In the late 1970's, Raza's style of painting changed dramatically. He began to use the elemental form of the circle as a "starting point" in his work. In a strictly formal sense, Raza's style seems to bear some relation to the Abstract Expressionist work of Frank Stella and Jasper Johns. However, while these artists were part of a theoretical discussion on the Formalist movment, Raza's work addresses a more spiritual context. The circle becomes less of a graphical component and more of a focal point representing concentrated energy. This concept has age-old precedents in meditative aids such as yantras and mandalas. The Kundalini is an awakening of dormant energy and its principle is manifested in painting as a pair of coiled snakes. It refers to the energy flowing in whirls at the base of the spine, whereby practicing asceticism, it ascends the body, eventually leading to enlightenment.