We all know the many benefits of yoga and meditation ourselves, but there are also benefits you wouldn’t even think of as further studies are coming out and we seek an alternative and preventative measure to help our own mental health and well-being for the future.
With the population increases seen recently, we all need to look into preventative and alternative health measures to shield these terrible diseases. Studies are showing that meditation is one of the greatest tools for your own mentally healthy future, and remarkably a strong tool against brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory.
Coming from the mantra Sat Nam, meaning ‘my true essence’ these meditations are designed to be uplifting. SA TA NA MA is a chant utilizing the primal sounds – and is meant to be practiced for greater attention, concentration, focus, improved short term memory and better mood.
In recent mental health studies, it is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, which is just incredible. I have personally seen Alzheimer’s in my family and friends and the devastating effects it can have on the brain. So anything we can try to prevent or sharpen the mind along the way gets a big thumbs up!
In studies carried out by Psychiatric Journal, The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, one of the most important findings was that the participants experienced greater cerebral blood flow in the brain to the frontal lobe and parietal lobes, both of which are associated with memory retrieval.
They also showed improvement in a cognition test, general memory test, and attention test. At 12 weeks and 24 weeks, research groups showed significant improvement in memory; however, only Kundalini Yoga Meditation groups showed significant improvement in executive functioning and only the KY group showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms and resilience at week 12.
Improvement in patients and caregivers across measures of mental health and cognitive functioning, psychological distress, and activity in caregivers performing daily Kirtan Kriya compared with the relaxation group were vastly ahead. Although this is not a cure for the disease, it is a tool to fight against it and can be used to remedy some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s as well as used to aid in overall brain health in a variety of ages.
HOW TO DO KIRTAN KRIYA MEDITATION?
The meditation is a combination of chanting a mantra, in this case, ‘Sa Ta Na Ma’ while at the same time moving the hands through mudra’s or hand movements pictured below. To fully experience the benefits of the meditation, a combination of singing, whispering and silently repeating the mantra are used whilst moving the hands through touch points.
Your singing voice needs to be used because it’s said to be the voice of action. Then, there’s the whispered voice, which is the voice of your inner mind. Finally, there’s the silent voice, repeating the mantra to yourself silently as this represents your spiritual voice. Sa Ta Na Ma meditation will make use of all of these voices.. all whilst keeping a key visualization of concentration, it switches the focus of your mind quickly and you will feel in flow. It sounds complicated but it is very simple once you put the parts together.
When singing the notes recommended for the mantra are A, G, F, G (but don’t worry about being in key!).
There are also different lengths to the Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation recommends the 12 minute version, but there is also the options of 6 minutes and 30 minutes! You can also follow along to some beautiful musicians, which makes it all enhancing and easier to work with. We share our favourite artist below for you, the recording is the 12 minute version, but is also recorded in the other lengths. You may want to start short and build up to 30 minutes. A short daily practice and longer version when you have more time.
THE HAND MOVEMENTS USED MOVE THROUGH THE FINGERS AS YOU SAY EACH PART OF THE MANTRA...
As you chant you want to move the fingers through the below sequence. When you say “Sa” tap your index finger and thumb together to touch, then “Ta” when your thumb touches your middle finger, “Na” when your thumb and ring finger touch, and finally “Ma” when your thumb and little finger connect.
These points on the finger tips are also acupressure points for those familiar with the energy lines on the body and this practice focuses on these energy channels. By putting pressure on these points during meditation, you can encourage greater energy flow through the body up to the brain. By using the finger movements during the meditation, you stimulate the pressure points in your body so that energy can flow and this is said to be what clears the mind.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRACTICE THE KIRTAN KRIYA SINGING EXERCISE, HERE ARE THE BASIC STEPS:
Sit comfortably in a chair or cross legged on the floor on a cushion, you may choose to lie down, but be careful not to fall asleep! However you choose to settle, ensure that your spine is straight and the core is open to receiving full complete breaths.
Visualisation. Your focus of concentration is the L form, while your eyes are closed, visualise with each syllable, imagine the sound flowing in through the top of your head (crown) and out the middle of your forehead (your third eye point).
Take a few full deep cleansing breaths. In through the nose then, out through the mouth with an audible sigh. Rest your hands gently in your lap or down the sides of the body with the palms facing up and open.
Start to repeat the Saa Taa Naa Maa sounds (or mantra) while keeping your spine straight.
For two minutes, sing in your normal voice.
For the next two minutes, sing in a whisper.
For the next four minutes, say the sound silently to yourself.
Then reverse the order, whispering for two minutes, and then out loud for two minutes, for a total of twelve minutes.
To come out of the exercise, inhale very deeply, stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly in a sweeping motion as you exhale as to clear away.
You may also like to chant along to some music with this beautiful rendition. Nirinjan Kaur is a sacred musician and has the mantra in both 12 minute and 30 minute lengths. You can support her music on Spirit Voice Records as she has some beautiful other meditations and practices.
I do hope you find it easy to follow. Start with this 12 minute session, when you can, ideally once a day for 12 weeks. Let’s clear energy through and see what positive feelings and effects this meditation has on you and your loved ones. Comment any marked improvements in cognitive function, it’s another tool in the battle against such a difficult disease.