Kundalini Yoga Meditations are powerful practices that aims to awaken and activate the dormant energy within the body, known as Kundalini. Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness and it is through the meditative practices that we afford ourselves the most opportunity to observe ourselves and become aware of our patterns. These patterns are mostly programmed during our younger years but can also be part of our genetic patterning. These stories, memories and traumas can if left unaddressed cause us to experience continual suffering or can be the reason we express negative behaviour patterns or hold negative beliefs about ourselves. Talk therapy can help us to bring to light the beliefs and programmes or patterns we wish to address but does not always help us to move past the memories. It is my belief that trauma is not something to be “cleared” but that with a continued practice our awareness of the way the mind is behaving helps to see the trauma as a past occurrence rather than a present threat. We become aware of how our mind is keeping us prisoner long after the events we are hiding or running from.
Kundalini Yoga is one of the best tools at supporting those who wish to address these beliefs and patterns. Using a combination of tools such as breath, Mudra (hand postures), Mantra (words and sacred texts), Drishti (eye focuses) the mind becomes so pre occupied in the “doing” that we are able to begin the process of observing and becoming aware of the continual story lines of our sub conscious mind. It is akin to taking out the garbage. Once we are aware of just how full and stinky all those thoughts and beliefs have become we can begin the gentle and sometimes quick process of un attaching and releasing from these beliefs.
One of the most widely studied and practiced Kundalini meditation technique is Kirtan Kriya.
This meditation uses the mantra, "Sa Ta Na Ma”. This mantra represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It connects with the primal energies associated with those sounds, bringing balance and harmony to the mind, body, and spirit.
The following is an overview of some of the studies that have been conducted on this meditation.
Aging and Alzheimer's Disease:
- A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in 2016 investigated the effects of Kirtan Kriya on cognitive function and brain health in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a condition that often precedes Alzheimer's disease. The study found that practicing Kirtan Kriya for 12 minutes daily over 12 weeks improved cognitive function, psychological well-being, and cerebral blood flow in the participants.
- A study published in the International Journal of Yoga in 2012 examined the effects of Kirtan Kriya on stress and well-being in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The results showed that practicing Kirtan Kriya for 12 minutes daily over 8 weeks reduced perceived stress and improved mood and psychological well-being in the caregivers.
- A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2018 explored the effects of Kirtan Kriya on gene expression in individuals experiencing memory loss. The study found that practicing Kirtan Kriya for 12 minutes daily over 8 weeks led to positive changes in gene expression related to inflammation, stress, and aging, suggesting potential health benefits.
Here are some of the proven scientific benefits associated with regular Kirtan Kriya practice:
Improved Cognitive Function:
Kirtan Kriya has been shown to enhance cognitive function and improve memory, attention, and executive function. It may be particularly beneficial for older adults in improving their cognitive abilities.
Regular practice of Kirtan Kriya has been found to reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. It can help regulate the stress response system and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Studies using brain imaging techniques have demonstrated that Kirtan Kriya can have positive effects on brain structure and function. It has been associated with increased blood flow to important brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in cognitive and emotional processing.
Kirtan Kriya has been shown to improve mood and emotional well-being. It can help reduce negative emotions and increase positive feelings of happiness, joy, and contentment.
Regular practice of Kirtan Kriya has been linked to improved sleep quality and duration. It can help individuals fall asleep faster, experience deeper sleep, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Some studies have suggested that Kirtan Kriya may have positive effects on immune function. It has been associated with increased activity of natural killer cells, which are important for fighting off infections and tumours.
It's worth noting that while these benefits have been observed in scientific studies, individual experiences may vary and it is always recommended to consult with a qualified instructor or healthcare professional before starting any new meditation practice to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and circumstances.
Here's how you can practice Kirtan Kriya with the "Sa Ta Na Ma" mantra:
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. You can sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion, or you can also sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Make sure your spine is straight, and your body is relaxed.
2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself. Allow any tension or stress to melt away with each exhale.
3. Begin chanting the mantra "Sa Ta Na Ma" mentally or aloud, synchronised with your breath and finger movements. Each syllable of the mantra is associated with a specific finger and corresponds to a specific element:
- "Sa" (pronounced "saa") is connected to the thumb and represents the infinite.
- "Ta" (pronounced "taa") is connected to the index finger and represents birth.
- "Na" (pronounced "naa") is connected to the middle finger and represents death.
- "Ma" (pronounced "maa") is connected to the ring finger and represents rebirth.
4. Here's how the finger movements are done:
- As you chant "Sa," touch the thumb to the index finger.
- As you chant "Ta," touch the thumb to the middle finger.
- As you chant "Na," touch the thumb to the ring finger.
- As you chant "Ma," touch the thumb to the little finger.
Repeat this sequence with each repetition of the mantra.
These five primal sounds (panj shabd) are derived from the bij mantra, Sat Nam: S, T, N, M, and A. Each time the mudra is closed by joining the thumb with a finger, the ego “seals” the effect of that mudra in the consciousness.
Vibrating on each fingertip alternates the electrical polarities. The index and ring fingers are electrically negative, relative to the other fingers. This causes a balance in the electromagnetic projection of the aura.
5. Continue chanting the mantra and moving your fingers.
The meditation is performed in 5 parts.
Chant out loud.
Chant silently. Still moving the fingers and mentally vibrating the mantra.
Chant out loud.
Timings are done in equal proportions:
For 6 mins:
1 min out loud
1 min whisper
2 min silent
1 min whisper
1 min out loud
For 12 mins:
2 mins out loud
2 mins whisper
4 mins silent
2 mins whisper
2 mins out loud
You can extend to 32 mins
Chanting out loud, whispering, and silence are considered the three languages of consciousness.
As you meditate, stay focused on the sound and vibration of the mantra, allowing it to permeate your entire being. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to the mantra and the finger movements.
If during the silent part of the meditation, the mind wanders uncontrollably, you can go back to a whisper, to a loud voice, to a whisper, and back into silence. Do this as often as you need to.
Some people may experience headaches from practicing Kirtan Kriya. The most common reason for this is improper circulation of prana in the solar centers. To avoid or correct this problem, it can help to meditate in the “L” form. Imagine the energy of each sound moving down through the Crown Chakra, and out through the Third Eye Point as it is projected to Infinity. This energy flow follows the energy pathway called the Golden Cord, the connection between the pineal and pituitary glands.
6. To finish the meditation take a deep breath in hold the breath for a few moments and then exhale. Sit in silence for 1 min. Observe your energy and sit in complete awareness.
Then take a Depp breath in and stretch the arms above the head and shake your arms, and your entire body. Go wild.
Relax be still and maybe lie down and rest in stillness and silence.
Practice with us here:
This mantra, this meditation it can be used to to consolidate and change your habits. It is by virtue of the sound current that hold the energy of the cycles of life a catalyst for change.
Set your intentions. Trust the process. There is no need to do anything but practice and be present. If you do this and you repeat this for several days, maybe 40 days you may experience deep shifts and an accelerations of your spiritual awakening.
All that is required is your presence and your awareness.
Sat Nam x