Whether you’re just starting out with meditation or want to try something more powerful during your daily mindfulness, Sa Ta Na Ma is the mantra you need to know about.
This meditation will refresh and awaken your mind, while also boosting your health.
What does “Sa Ta Na Ma” mean?
This is a mantra that’s based on Sikhism, philosophy and religion that originated in Punjab on the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century, as Britannica reports. When translated, the words mean “truth is our identity.”
In greater detail, “Sa” means birth, beginning, and the totality of the cosmos; “Ta” means life, creativity, and existence; “Na” represents death and change; and “Ma” is rebirth, regeneration, as well as consciously experiencing the joy of the infinite, as Yogapedia reports.
It’s been said that this type of mantra is one of the most powerful that you can learn. So, with that in mind, let’s explore more about this fascinating and calming meditation.
Where Sa Ta Na Ma Comes From
Sa Ta Na Ma is actually a derivative mantra taken from Sat Nam. These two mantras have been taught by spiritual teacher Yogi Bhajan and they work to open the mind and enable transformational change.
Basically, Sa Ta Na Ma uses similar sounds in the words “Sat Nam,” and it’s sometimes referred to as the Kirtan Kriya.
To delve a little deeper, in Sanskrit Kirtan can be translated as “praise,” and Kriya means “action.”
Therefore, the Sa Ta Na Ma is about mantra chanting combined with hand movements, known as mudras. This makes it even more powerful.
Health Benefits Of Sa Ta Na Ma
Doing the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is said to bring about greater inner peace as well as encourage physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, as Yogapedia reports.
There have been some interesting studies done on the benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation. Here’s a rundown of two of the most popular.
A study found that Sa Ta Na Ma meditation can help patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (via WebMD), 15 participants between the ages of 52 and 77 with memory problems tried the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation at home daily for eight weeks.
One of the most important findings was that the participants experienced greater cerebral blood flow in the brain to the frontal lobe and parietal lobes, both of which are associated with memory retrieval.
They also showed improvement in a cognition test, general memory test, and attention test.
Another study, this time published in the Psychogeriatrics journal, found that the meditation brought about both short and long-term improvements when it came to participants’ executive functioning, which is the mental functioning required for attention, remembering instructions, and planning.
In addition, the meditation alleviated depression and made them more resilient.
One of the most important things about Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is that it enhances brain chemistry. When you have less brain energy and function, this decreases your brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters.
Therefore Sa Ta Na Ma is a wonderful, natural way of improving your brain cell communication. This has the benefit of boosting how your brain functions.
Important Things To Know About Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation
The Use Of Different Voices
It’s crucial to understand that there are three different voices you will use when doing this meditation. These are your singing voice and it needs to be used because it’s said to be the voice of action.
Then, there’s the whispered voice, which is the voice of your inner mind. Finally, there’s the silent voice.
This is when you don’t say the words aloud but instead say them to yourself silently as this represents your spiritual voice, as Viva La Vida Lifestyle reports. Sa Ta Na Ma meditation will make use of all of these voices.
The Use Of Finger Movements
You also need to engage finger movements when doing the meditation. You will need to say each part of the meditation while touching your thumb to a different finger on your hand.
So, you will say “Sa” while your index finger and thumb are touching, then “Ta” when your thumb touches your middle finger, “Na” when your thumb and ring finger touch, and finally “Ma” when your thumb and pinky finger connect.
If you’re familiar with yoga or acupressure, you’ll know that those practices are focused on energy channels and pressure points in the body. By putting pressure on these points in the body, you can encourage greater energy flow.
The amazing thing about Sa Ta Na Ma is that it makes use of a similar process.
By using the finger movements during the meditation, you stimulate the pressure points in your body so that energy can flow from the body to the brain, and this is said to be what clears the subconscious mind. Here is what the four fingers used in the meditation refer to and symbolize.
- “Sa” – the index finger – represents wisdom
- “Ta” – the middle finger – represents patience
- “Na” – the ring finger – represents energy
- “Ma” – the pinky finger – represents communication
The Use Of Visualization
As you know, visualization is an important part of any meditation when it comes to manifestation and clearing the mind.
“The mental focus for the Kirtan Kriya is known in Kundalini yoga as the Golden Cord,” Peaceful Dumpling reports. This is an energy pathway that connects the pituitary glands.
Peaceful Dumpling advises that when you chant at different tones and use different finger touches, you should imagine the syllable vibrations entering into your sahasrara chakra – this is the crown chakra at the top of the head.
You should also feel the energy flow through the ajna chakra. This is the third eye that’s located between the eyebrows. You might be wondering what the above-mentioned glands have to do with this.
Well, those glands are linked to the crown chakra and third eye, and these are where our enlightenment, spiritual connection, as well as intuition reside, the site goes on to say.
Sounds interesting, right?
Now that we’ve looked at all the elements found in the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation, all that’s left is for us to follow the steps required in order to successfully complete the meditation.
How To Do The Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation
To do the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation properly, follow these steps:
- Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your back straight. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms turned upwards. Make sure that you are comfortable. You might want to ensure you have a meditation pillow to sit on. You can find out more about meditation pillows and the best ones to purchase by reading “Best Meditation Pillows: Enjoy in Your Next Session.”
- Chant “Sa Ta Na Ma” out loud for about three minutes.
- Then, whisper “Sa Ta Na Ma” for three minutes.
- Finally, think the mantra in your head for three minutes.
- You should then work backwards by chanting silently, then whispering the mantra, and finally saying it out loud. Do each of these for three minutes.
Note: some sources vary when it comes to determining how long you should do each of the chants.
For example, The University Of British Columbia states that you should say the chant out loud for two minutes, then whisper it for two minutes, stay silent and think the chant for four minutes, then whisper it for two minutes, and take two minutes to say it out loud.
It’s really up to you to try different methods to find what works for you, but the key is to try to do the meditation for at least 11 or 12 minutes.
- As you say or think the mantra, move your fingers in the way we described earlier in this article, starting with your index finger touching your thumb when you chant “Sa” and then moving on.
- You should also imagine the Golden Cord with each syllable you repeat and you should do this visualization throughout your meditation.
- When you are done with the meditation, take a deep breath and raise your arms. Shake your hands and body for a minute, Patient Dumpling states, as this will help to release and circulate energy.
- Relax for a few minutes afterwards before moving on with your other activities.
How Is Sa Ta Na Ma Different From Other Meditations?
Sa Ta Na Ma has been called a “multisensory intervention,” as Kripalu Center reports, because it makes use of finger movements, breath, chanting, and visualization.
This is quite different from other types of meditation that you might have tried in the past, because often you’ll only focus on one or two of those aspects instead of doing all four simultaneously.
For example, you might try a meditation in which you visualize something while breathing, or just say certain mantras.
While all meditation is valuable, especially if you get into the daily habit of committing to it, using more elements in the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation makes it more powerful while engaging different parts of your mind and body.
Another difference between Sa Ta Na Ma and other types of meditation is that it removes the difficulty of trying to remain quiet and clear the mind.
If you’ve ever experienced trying to remain still during meditation, you know that it takes a lot of patience and time to get it right, especially if you’re not engaging your mind or body during the meditation.
This is why Sa Ta Na Ma is great for beginners: you engage in actions, such as chanting and singing, as well as finger movements, and this occupies the mind so that it doesn’t wander as much.
If your mind does wander, you can quickly and easily bring it back to the actions you’re doing, which can help to bring you back into the moment.
That said, you don’t have to replace your current meditation practice with Sa Ta Na Ma if you feel it’s working for you. Instead, you should incorporate it into your daily mindfulness to make it even more powerful!
For how long should you do the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation daily?
Yogi Bhajan has recommended that you do the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation for 11 minutes every day.
Sticking to it for 40 days is also encouraged so that you can start to reap the positive benefits. As with any type of meditation, doing it regularly is important.
What resources are there to help you get started with Sa Ta Na Ma meditation?
If you’d like a guided meditation to help you get started, you should check out YouTube as there are some valuable resources there. You’ll also find Sa Ta Na ma songs that you can listen to during your meditation.
Whether you’ve meditated before or you’re interested to try it for the first time, Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is a valuable one to try.
In this article, we’ve looked at some health benefits tied to it, as well as provided information on how you can get started with it.
By making it a daily ritual, you’re sure to feel more relaxed, and in tune with the universe as well as with your higher self.