KIRTAN KRIYA / SA TA NA MA MEDITATION
What it does:
- Helps reduce stress
- Clears the subconscious mind
- Helps build your sense of personal power
- Helps cleanse negative thoughts and allows
feelings of peace and joy to enter your mind
- Stimulates the flow between the pineal and pituitary
glands located in your brain.
- Supports breaking bad habits and addictions
- Reverses memory loss and enhances brain function
What is a mantra?
The word Mantra comes from the Sanskrit language and means “free from the mind”. Mantras are words that are spoken, chanted, whispered or mentally repeated to a specific purpose in meditation.
What does Kirtan Kriya and SA TA NA MA mean?
Kirtan Kriya means a singing exercise. SA TA NA MA are ancient primal sounds from Sanskrit and taken together, mean “my true identity” or “my highest self.”
How to do it:
This is the 11 minute version:
- Sit with your spine straight, either in a chair or in easy pose.
- Focus between your eyes, (your third eye point) with your eyes closed. Repeat the words SA TA NA MA while you touch with slight pressure your thumb with a different finger tip with each syllable.On Sa touch the index fingers of each hand to your thumbs.
On Tatouch your middle fingers to your thumbs.
On Na touch your ring fingers to your thumbs.
On Ma touch your little fingers to your thumbs.
- For 2 minutes, repeat the mantra out loud.
- For the next 2 minutes, whisper.
- For the next 3 minutes, say the sound silently to yourself.
- Whisper for 2 minutes.
- Out loud for the final 2 minutes.
- At the end, inhale deeply, raise the arms up in the air and vigorously shake the arms and fingers. You can involve the whole body and spine. Exhale. Repeat 1 or 2 more times if you desire. This is an important part of the meditation as it helps move and release the energy in the body. Relax for a few minutes before going about your day.
(Source: The flow of Eternal Power/ Shakti Parwha Kaur and
The Alzheimer Research Prevention Foundation)
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
This is a simple yoga breathing exercise that can be done almost anywhere, anyplace. You will be glad you did. If you are tired it will wake you up. If you are depressed it will brighten your mood. If you have trouble relaxing it will calm you and help you sleep.
With this exercise, we breathe through only one nostril at a time.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Breathe slowly and deeply through your left nostril. Inhale and exhale through your left nostril only for 1 minute.
- Switch sides, closing your left nostril with your left thumb, inhaling and exhaling deeply from your right nostril. (1 minute, doing it the same length of time on each nostril).Then inhale left nostril, and exhale right nostril, using your thumb and index finger to regulate the breath (1 minute).
- Inhale right nostril and exhale left nostril again using your thumb and index finger to regulate the breath (1 minute).
- Do a few final breaths through both nostrils, relaxing your hands on your thighs.
Once your body is used to deep breathing you can do each breath longer, up to 3 minutes each is a good daily practice.
As with all breathing exercises, only do as much as you are comfortable with. Start slowly and build up steadily. Do not do this breathing exercise if one nostril is blocked or you are requiring force to breathe through it.
- The exercise produces optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This also creates a more balanced person, since both halves of the brain are functioning property.
- Calms the mind and the nervous system.
- Cleans and rejuvenates your vital channels of energy.
Science and Alternate Nostril Breathing
Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle, something that was known by the yogis thousands of years ago. Scientists have recently found that we don’t breathe equally with both nostrils, that one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time and that this alternates about every three hours. The yogis claim that the natural period is every two hours.
Scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on verbal skills.
Yogis observed that a lot of disease was due to the nasal cycle being disturbed; that is, if a person breathed for too long through one nostril. To prevent and correct this condition, they developed the alternate nostril breathing technique. This clears any blockage to air flow in the nostrils and reestablishes the natural nasal cycle. For example, the yogis have known for a long time that prolonged breathing through the left nostril only (over a period of years) will produce asthma. They also know that this so-called incurable disease can be easily eliminated by teaching the patient to breathe through the right nostril until the asthma is cured, and then to prevent it recurring by doing the alternate nostril breathing technique.
(Source: Yogi Bhajan, KRI Teacher Training Manual)
SITALI BREATH MEDITATION
What it does?
Helps you “cool down”, let go of anger
Relaxes you, achieve peace of mind
Relieves stress or anxiety
Lowers your blood pressure
Helps with some headaches
Helps control your appetite
How to do it
You can practice sitting in front of the computer, at work, at home or anywhere.
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with a straight spine.
Curl the tongue up on the sides and extend it out slightly past the lips. The eyes are closed.
Take a deep, smooth inhale through the curled tongue and exhale smoothly through the nose. The tongue may taste bitter when you start this breath, a sign of toxification, but as you continue the tongue will taste sweet as the body cleanses.
For beginners practice the breath for 2-3 minutes, relax, and repeat for another
2-3 minutes. At the end, stay for a moment with your eyes closed and check in with your self how you feel. Try to get upset and notice how much calmer you feel now.
(Source: Yogi Bhajan, KRI Teacher Training Manual)