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Powerful Kundalini Meditation Kirtan Kriya Benefits Mind, Body and Spirit

Jan 31, 2018 09:22PM ● By Teja Shanti Kaur

Kirtan Kriya is one of the most important meditations in Kundalini Yoga. It is often referred to as the “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation. Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., Master of Kundalini Yoga, says that if all other meditation technologies were lost, this one would be enough to clear our psyche and balance our body, mind and soul.

“What is meditation? When you empty yourself and let the universe come into you.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

In Kundalini Yoga, a kriya is a series of postures, breath and sound that works toward a specific outcome. Kirtan is a Sanskrit word that means "devotional song” or “praise.” The sounds “Sa Ta Na Ma” come from one of the oldest mantras Sat Nam which means “my true essence” and are designed to be uplifting.

According to Psychology Today, the reason that this meditation is so powerful is that it stimulates many parts of our brain at one time, thereby creating a whole brain healing effect. The use of the tongue stimulates the 84 acupuncture meridian points on the roof of the mouth, sending a signal to different areas of the brain. Using the fingertips to accompany the sounds creates a balance in the electromagnetic projection of the aura.

There are several studies that have been conducted over the years to prove the efficacy of this ancient yoga practice. Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and University of California included measuring cerebral blood flow in the brain to determine which areas are more active and which are less active during the practice. 

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., the president and medical director of The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, in Tucson, Arizona, has been studying the effects yoga and meditation have on the brain, and discovered that the Kirtan Kriya has immediate, long-term positive benefits. Khalsa and his colleagues have conducted a series of scientific studies revealing that practicing Kirtan Kriya for only 12 minutes can bring about many benefits. His work has specifically focused on reducing risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and total brain fitness, but it also shows how Kundalini Yoga and meditation benefits brain health which in turn benefits mind, body and spirit.

The benefits shown include reduced stress, depression and inflammation. There is even a lengthening of telomeres, the end of chromosomes that control aging and reversed memory loss from improved blood flow. Sleep, mood and energy are increased as well. Spiritual, mental and emotional well-being are improved. Benefits show a clarity of purpose and an effectiveness in releasing emotional pain stored in our aura, the place where we hold love relationship wounds. The meditation also has been shown to balance a woman’s menstrual cycle, boost the immune system and have an anti-aging effect on the brain.

Teja Shanti Kaur, Registered Nurse, is a Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Reiki Master from Woodstown, NJ, and enjoys teaching Kundalini Yoga and meditation. For more information on classes and workshops, email [email protected].


Kirtan Kriya Instructions


Posture: Sit in easy pose

Focus: The eyelids are closed, gaze midpoint between the brows

Breath: Your breath will come automatically as you chant …

Mantra: Sa Ta Na Ma (Cycle of Creation)

Sa = Infinity, Cosmos, Beginning

Ta = Life, Existence

Na = Death

Ma = Rebirth

Mudra: Elbows are straight and each finger touches, in turn, the tip of the thumb while chanting. On “Sa,” press index finger pad to thumb; on “Ta,” press your middle finger to the thumb; on “Na,” press the ring finger to the thumb; on “Ma,” press pinky to thumb. Continue moving your fingers through this meditation.

Time: 12 minutes total. Chant in a normal voice for two minutes; chant in a whisper for two minutes; chant in your head for four minutes. Come back to a whisper for two minutes, then your normal voice for two minutes.

End: Inhale and suspend breath briefly, and then completely exhale. Rest for one minute. Inhale, stretch the arms up as far as possible, spread the hands wide and exhale bringing arms down by sides. Take two more deep inhales and exhales. Relax.

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