Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

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Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing all aspects of cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory.

There are three separate studies that have been published that prove the Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation benefits. Two of the studies were done at the University of Pennsylvania and one continuing studying is being done at UCLA University of California. The University of Pennsylvania study was published in 2010 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (1). Their second study was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine in 2010. The Canadian Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation is recommending the meditation as a daily practice to slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s (2)

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is a Kundalini Kirtan Kriya (KEER-tun KREE-a) brought to North America by Yogi Bhajan. Kirtan Kriya is Sanskrit, a classical language of India. Kirtan means “song” or “praise” and Kriya means “to do” or “action.”

The meditation is a combination of chanting a mantra while moving the hands through mudra’s. Mantra and mudra are also Sanskrit words. Mantra means “an often repeated word or phrase” and mudra means “a motion of the hands” or “a dance of the hands.” To fully experience the benefits of the meditation, a combination of singing, whispering and silently repeating the mantra are used. A key visualization of concentration is used to cap off the meditation.

Let’s start first with understanding the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma. The sounds comes from one of the oldest mantras Sat Nam which means “my true essence” or “true identity” and are designed to be uplifting. There are many interpretations for each of the sounds, one being that there is no meaning to the sounds at all, but simply a vibration, and a stimulation of 84 acupressure points in the palate of the mouth which occurs when singing and whispering the words. Other translations of the sounds are:

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

TA is life, existence, and creativity which 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 Chant

When using the mantra in the meditation there are three “voices”. The singing voice, which represents the voice of action. The whispered voice, which represents the voice of the inner mind or the voice of your romantic nature. Finally the silence where you repeat the mantra mentally to yourself, representing your spiritual voice. When singing the notes recommended for the mantra are A, G, F, G.

There are different lengths to the Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation recommends the 12 minute version, but there is also the option of a 6 minutes or 30 minutes. The timing for Sa Ta Na Ma voices are listed below.

  • 6 minute practice
  • 1 minute out loud
  • 1 minute whisper
  • 2 minutes silently
  • 1 minute whisper
  • 1 minute out loud
  • 12 minute practice
  • 2 minutes out loud
  • 2 minutes whisper
  • 4 minutes silently
  • 2 minutes whisper
  • 2 minutes out loud
  • 30 minute practice
  • 5 minutes out loud
  • 5 minutes out whisper
  • 10 minutes silently
  • 5 minutes whisper
  • 5 minutes loud

Now lets move onto understanding the purpose of the four sequentially repeated hand mudras.

Guyan Mudra – (Vaayu Vardhak)
SA Mudra
The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger (the Jupiter finger), held while chanting SA.

It is believed that the connection of the thumb and first finger brings us knowledge, expands our field possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The connection of the two is said to increase the air element within the body creating positive effects on the emotions, empowering the nervous system, stimulating the pituitary gland and the entire endocrine gland system.

Shuni Mudra – (Akaash Vardhak)
Ta Mudra
The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the middle finger (the Saturn finger), held while chanting TA.

It is believed that the connection of the thumb and middle finger give us patience, wisdom and purity.

The connection of the two is said to increase the ether or space element within the body, creating positive effects on our thoughts and intuition. It is also believed to detoxify the body through elimination and relieve a variety of congestions.

Surya Mudra – (Ravi Mudra & Prithvi Vardahk)

Na Mudra
The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the ring finger (the Uranus or Sun finger), held while chanting NA.

It is believed that the connection of the thumb and ring finger brings us vitality and aliveness.

The connection of the two is said to increase the earth element within the body while at the same time decreasing the fire element. This creates positive effects on our bodily tissues such as bones, muscles, tendons and inner organs. It is said to increase endurance, strength and vitality.

Buddhi Mudra – (Jal Vardhak)
Ma Mudra
The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the pinky finger (the Mercury finger), held while chanting MA.

It is believed that the connection of the thumb and pinky finger aids clear communication.

The connection of the two is said to reduce the water element within the body. This helps to reduce challenges of excessive hormones, and water retention. It decreases watery eyes, runny noses and loose bowels.

Research also shows that by using the Hand mudras in conjunction with the sounds improves blood flow to areas in the brain that control motor sensory and memory.

Next, we come to the visualization aspect. An important part of the meditation is with each L-Shaped Visualizations sound to visualize the energy coming in the crown of the head, and out of the center of the brow (the region often referred to as the third eye). This helps with the cleansing of thoughts and reduction of headaches. The L visualization is said to connect and awaken the pineal and pituitary glands, our primary hormone-producing centers in the body. When the pineal gland is dormant the mind goes out of balance and feelings of emotional imbalance occur. You may experience a variety of emotions while doing the Kirtan Kriya. Feel free to let these emotions also flow out through the third eye.

Now let’s bring it all together.

Start by finding a comfortable seated position. You are welcome to use a chair, bench or cushion. There is also the option of completing this mantra lying down, but be mindful not to fall asleep if you make this choice. However, you choose to settle, ensure that your spine is straight and the core is open to receiving full complete breaths.
Decide which of the three variations fit your schedule (6, 12 or 30 minutes).
Take a few full deep cleansing breaths. In through the nose then, out through the mouth with an audible sigh.
Close your eyes and rest your hands gently in your lap or down the sides of the body with the palms facing up. Explore the connection of each finger to thumb as you say each of the sounds. SA – index to thumb, TA – middle to thumb, NA – ring finger to thumb, MA – pinky finger to thumb. Feel the pressures on the palate as you enunciate each word along with the pressure on the pads of the fingers. When your body feels ready, start singing the mantra.
Sing Sa Ta Na Ma in full voice, moving your fingers through the mudras with each sound and visualizing the energy drawing in through the crown and out through the brow. Allow your inner witness to observe any sensations which move through the body and mind.
When the time is right, shift your voice to a whisper, continuing the hand mudras and visualizing the L shaped flow of energy.
Move next into the mindfulness of silence. Continue the finger dance of the mudras while silently repeating the mantra to yourself.
As the silence draws to a close, you’ll return once again to the whisper.
From the whisper, you slide again into chanting the mantra in full voice.
When the singing has come to completion, release the mudras and the mantras.
Inhale deeply drawing the arms wide and up above the head (or within your range of motion). Wiggle the fingers and then shake the hands vigorously while moving the core of the spine. This helps to release the energy from the body. Release your hands down on the next exhale.
Take some time to receive and explore the sensations and benefits manifesting in your body.
My CD the Ageless Art of Breath & Mediation includes both the 6 and 12 minute versions of the Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation.

Showing 36 comments
  • Bobby

    Great Info!! Thanks so much!! 🙂

    • agelessarts

      Glad you’re enjoying Bobby. Feel free to spread the word…

  • Tracie

    Thank you Tracy! I’ve shared and am using! Wonderful !

  • agelessarts

    Thanks for sharing Tracie… let’s keep spreading the word!

  • Renee Wittine Gerber

    If my eyes are closed how can I time myself appropriately? Any suggestions?

    • agelessarts


      That is an excellent question. The Sa Ta Na Ma meditation was designed to be a guided meditation. In other words you are either leading the meditation and taking care of the responsibilities of time, or you are a participant and your guide is watching the time for you. As soon as you are mindful of time, you will be disconnected from the experience. Probably not the answer you were looking for, but I will soon have a solution for you. I will be sure to drop you a message once my CD is complete. There will be 6 minute, 12 minute and 30 minute tracks. In each I will sing and guide you through will gentle reminders to move through the hand mudras and complete the visualizations as you sink into each variation of the mantra. Namaste ~ Tracey

  • Linda

    How do I get your CD please

    • Sharon Ascencio

      Please let me know when the CD is ready for purchase.

      • agelessarts

        Hi Sharon! We’ve released the meditation as an online CD. You can get it from Spotify or just about any online music source you prefer (sadly, not iTunes because they refuse to let us have the quiet moments in it that are so part of the meditation.

  • Jeanne

    Thank you for the wonderful info! I actually had the same question as Renee and was able to find a free meditation timer app which allows me to set intervals within a specified time span (ie a tone every 5 minutes for 30 minutes). The tones are a beautiful, peaceful singing bowl sound. So now I can keep my eyes closed without thinking about the time and just completely stay in my meditation. I hope that helps! 🙂

  • Lisa

    How many times a day can I practice this meditation?

    • agelessarts

      Lisa, there are no rules around “how many times?” I would simply listen to your body, and follow what feels good.

  • Jack

    My brain just fell out.

  • Tracey Eccleston

    Exciting news everyone… we are soon to launch our SaTaNaMa Meditation online training… stay tuned for more details

  • Janet K.

    Great article. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Beverley Robson

    I too would like a CD when it is ready. Also, I would like in info about your on line SaTaNaMa meditaation

    • Lucy Viggers

      Like others, I would like to get the CD mentioned (it helps as guidance and timing). I found your post profoundly revealing of truth and very helpful. Thank you.

  • Deborah Toyias Kozich

    Where do I purchase ageless art of breathe meditation cd?
    Thank you

    • agelessarts

      We’ve released the meditation as an online CD. You can get it from Spotify or just about any online music source you prefer (sadly, not iTunes because they refuse to let us have the quiet moments in it that are so part of the meditation.

      • Tammy

        I am finding this mediation very inspiring and energizing. My lovely yoga teacher introduced the class to it last week. We all have either Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s. I am certainly going to stay practising this most days if possible. Thank you for this very informative guide I have also sent to my yoga teacher.Namaste 🙏

  • Deborah Toyias Kozich

    Where do I purchase ageless art of breathe meditation cd?
    Thank you
    I would like to connect with your online class too.
    Thank you again

  • William Smith

    Where can I purchase a copy of your CD Ageless Art of Breath & Mediation?

  • Ellen

    Sat Nam,
    Thank you for your excellent review of kirtan kriya.
    Blessings to you for the New Year!

  • kate lind

    Can this help hypertension…I have high systolic blood pressure and nothing seems to bring it down. Will this work or should I look for another
    form of meditation.

    • agelessarts

      Kate, the cause of high blood pressure and hypertension is a very specific to each person and the way they move through life. For most people, this form of meditation will be very beneficial in relaxing and calming the nervous system. That being said, everyone is unique, and the only way to know for sure is to explore the meditation in your own body. Being sure to practice compassion and mindfulness as you go.

  • Steve Malysz III,M.S

    Thank you.

  • Susan DeCastro

    Kindly share where I may access your CD,AGELESS ART OF BREATH AND MEDITATION and the online SaTaNaMa meditation.

    Thank you Tracy for your offering of this gift.

  • Danny J

    Great info, thank you! I work with a group of seniors every week and I am going to bring this to our class! I also wanted to let you know I think there might be a typo on the surya mudra, as it is known for increasing the fire element, and decreasing heaviness. Perhaps take a look and see. Wishing you peace and blessings, namaste.

  • Francesca S

    Thank you for this wonderful info. How do we keep track of time when meditating alone? I don’t want to break meditation using a stopwatch to determine when my minute intervals are up. Can i just organically switch from aloud > whisper > silence and back as i feel is right or should i use a timing instrument? Thank you again for the excellent info and meanings. – Fran

    • agelessarts

      Francesca, I personally use my Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation CD. It is a minimalistic approach that works to transition the timing seamlessly. You are also welcome to use a timing instrument, but you want one that you will not need to touch or change during the process. In regards to the organic switch, there is no research showing that you can’t do this, or if it will affect the meditation. The only research that I have seen stays very clearly within the original timing sequence. I would recommend exploring them both for yourself and seeing if you can feel a difference personally. At the end of the day, it is your experience with the meditation that matters. Namaste.

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