What is Kirtan Kriya?

  • Kirtan Kriya (KK) is a particular type of meditation practice that involves simple repetitions of four sounds: SA, TA, NA, MA, meaning Birth, Life, Death, and Rebirth.

Who benefits from practicing KK?

  • Meditation has been studied as an effective technique for improving memory while lowering the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that practicing KK meditation has beneficial effects for both the caregiver and the individual with memory loss. For individuals who have progressed into late stages of dementia, meditation may not be possible.

What are the benefits?

  • Clients with memory loss: Significant increases in blood flow to brain structures that are related to attention and executive function (the ability to see complex tasks through to completion) which suggests the possibility that over time, KK practice has an effect on this neural network.
  • Caregivers: Lower level of depressive symptoms, improve quality of life, mental/physical/social functioning, improve executive functions.

How do I use it?

  • While vocalizing the sounds, "SA, TA, NA, MA," the person sequentially touches their thumb to their index finger, middle finger, fourth finger, and then fifth finger.
  • Performed out loud for 2 minutes, in a whisper for 2 minutes, in silence for 4 minutes, then in a whisper for 2 more minutes and out loud again for the last 2 minutes.
  • The total time to practice this meditation is 12 minutes.