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What is Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation? [2021 Guide]

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Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is often chanted after yoga classes, but why exactly? This has puzzled many new yogis and we’ll shed some light here.

Sa Ta Na Ma means that we identify the truth of our essence. This mantra which is thousands of years old started in India which was then brought to the western world through Yogi Bhajans.

The Benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

You’ve probably heard the sounds and have felt quite uplifted. Here’s why:

We chant Sa Ta Na Ma meditation because its shown based on several university studies that chanting this mantra reduces stress and improves short term memory. This style of meditation is enhanced by sitting with the eyes closed, the thumb and index finger touching the tips (like a mudra) and both hands resting on their respective knees.

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is one of the many Kriyas of Kundalini Kirtan. Kirtan Kriyas are Sanskrit and the original language of India. Kirtan essentially translates to “song”, “chant” or praise while Kriya is an action word.

Chanting the Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation
This is how you chant Sa Ta Na Ma invocation and the hands can also rest in the knees.

The Kriya Sa Ta Na Ma sounds very similar to Sat Nam, and yes – they are related! Sat Nam is one of the oldest Sanskrit mantras which is akin to returning to our true essence or identity.

These benefits aren’t just baseless either. For instance, the effect of meditation on Cognitive Functions report suggests that this mantra actually leads to a positive bio-chemical transformation in the brain. That report also suggests other types of Kirtan Kriya and transcendental meditation mantras can be very beneficial for users.

The Sa Ta Na Ma chant

Chanting this mantra is often regarded as both romantic and soft, but most importantly – feminine. When you do chant this during yoga kirtan, just remember the tonality and volume of voice. You should have a singing voice, a whispering voice as well as your inner voice.

We’ll expand on each individual word within this Kriya:

NameMeaning
SAThis means the birth of self and totality
TAFrom infinity, we find life and creativity
NAHere is where consciousness is transformed
MAFinally, with ‘Ma’ we are able to regenerate and experience the inifinite joys consciously
The Sa Ta Na Ma chant broken down individually
Candlelight kirtan

Often yoga studios do provide workshops to better understand this and many other Sanskrit mantras. There are also no pre-requisites necessary and you don’t need to wear any special clothing or jewellery to experience this beautiful mantra. Covering your head both as a male or female with a white headband, otherwise known as a turban, isn’t required though recommended at established yoga centres, retreats and spiritual events.

Children are also welcome to get involved with this chant as it can reduce their stress from school and challenges they may face socially.

How to Chant Sa Ta Na Ma

Chanting the hugely popular Sa Ta Na Ma mantra is quite simple:

  1. Find a cushion and sit comfortably on the floor with no shoes. You may use a chair or bench if sitting on the floor is challenging, especially as this repetitive mantra lasts for between 10 and 15 minutes.
  2. Take 3 deep breathes into the nose and out through the mouth. By doing this, you’ll rid your body of the stresses of the day and are able to better focus on this beautiful meditation.
  3. Close your eyes with your hands gently resting with the arms facing up. Your index and thumb on each hand should touch at the tips.
  4. When you’re ready, you can begin chanting the mantra once on each out-breathe. The in-breathe during Sa Ta Na Ma is for silent chanting or merely reflecting.
  5. Focus mentally on the energy coming through the crown chakra and leaving through the brow. Of the 7 chakras in the body, these are the main 2.
  6. Transition to a conversational-loud mantra to a whisper or complete audible silence by chanting in the mind. This is typically after 10 minutes though you always have the option of going longer.
  7. Finally, release the mantra and rest your hands while stretching and relaxing. From here avoid the temptation to reach for ‘vices’ such as a phone or book and simply relax in the awe where this feeling of floating washes over you.

Going through this rhythm at least once per day is highly recommended. You may feel a little ‘zoned out’ for the first 10 to 15 minutes or as others like to say, feeling bliss!

A cautionary tale

The intention of this mantra is to help clean the subconscious mind. Essentially many of us over the years have collected lots of “rubbish” held deeply in our subconscious mind over the many years of our physical existence.

One challenge or risk for beginners is the negative experiences that can arise from unresolved traumas. For beginners, this can be difficult to handle but we recommend to not avoid the surfacing of these emotions and simply understand that this mantra is designed to heal.

If what you are experiencing does become intense, then consider enrolling into a guided class meditation or a Vipassana weekend away.

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