Yoga recognizes that if we want to make changes in our lives, we have to change ourselves. Yoga operates from the principle that our inner reality creates our outer reality. We have to alter our vibrational frequency so that we attract at a different level. Our frequency has to match what we want to manifest. And equally important, we have to clear our subconscious programming so it does not sabotage our conscious intent. For in fact, it is the programming in our subconscious mind that creates our reality.
Mantras are powerful tools for clearing and restructuring the subconscious mind. 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.
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.
The power of his mantra comes from the fact that it rearranges the subconscious mind at the most elementary level. 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 Meditation
Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. It was one of the first meditations taught by Yogi Bhajan and remains today as a foundation meditation recommended for every student. Yogi Bhajan said that if you can do only one meditation, this is it. It does everything for you in the order that you need. It is your teacher. And as you practice it, you will come to realize that it is your best friend. Whatever you need at the moment, it will readjust and align you to bring balance into your mind and thus your life.
This meditation is given for everything from breaking habits to achieving emotional balance. It helps you focus and centre yourself. It is a catalyst for change because it is a very powerful spiritual cleanser.
How to Practice
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. The Jupiter finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.
- TA – press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together. The Saturn finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.
- NA – press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together. The Sun finger gives us vitality and aliveness.
- MA – press the thumb and the small or Mercury finger together. The Mercury finger aids clear communication.
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.
Timing – 31 Minute Version
For the first 5 minutes chant OUT LOUD.
For the second 5 minutes chant in an audible WHISPER.
For the next 10 minutes chant SILENTLY.
Then 5 minutes WHISPER.
End with 5 minutes OUT LOUD.
The last minute, listen inside and hear the mantra and experience the movement inside you head as above. Do not do the finger movements.
Optimally this meditation is done for 31 minutes. It can also be done for 62 minutes by doubling the times.
11 Minute Version
2 minutes OUT LOUD
2 minutes in an audible WHISPER
3 minutes chant SILENTLY.
2 minutes WHISPER.
2 minutes OUT LOUD.
Then sit quietly and listen inside, hear the mantra and experience the movement inside you head as above. Do not do the finger movements.
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. If it is before bed time, simply go to sleep.