Meditation Utilizing the Panj Shabd Makes Waves in International Media

The study confirmed that a 12-minute meditation named Kirtan Kriya incredibly enhances cognition and heals the physical ...

Meditation Utilizing the Panj Shabd
Makes Waves in International Media

Mr. Simran Singh
Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

Throughout May and June nearly 100 articles and stories describing the link between meditation and high functioning brains were released around the world by digital, print, and television media.

The articles described a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study. The study confirmed that a 12-minute meditation named Kirtan Kriya incredibly enhances cognition and heals the physical and emotional conditions that precede Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. Kirtan Kriya utilizes the Panj Shabd (Sa Ta Na Ma - the root syllables of Sat Nam) from the Sikh tradition, and is an important practice in Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. 

The well regarded author Ellen Wood mentioned in an op-ed piece saying: "If you could put the benefits of this meditation in a bottle, it would contain the world's new wonder pill."

The study was designed by Dr. Helen Lavretzky, a forward thinking Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. president/medical director of the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation. Dr. Dharma Singh has been on the forefront of the brain health field for decades. Dr. Khalsa and his Italian-born wife Kirti started the foundation as Sikhs under the auspices of Kundalini Yoga Master Yogi Bhajan in 1993.

The study was described in Tier 1 publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, The Times (UK), Business Insider, Psychiatry Today, by subject matter publications like WebMD, HealthDay News, Medical News Today, Medical Daily, Live Science, Tech Times, and around the world in New Zealand, Australia, England, the US, and notably India as well as Pakistan, to name a few.

We'd like to share some background on how the scientific establishment, which is not generally predisposed towards meditation, has become interested in one specific meditation practice and is beginning to accept it as the standard for strong brains. It's fascinating how Kirtan Kriya is suddenly being prescribed by MDs, included in New York Times bestsellers (see "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" by Daniel Amen, M.D. is on national television in The Talk with New York Times best-selling author Dr. Mike Dow and is it getting covered in the world's leading medical journals and news publications.

Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga and Kirtan Kriya to the west in 1969 and the organizations he founded have since certified 50,000 yoga teachers in over 100 countries. His students have included a variety of physicians and scientists who felt the impact of the meditations Yogi Bhaan taught as well as the Siri Guru Granth Sahib so strongly that they dedicated their lives to understanding how these primal sounds worked. This, they hoped, would make them available to the general public.

BrainLongevity (33K)Dr. Dharma Singh was asked personally by Yogi Bhajan "to share Kirtan Kriya with people as they age." Dr. Dharma spent decades investigating it and becoming a foremost authority on brain health. He founded the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation ( through which studies were funded on this meditation technique at a number of major universities including UCLA, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of West Virginia.

Dr. Dharma wrote a number of books, including Brain Longevity, which broke some literary records in 1997. It was the very first to recognize that we could do things for to keep our brain and memory sharp with age and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Later it was when his foundation partnered with the esteemed medical schools listed above that Kirtan Kriya was scientifically investigated and received the mainstream, third-party attention that we are seeing now.

Today, the foundation's Scientific Advisory Council includes Deans and Professors from some of the world's leading universities, including UCLA, Harvard, The University of New Mexico and the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden. The Institute's Chief Science Officer, George Perry, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Science at the University of Texas, San Antonio, where he oversees all research and nearly five thousand science students. It is their combined effort, Dr. Dharma's leadership, and of course Yogi Bhajan's vision that are now making Kirtan Kriya available to millions around the world.

To discover more please visit There all the research articles are shared and you may download a copy of the 12 minute Kirtan Kriya meditation for memory.

Mr. Simran Singh is part of the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation, a former Chairman of Miri Piri Academy, and a former Vice President of Akal Security. He trains meditation and yoga teachers around the world.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. is the president/medical director of The Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation and a Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Integrative Medicine at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.



Kirtan Kriya (which is pronounced KEER-tun KREE-a) is a type of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, which has been practiced for thousands of years. This meditation is sometimes called a singing exercise, as it involves singing the sounds, Saa Taa Naa Maa along with repetitive finger movements, or mudras. This non-religious practice can be adapted to several lengths, but practicing it for just 12 minutes a day has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase activity in areas of the brain that are central to memory.

What do the words Kirtan Kriya mean?

In Sanskrit, a kirtan is a song, and kriya refers to a specific set of movements. In the Eastern tradition, kriyas are used to help bring the body, mind and emotions into balance to enable healing.

What do the sounds Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa mean?

The mantra that is repeated while practicing Kirtan Kriya is designed to be uplifting. The sounds come from the mantra ‘Sat Nam’, which means “my true essence’.
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