Today we bring to you an oldie but a goodie…a mantra meditation that has recently recycled its way back to the surface of our consciousness. It’s a powerful meditation in that every syllable you make consists of the 4 primal sounds and describes the eternal cycle of life: birth, life, death, rebirth. In Kundalini Yoga it’s referred to as the Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation and it can be done sitting or during one of our favorite pastimes – walking. Especially since Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. James A. Levine is calling “Sitting the New Smoking” . Dr. Levine says that “scientific evidence is mounting that being idle for long stretches, day in and day out, may be the root of our nation’s poor state of health, contributing to not only back pain and obesity but shorter life span, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of colon and other cancers.”
In honor of the approaching days of summer we encourage you and your family to get moving and spread the word. Let’s Move Outside is an organization designed to get kids and families to take advantage of America’s great outdoors and helps us remember the benefits of moving more. Moving not only feels good but it is proven to improve mental health, boost immunity, improve bone health and lower stress. They suggest and encourage kids and teens to be active 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week and adults to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, in a park, or on a trail-walking has recently been proven by researchers to add YEARS to your life (read more). Walking 64 minutes a day can add up to four and half years to your life. Crazy, right!!
So… why not integrate walking with mindfulness. An opportunity to practice wholeness. To give it a try, repeat the mantra in the following way while integrating your breath, the steps you take, and a little finger tapping:
1. Say the syllable “Sa” as you touch both hands’ index fingers to your thumbs and take a step.
Sa- literally means birth or the start and evokes a sense of expansiveness. (Say this and all the sounds with a long, drawn-out, near sing-songy “a” as in the word “father.”)
2. On your next step, say “Ta” the next syllable as you touch the middle fingers and thumbs of each hand together.
Ta- translates as life and creates a feeling of transformation and strength.
3. Next step, speak “Na,” as you touch your ring fingers and thumbs together.
Na- meaning death, in a regular voice, stimulating a sense of universal love
4. Another step and complete the cycle with the syllable “Ma,” touching your pinky fingers and thumbs together.
Ma-meaning rebirth and evoke the qualities of openness and trust
5. Repeat Steps 1-4 as you enjoy a Walking Meditation
Speak “sa-ta-na-ma” aloud and touch the respective fingers together for the first 5 minutes. Whisper the chant the next 5 minutes, and then speak it silently the next 5 minutes. Adding 15 minutes of conscious moving to your daily practice feels good and allows you to move your body in way that brings the focus inward. The result- a clear, calm, and energizing summer!