The tradition of Kundalini yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and one of the gems that this lineage brings us is something called Kirtan Kriya. This special meditation involves singing a certain set of syllables (kirtan in Sanskrit means song) along with a corresponding set of hand movements or “mudras” (kriya refers to specific movements) that are designed to bring about peace and healing. This unique and beautiful practice has been shown to both activate and balance parts of the brain that are linked to memory. Clinical studies have found that just 12 minutes per day of Kirtan Kriya can boost cognitive abilities, as well as overall mood. And there is something special about the specific sounds and movements, because when researchers replaced the sounds with other ones, or looked at other calming activities, the effects were not as impressive. Score one for this ancient healing and centering technique!
Surprisingly, this singing meditation has been explored in several research studies over the past few years. Here is just a sampling of what the researchers found about Kirtan Kriya:
- Better blood flow to the brain
- Reduced levels of cortisol, the stress hormone
- Decreased the expression of inflammatory gene markers
- Improved depression symptoms
- Boosted neurotransmitter levels and functioning
- Enhanced memory test scores
Kirtan Kriya is relatively simple to learn, and can become a wonderful addition to your daily meditation or healing practice. The four syllables of the mantra are:
Saa Taa Naa Maa
These come from the popular Sanskrit mantra, “Sat Nam”, which literally translates to “Truth is my name”, and invokes meanings of Divine connectedness, compassion, and recognizing the light in our selves and others. It’s a lovely sounding mantra that also happens to come with brain-boosting benefits!
The mantra can be also roughly translated:
Saa = birth
Taa = life
Naa = death
Maa = rebirth
Here are the basics of the Kirtan Kriya meditation, if you want to get started at home.
On December 27th, I hope you will join me for a very special Meditaion and Gong Voyage event. We will be doing both Kirtan Kriya and loving-kindness meditations, before immersing ourselves in the healing vibrations of the gong.
Space is limited for this special healing and balancing event, so get in touch today to reserve your spot!