Our minds are beautiful and often very complicated. We interact in our world and have experiences that change the way we behave and think. Some of these experiences, negative or positive, will leave a mark for years to come. These impressions can be difficult to shake, and this is because of our subconscious. The subconscious is a part of the mind we aren’t always aware of. It exists, collecting memories without our focus. It’s responsible for the automatic responses and impulsive behaviors.
We are unable to pick and choose what our subconscious focuses on. Because of this, we must balance our emotions and body to have a greater understanding of what troubles us. Things like meditation can help us achieve this as we’re allowing these thoughts to move forward and confronting them. By confrontation, we’re allowing ourselves the opportunity to heal and accept what we are unable to change.
Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is a classic kundalini meditation that works to clear the mind and bring balance. Its goal is to rid the subconscious mind of negativity and remove excess emotions. First taught by Yogi Bhajan, who says that if you were to choose one type of meditation that Sa Ta Na Ma should be the one.
What Does Sa Ta Na Ma Represent?
The origin behind the meditation is not known. In Sanskrit, kundalini translates to “coiled snake”. Ancient beliefs think this reference is to illustrate the divine energy that resides at the base of our spine and through this meditation were able to awaken and release this powerful current.
Kundalini meditation received popularity in the west when Yogi Bhajan first introduced the practice in the later 1960s. Since then, it’s been a way for individuals to achieve greater self-awareness, and practice mindfulness
Sa Ta Na Ma meditation finds its roots in the mantra Sat Nam, which translates to “truth is our identity” or “my true essence“. In each sound, there are various interpretations. Pronounce the ‘a’ in each syllable like ‘ah’. Some of the common translations are:
- Sa – birth, the beginning, cosmos, what is or what will ever be.
- Ta – Life, existence
- Na – Transformation of consciousness, death
- Ma – regeneration, resurrection
The way that you speak the mantra also holds significance. If you are to sing ‘Sa Ta Na Ma,’ this suggests action. With a quiet voice, like whispering, you’re chanting to your internal self. When repeating to yourself in complete silence, this is channeling your spiritual self.
Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation In Practice
To experience all the benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation, it’s essential to note the various components. Each component, sometimes simultaneously, holds significance. So, it’s essential to not skip a step to receive the optimal benefit. Focus and diligence are very important characteristics for mantras specifically.
Mantras carry vibrations of sacred energy. These sorts of vibrations, or chants, are to bring balance to the centers of the body also known as our ‘chakras‘.
Next, how we place and use our hands in meditation matters. This is because our hand movements hold energetic power that influences the body and mind. Mudras are the name of using our hands in a specific way during meditation. In Sa Ta Na Ma, the hand positions channel pressure points in the body. The fingers alternate per sound;
Sa – index finger and thumb – this represents wisdom.
Ta – middle finger and thumb – this represents patience.
Na – ring finger and thumb – this represents energy.
Ma – pinkie finger and thumb – this represents communication.
As mentioned before, the tone is important depending on your goal for your meditation. During whichever type of voice, you choose, visualizing is a vital tool. This is in fact, a crucial component when wanting to rid our subconscious mind of its collective negativity.
This is because Kundalini yoga’s mental focus and power is a pathway that connects our pineal and pituitary glands. This connection’s called the Golden Cord. While chanting, imagine this cord running through your blood vessels all over the body. Visualize its movement and energy to improve focus and help you get into a more profound meditation.
To Begin Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation
Like any meditation practice, it’s important to find a comfortable seating position. Once settled, comfortable cross the legs and keep the spine straight. Rest hands on knees and palms facing the sky.
Begin mantra in whichever way you wish to channel. Outloud to signify action, quietly to speak to yourself, or internally to channel the spirit. Repeat the mantra for up to three minutes. Then repeat the mantra in the opposite that you’ve started. For instance, if you began the mantra internally, try speaking out loud. Repeat for up to three minutes.
Make sure the fingers alternate with each syllable to its corresponding mudra and visualize the Golden Cord. Imagine the cord and its energy flowing through you during the entire meditation. Remember to take deep breaths between each cycle of a chant.
After completing the meditation as a whole, take a deep breath and raise the arms toward the sky. Begin shaking the hands, then the arms, then the entire body. This is to remove all the negative energy we’ve just brought up to the surface. Shake the whole body and use this time to release whatever emotions came up for you during meditation.
Next, bring your body still by lying down on your back. According to Yogi Bhajan, this meditation is daily for up to 40 days to feel the full benefits of clearing the subconscious.
The Ten Benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation
The Ten Benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma MeditationAside from clearing our minds from impurities, Sa Ta Na Ma meditation has several other benefits. Here are the top ten benefits of this sacred meditation:
- Breaking Automatic Routines: This meditation is all about turning inward. It asks us to reflect on some of the deeper rooted issues that hideaway in our subconscious mind. By breaking these constraints, we were able to see things with clarity and identify problems. By doing this, we can free ourselves and bring our minds back into balance and be consciously aware of our routines and what we may need to change. Because of the mental determination that meditation requires of us, we develop the tools to break dependencies.
Meditation can also be a tool to help us with addiction or make triggers more noticeable of what causes our desire for a particular habit or impulse. For instance, in a study of sixty participants who received treatment for alcohol dependency, they found lower levels of psychological distress when practicing meditation. The participants’ alcohol cravings lessened over three months of practicing meditation and noted a cause in helping them realize their addiction.
- Awareness To The Body: Sa Ta Na Ma uses mudras to reconnect with our physical self. Our hand’s energetic power helps us channel that internal energy throughout the entire body. By applying this energy through each of our fingers to the corresponding representation, we’re conducting this energy that’s so powerful it influences the pituitary and pineal glands. Every ounce of our body has healing energy running through it. This healing power helps us align with our internal self and our physical external being.
- Calms Anxiety: Sometimes, we’re unaware of the amount of power our minds hold, and that’s true for most of our subconscious. Our mind can retain negative emotions or trauma that we’ve repressed. We may be under the assumption that we’ve overcome an event because we’ve deflected the thought every time our minds bring it into focus. Yet, have we ever really tried to accept that outcome and be at peace with it?
Yet, our subconscious may hold onto these memories, continually reminding us, causing random spurts of anxiety. By performing this meditation, we’re opening up the opportunity to confront some of these thoughts that stay in hiding. By illuminating these hurtful and sometimes difficult memories, we’re helping to heal our minds and, ultimately, freeing ourselves of these toxic occurrences.
- Contributes To Better Sleep: When sleeping, our subconscious mind is in control. Fabricating dreams that may, or may not, seem to have meaning. Yet, we are still subject to these thoughts and what they’re telling us. If we can remove the impurities of this toxic energy we can rest more peacefully and with more ease. In fact, meditation is prescribed for individuals who suffer from insomnia and has proven to be effective in helping individuals get to sleep without the aid of prescription drugs.
- Improves Memory: University of Pennsylvania and UCLA have found that Sa Na Ta Ma meditation is a powerful tool to prevent Alzheimer’s. This is due to the amount of focus and retention during this meditation. Daily practice slows and even prevents symptoms because of the amount of mental discipline that is required. Strengthening these pathways help our minds stay sharp, especially over repetitive practice.
- Slows The Aging Process: Telomeres are the caps at the end of our chromosomes. When telomeres shorten, this starts the decline of cells and this is how signs of aging in our bodies start to occur. When these telomeres shorten in our bodies, signs of aging begin to occur. Meditation is able to reduce cognitive stress. By practicing mindfulness, we are able to slow this process even on a cellular level.
- Reminds Us The Importance Of Being Present: We are living in a fast-paced world. Sometimes we forget to enjoy what’s in front of us and to be grateful for our surroundings. Connecting to our body and being mindful of the present will help us lead a more fulfilling life and get more enjoyment out of the day.
- Improves Connection To Spirituality: Taking time in our day to reconnect with ourselves also enables us to feel closer to the divinity within. Being mindful and aware helps us to appreciate the world around us and feel more grounded. Encouraging this balance helps us understand the energy we’re all capable of igniting from ourselves. This harmony allows us to listen clearly to the internal truth of what we value and wish to share and cultivate with the world. By listening to this from within, we tap into our spirituality to feel connected and at peace.
- Improves Physiological Responses: There are several physiological responses during meditation. Most notably, controlling our breathing helps us to lower our stress and increase our alertness. By practicing meditation for long periods of time, we’re giving a boost to our immune system and promoting our overall vitality.
- Improves Psychological Responses: There is a link to bettering emotional health through meditation. Especially when it comes to an individual’s perspective and overall outlook on life. Individuals who practice meditation regularly appear to express more kindness and gratitude and have a more positive demeanor.
Ultimately, Sa Ta Na Ma meditation helps put our time and self in perspective. By helping us identify critical issues that may trigger us were learning to accept these changes and move on. Sometimes this negativity can weigh us down without us being consciously aware of its presence.
Consider incorporating this meditation into your day-to-day as continual practice will give you the most benefit and release from impurities in the mind and body. By practicing meditation like Sa Ta Na Ma, you’re allowing yourself to break free from these negative energy chains. This freedom will help you to blossom into your most genuine and most authentic self.
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Lauren Howard holds a master certification in reiki, or energy healing, and has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She began freelance writing as a means of spreading her truth and knowledge with a broader audience.