fear and keeping your "knot of Vishnu" pretty tight. It's how marketing campaigns are structured- "if you don't do, buy,or believe in this, you will somehow be injured, damaged, or left out. Hmmm...

So the question is: how do you untie that knot? Maybe just being aware will help a lot. In today's society we spend a lot of our time holding our breath and not breathing deeply. When you turn your awareness to your breathing, it's a pretty easy fix to consciously think about breathing deeper and relaxing those muscles. Maybe the same can be said for that Knot of Vishnu. Maybe if we consider what we are fearful of, and why we hold that fear, we can let go of the control.

There are lots of Bach Flower essences for fear and I've written posts about them before But the one for the fear of loosing control is Cherry Plum and it seems most appropriate to me for the knot of Vishnu. In fact, Cherry Plum keeps coming up more and more lately, maybe that's the point. Lucia Rene writes that the earth itself has been blocked between a third dimension or chakra of power and control, and the fourth dimension where there is more collective harmony and less misuse of power and resources.

Whatever your personal blockages might be, and whatever it is that gets you "tied up in knots", there is no question that breathing deeply and slowly helps. So that might be the place to start and who knows where you might go from there.



  1. Thank you for sharing this. Info on the Knot of Vishnu isn't that easy to find, and I have been trying to bring some awareness to it. :)

  2. Ditto to Starr. This was very informative and helped me to understand what I need to do. Namaste:)