Kirtan Kriya is one of the most important Kriya’s in Kundalini yoga and also one of my favorite. Many studies have been done on this kriya and its benefits. Kirtan kriya has been known to improve memory, reduce stress, enhance brain blood flow, improve brain chemistry, improve sleep, lessen depression & overall encourage spiritual well being. It has even been shown to increase telomerese, which is a enzyme that controls the length of your telomeres, the cap of your DNA. Basically, the longer telomeres the better health & longevity. A increase of 44% in teleomerase was shown in a study of highly stressed caregivers doing Kirtan Kriya for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks. This is the largest increase in telomerase ever seen.

In this Kriya you chant Sa Ta Na Ma.

SAT NAM and its derivative SA TA NA MA are the two basic mantras taught by Yogi Bhajan to reorient the mind and thus open us up to the possibility of transformational change.

SAT NAM seeds the truth in our consciousness by waking us up to our divine identity.

SA is the beginning, infinity, the totality of everything that ever was, is or will be.

TA is life, existence and creativity that manifests from infinity.

NA is death, change and the transformation of consciousness.

MA is rebirth, regeneration and resurrection which allows us to consciously experience the joy of the infinite.

SA TA NA MA is so primal that its impact on our psyche is like splitting an atom. The power of his mantra comes from the fact that it rearranges the subconscious mind at the most elementary level.According to Yogi Ba It has the power to break habits and addictions because it accesses the level of the mind where habits are created. SA TA NA MA to a powerful tool to recreate balance in the mind.

Sit with a straight spine. Bring your mental focus to the brow point.

Chant SA TA NA MA. While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

SA press the thumb and the first or Jupiter finger together with pressure.
TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together.
NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together.
MA press the thumb and the small or Mercury finger together.

The Jupiter finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The Saturn finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.

The Sun finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

The Mercury finger aids clear communication.

Each time you close a mudra by joining the thumb with a finger, your ego “seals” its effect in your consciousness.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

While doing the meditation, you may experience thoughts. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind. If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.


It can also be done for shorter times. Yogi Bhajan has said that during this stressful time it should be done for at least 11 minutes every day. For the eleven minute version do:

chant Sa Ta Na Ma 2 minutes OUTLOUD
chant Sa Ta Na Ma 2 minutes in an audible WHISPER
chant Sa Ta Na Ma 3 minutes chant SILENTLY.

chant Sa Ta Na Ma 2 minutes WHISPER.
chant Sa Ta Na Ma 2 minutes OUTLOUD.
Then sit quietly and listen inside, hear the mantra.

At the end, inhale deeply, raise the arms up in the air and vigorously shake the arms and fingers. You can involve the whole body and spine. Exhale. Repeat 1 or 2 more time if you desire. This is an important part of the meditation as it helps move and release the energy in the body. Relax for a few minutes before going about your day. Or relax on your back.

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