Kirtan Kriya Meditation

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Kirtan Kriya Meditation Mean?

Kirtan kriya meditation is a form of meditative practice associated with Kundalini yoga and is performed while chanting the mantra, Sa Ta Na Ma. The name of this meditation comes from the Sanskrit, kirtan, meaning “praise,” “sing” or “eulogy;” and kriya, meaning “act” or “action.” In Kundalini yoga, kriyas are yogic practices designed to unlock energy in the body.

The sounds of the mantra used in kirtan kriya meditation symbolize “birth, life, death, rebirth” and are believed to improve memory.


Yogapedia Explains Kirtan Kriya Meditation

A study published in the "Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease" showed that this meditation improved brain functioning. The study showed that kirtan kriya meditation offered these benefits:

  • Increased circulation to the brain
  • Improved memory retrieval
  • Boosted focus and concentration
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved sleep
  • Revived neurotransmitters and brain chemicals, improving overall brain function
  • Improved psychological and spiritual health

To practice this meditation, the yogi sits comfortably with the hands on the knees, palms up. While chanting each syllable of the mantra, the thumb touches a different finger. For Sa, the thumb and forefinger touch; for Ta, it's the middle finger; for Na, the ring finger; and for Ma, the little finger.

Typically, this pattern continues with chanting aloud for two minutes, followed by whispered chanting for two minutes, then silent chanting for four minutes, whispered chanting for another two minutes, and finally chanting aloud for two minutes. The amount of time can vary.

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