Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation: Everything You Need to know

One of the most powerful mental hacks out there is meditation. Learning meditation is like learning any new skill. It takes practice to learn a routine that he has never been worked on before. Mindfulness may sound intimidating, but is simply the practice of focusing the mind on a particular thought, object, or activity. Through mindfulness, one can achieve a clear, calm, and stable mental and emotional state. Meditation can also help you to break negative habits, reshape consciousness, and boost your health. Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is an exercise in mindfulness that has health benefits backed by scientific research.

Whether you are just starting with meditation or want to try something more powerful, Sa Ta Na Ma is a great exercise to try if you want to feel calm and refreshed. It will clear the subconscious mind of traumas and negative emotions, along with bringing increased mental clarity. You can adapt it to several lengths but practicing it for 12 minutes has proven to be time-efficient while still providing beneficial results.

The Origin of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Sikh temple; the origin of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation

The Sa Ta Na Ma mantra is rooted in Sikhism philosophy. It originated from the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century and is commonly translated to “truth is our identity”. Sa Ta Na Ma is the most important meditation in Kundalini and was introduced to Western society by Yogi Bhajan. Sometimes Sa Ta Na Ma is just called Kirtan Kriya (KEER-tun KREE-a), the word derived from the traditional Indian language Sanskrit. Kirtan means ‘praise’ or ‘song’ whereas Kriya means ‘actions’ or ‘to do’. In Kirtan Kriya, each Syllable of the Sa Ta Na Ma mantra has a unique and specific meaning.

  • Sa– birth, beginning, infinity, and the totality of cosmos
  • Ta– existence, life, and creativity manifest
  • Na– change, death, and transformation of consciousness
  • Ma– resurrection, rebirth, and regeneration

Tip: The “a” in each syllable should be pronounced as “ah”.

Benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

To date, there have been three studies published that prove the health benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation. Two of them are from the University of Pennsylvania. Scientists recognize Sa Ta Na Ma meditation as a powerful tool for preventing Alzheimer’s disease. A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, examined 15 participants from age 52 to 77 that were having memory issues. After trying Sa Ta Na Ma meditation at home for eight weeks, the participants experienced improved memory.

Another important finding was that the participants experienced better cerebral blood flow in the brain. Blood flow in the frontal and parietal lobes was also improved (both of these are related to memory retrieval). The study also showed that this practice helps with depression and makes people more resilient by enhancing brain chemistry. It has also become useful in minimizing stress levels and refining short term memory.

Mantra & The Use of Different Voices

You’ve likely heard of mantras before; it simply means an often repeated word or phrase. Some people have “carpe diem” (Latin for seize the day) as their mantra and others choose “live laugh love”. According to ancient yogic practice, mantras carry vibrations and are believed to hold sacred energy. Sa Ta Na Ma is the mantra used for this particular mediation. While repeating it, always keep in mind there are three voices. The first is singing, which represents the voice of action. The second is whispering, which represents the voice of the inner mind. Finally, there is silence. This represents your spiritual voice. Here you repeat the mantra mentally to yourself. You don’t use the words aloud; instead, say them to yourself. Using all three voices is a significant part of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation.

Mudras

Mudra simply translates to “motion of hands”. These sacred hand positions can have a profound energetic effect on your mind and body. Mudras in Sa Ta Na Ma meditation activate pressure points that help energy flow to the brain more efficiently. This flow of energy plays a vital role in clearing the subconscious mind, bringing great inner peace, and encouraging physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. The mudras involved in this meditation correlate to a particular syllable of Sa Ta Na Ma.

Guyan Mudra

Sa – the index finger (for wisdom – Jupiter)

While chanting Sa, press the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index (or pointer) finger. Experts think that this connection brings wisdom, knowledge, and releases a person from limitations. It also increases air elements within the body, creating a positive effect on emotions and empowering the nervous system.

Shuni Mudra

Ta – the middle finger (for patience – Saturn)

While chanting Ta, hold your thumb to your middle finger. This connection is said to be vital for bringing patience and purity. This connection also increases the cosmic elements within the body, creating positive effects on human intuition and thought.

Surya Mudra

Na – the ring finger (for energy – Sun)

While chanting Na, press your thumb to your ring finger. This connection brings vitality and aliveness by increasing the earth elements in your body while decreasing fire elements. Experts believe that this connection creates a positive effect on the body’s inner organs, bones, tendons, and muscles.

Na - ring finger movement

Buddhi Mudra

Ma – the pinky finger (communication – Mercury)

While chanting Ma, hold your thumb to the tip of your pinky finger. This connection supports clear communication. The thumb and pinky finger connection is said to reduce water elements in the body. It also helps to minimize symptoms of excessive hormones and water retention, like watery eyes, runny noses, and loose bowels.

The Use of Visualizations

When it comes to manifestation and clearing the mind, visualizations are an essential tool. The mental focus for the Kirtan Kriya in Kundalini yoga is known as the golden cord, an energy pathway that connects pituitary glands. While repeating in the different voices and using the related finger touches, imagine the vibration of each syllable flowing up to your Sahasrara chakra. This is also known as the crown chakra which is pinpointed at the top of the head. Then, feel the energy flowing out through the Ajna chakra. Also known as the third eye, it is located in between and just above the eyebrows. The glands located at these two chakras are directly associated with our spiritual connection, enlightenment, intuition.

sa ta na ma meditation

How to Do Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Putting it All Together

Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is composed of the three parts already covered: mantra, mudra, and visualization. Each carries equal importance. All three parts should be practiced simultaneously and with full attention. Mental focus and precision are vital. You definitely won’t be perfect to start, so don’t be discouraged. As you’ve figured out by now, Sa Ta Na Ma is rather complex. However, this shouldn’t stop a beginner from trying it out because you’ll quickly get better at it after only a few times. In order to experience the benefits mentioned above, follow these instructions:

  1. Sit with your legs crossed and a straight spine. Close your eyes and bring the mental focus to the chakra also known as your third eye. Make sure you are sitting comfortably. Rest your hands on your knees with your palm turned upward. With each syllable, imagine the sound flowing in through the top of your head (crown chakra) and out the middle of your head (third eye).
  2. Begin to sing “Sa Ta Na Ma” for two minutes.
  3. Then, whisper “Sa Ta Na Ma” for the next two minutes.
  4. For the next four minutes, say the mantra silently in your head.
  5. Return to whispering “Sa Ta Na Ma” for two more minutes
  6. Finish by singing “Sa Ta Na Ma” for the last two minutes

While chanting the Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra press thumbs with all four fingers as discussed earlier. Make sure to press hard enough so you can feel the pressure and stay awake. However, you shouldn’t press so hard that it feels strenuous or hurts. Find a nice middle ground and keep repeating this process in a stable rhythm. Also, imagine the golden cord with each syllable you repeat, and make sure to do this visualization throughout the meditation process. At the end, to come out of the meditation exercise, inhale deeply, make sure to stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly as you exhale. Shake your hands and body for a minute. This will help to release energy and wake you up.