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Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan
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Yogi Bhajan

Sat Kriya
Yogi Bhajan has called Sat Kriya one of the
most powerful kriyas in all of Kundalini Yoga.

Sat Nam. Sat Kriya is an essential key to the processes of Kundalini Yoga. It is one of the few exercises that is a complete action in and of itself. The connotation of the word “kriya” is an action or series of actions that completes a process and has a predictable outcome. Most kriyas consist of a series of exercises that synergize. Sat Kriya however, stands alone like a precious gem. The main effect is a control and balance of the lower three chakras or energy distribution centers in the body. It does this by mixing the prana and apana at the navel center. This generates a heat in the system and opens the inner channels to the upward flow and rotation of energy. Sat Kriya also rejuvenates the sexual system and helps the brain and body to recover from toxicity and memory loss due to drug abuse. It is good for removing energy imbalances in the lower three chakras and, as a result, is good for problems in the lower back and alleviating mild depression.

"It takes 40 days to break a habit; 90 days to gain the new habit;
120 days and you are the habit; 1,000 days you are Master of it."

Strengthens the pelvic floor and the entire sexual system
Stimulates its natural flow of energy
Helps overcome phobias about sexuality
Helps control the insistent sexual impulse
Rechannels sexual energy to more creative and healing functions within the body
Benefits those with mental imbalances and other mental issues
Balances energies in the lower three chakras
Massages organs with a gentle rhythmic movement, which promotes good health
Regulates blood pressure and strengthens heart
Stimulates and channelizes the Kundalini energy
Is practiced using the Sat Nam mantra only
Can be practiced from 3 to 62 minutes (Note: Use common sense -- Do not over-indulge.)
Requires deep relaxation on the back for double the time of the exercise

A beginning student should start with 3 minutes of Sat Kriya every day for 40 days as part of a personal practice, i.e., Sadhana. More time can be built up from this 3 minute base.


IMPORTANT: Kundalini Yoga class participants begin each session by 'Tuning In'. 1) Rapidly rubbing the palms of each hand together for 5-10 seconds in order to stimulate the nervous system, and 2) Chanting the Adi Mantra, ONNNNG ... NAMO ... GURU ... DEV ... NAMO, three to five times, with hands in Prayer Pose, thumbs against the sternum.


Infinite Creator
I Call On That
Subtle Energy
I Call On That

"Do not just sing or otherwise express this mantra.
Consciously chant the words in such a way
that your cranium resonates as if you are
striking a Gong." Hari Singh Khalsa

See more details, here

"The side effects of practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
can be increased sensitivity - heightened awareness. It's not like
Kundalini Yoga creates problems - it sheds light on 'problems' that have
been there all along - just buried deep within the psyche. -- Hari Bhajan Singh

Sat Kriya

Posture: Sit on the heels in rock pose (Vajrasan asana). The heels are straight up into the buttocks, stimulating two acupuncture pressure points, one in each buttock. The knees can be slightly open. Lock in the chin, i.e., pull the chin back but not down; stretch the arms over the head until the elbows hug the sides of the head. Interlace all fingers except the index fingers which are together and pointed straight up. Cross one thumb over the other. Advanced students should bring the palms together, thumbs crossed, other fingers straight. See below.

Photo courtesy of Spirit Rising Foundation

Eyes: The eyes are closed and focused at the third-eye point, i.e., above and between the eyes.

Mantra: The mantra is Sat Nam. Chant Sat from the navel point.* As you express Sat, pull the navel point in-up with an obvious jerking-snapping movement. (In affect, you are applying Mul Bandh, root lock, automatically.) At the same time, imagine you are receiving pranic energy from God, your Higher Source, your Creator, through the navel point. Then, chant Naamm and send the energy back out into the cosmos through the third-eye point.


1) Due to the 'snap-like' motion of applying Mul Bandh while expressing Sat, it will sound more like the sound, Sutt.
Be sure to bring your lips together when expressing the mmm sound. This creates a gong-like resonance within the cranium, which has an enhancing impact on centers in your brain.
The physical effect of the expression is more important than the precision of the sound. (See Video on Primal Sounds.)

Finish: Inhale, hold the breath and apply root lock, squeezing the energy up from the buttocks up the spine and out the top of your head through the 'crown' or 7th chakra. Exhale, relax the root lock, and repeat the sequence twice more. At the end of the last exhalation, exhale completely, then pull the navel back toward the spine in Maha Bandh, holding the breath out while holding the Great Lock for a few seconds. Then, inhale bringing the hands/arms down slowly. Relax flat on your back in Corpse Pose for at least as long as you’ve practiced Sat Kriya. (Ideally, the relaxation is to be twice the length of time as you practice this kriya.)

The rhythmic contraction and relaxation produces waves of energy that circulate, energize and heal the body. While chanting, the spine stays still and straight. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust. You remain firmly seated on the heels through all the motions of the kriya. The abdominal contraction is focused at the navel point. There is an automatic contraction of the rectum and the sex organ areas as in the lower body lock called 'root' lock or Mul Bandh (mool bandh), but the lock is not forced and is pulled-squeezed naturally from the navel.

Prayer Mudra

Note: Palms-together posture is
for the advanced students only.

To build Sat Kriya in time and effect, start with rotation cycles: 3 minutes of Sat Kriya with three minutes of relaxation. Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 times. Build gradually. Then switch the cycle to 5 minutes Sat Kriya and 5 minutes rest. You can then add 3 to 5 minutes to the kriya time as you are comfortable until you are able to do an entire 31 minutes. (See More About Sat Kriya.)



One of the most challenging aspects of Kundalini Yoga is keeping your arms in the air during a kriya or meditation without letting them drop for a long period of time.

While most of the challenge is mental and requires a determination to complete the kriya and not identify with the pain, there is a physical aspect of the challenge as well. People often use their shoulders too much in arm meditations. One of the most useful ways of creating an easier time to hold your arms up is creating leverage within your body. Often a teacher will tell you to "engage the navel" when your arms are up. How do you do that? How does one use the stomach to hold up the arms? Leverage.

Clearly explained by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa in his book, "The Heart Rules," leverage allows a much easier time during arm meditations. Using the hip joint as a fulcrum, apply downward pressure to the navel, pushing it closer to the earth. This will provide leverage for you to keep your arms up. Then bring your shoulders up as close to the ears as you can and roll them back and down. Lock this position. Keeping the shoulders down and the navel engaged provides a counterbalance to the pressure in your raised arms. You can also visualize yourself keeping the chest and heart up and open. Lift the heart; lift the arms!

Keeping up with Kundalini Yoga arm meditations is never easier than when your body is in the right place...it helps your mind get in the right place, too, and things become easier and transcendent. Also see Sat Kriya Video. "Keep up and you will be kept up!" -- Yogi Bhajan

With additional details from

Posture: Sit on the heels and stretch the arms over the head so that the elbows hug the ears. You can also sit in easy position or a chair. Interlock all the fingers except the first ones (index) which point straight up. Cross the thumbs: Females cross left over right and Males cross right over left. NOTE: After 40 days of practice you can hold hands in prayer mudra* as seen below. See also Mudras.

Posture for beginners, left, hands in venus lock.
*Advanced students, right, hands in prayer mudra.

Mantra: Begin to chant Sat Nam emphatically in a constant rhythm about eight times per 10 seconds.

Chant the sound Sat, (Sounds like Sutt) from the navel point and solar plexus, and pull the umbilicus all the way in toward the spine. On Nam relax the belly. Release the lock as you chant Naamm. (Almost like a sigh with the sound Naamm.)

Eyes: Close the eyes and focus at the third-eye point. This puts pressure on the frontal lobe at the pituitary gland and does good things for your brain.

Finish: Continue at least 3 minutes. Inhale and pull-squeeze the muscles tightly from the buttocks all the way up the back, past the shoulders (Mul Bandh). Mentally allow the energy to flow through the top of the skull. Ideally, you should relax for twice the length of time that the kriya was practiced.

Time: You may build the time of the kriya from 31 to 62 minutes, and remember to have a long, deep relaxation immediately afterewards. A good way to build up the time is to do the kriya for 3 minutes, then rest 2 minutes. Repeat this cycle until you have completed 15 minutes of Sat Kriya and 10 minutes of rest. Finish the required relaxation by resting an additional 15-20 minutes.

Respect the inherent power of this technique. Deep relaxation after this kriya is a must and nearly as important as the initial effort. The body's systems need time to regenerate and reconstitute themselves.

Sat Kriya is not just an exercise, it is a kriya that works on on all levels of your being -- known and unknown. You might block the more subtle experiences of higher energies by pushing the physical body too much. You may have an experience of higher consciousness, but not be able to integrate the experience into your psyche. So prepare yourself with practice. It is NOT necessary to consciously apply-pull-squeeze Mul Bandh. Mul Bhand will occur automatically when the navel is pulled back toward the spine. Consequently, the hips and lumbar spine do not rotate or flex. The spine remains straight and the only motion the arms make is a slight up-and-down stretch with each 'Sat Nam' as the chest lifts.

NOTE: If you have time for nothing else, make Sat Kriya part of your every day practice, i.e., Sadhana.





A) Come into chair pose (see below): knees bent, back parallel to the ground, hands grasping the heels firmly. Keep the spine straight. The head looks down. As shown in (A) below, turn head to the left shoulder and say WHAHE. Turn head to the right shoulder and say GURU. Alternate at a moderate pace to make a continuous sound current: WHAHE GURU WHAHE GURU WHAHE GURU. Continue for 3 minutes.

B) Stand up straight. Put hands on the hips and lean backwards. Keep the legs straight. Let the head fall back. (B) Turn head to the left and say WHAHE. Turn head to the right and say GURU. Continue for 3 minutes.

C) Stand straight. Bend a little so the hands rest on the knees. Spine is straight but bend the head up. (C) Then chant WHAHE while turning the head to the left. Chant GURU while turning head to the right. Continue for 3 minutes.

D) Stand up. Stretch arms overhead trying to touch the sky. (D) On WHAHE, the feet are flat on the ground. With GURU, rise up on the toes. Vibrate up and down for 3 minutes.

E) Sit on the heels. Place the palms flat on the floor just in front of the knees. Spine and arms are straight looking like a sphinx. (El) Bend forward, touching the forehead to the ground and chant GURU. (E2) Rise up and chant WHAHE. Continue 3 minutes.


F) Sit in easy pose. (F) Begin to whisper the panj shabad: After 2 minutes, chant loudly for 2 minutes.

G) Immediately come onto the heels with palms on thighs. Begin flexing the spine and with a powerful whisper chant SA--forward, TA--back, NA--forward, MA--back. Continue for 3 minutes, then meditate. See Video on Primal Sounds.

More Kundalini Yoga Kriyas as taught by Yogi Bhajan.


Sat Kriya Video

What is Sadhana

The Song of Bliss

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Hear meditation music

Kundalini Yoga Kriya Series

10 Reasons to Chant Mantras

Hear GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa

Life According To Yogi Bhajan.com

Kundalini Yoga Spinal Energy Series

Meditations as taught by Yogi Bhajan

See what happens when you meditate

Kundalini Yoga Kriyas as taught by Yogi Bhajan




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   *Consultation with a health care professional should occur before applying any adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming medications or nutritional supplements, and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment. See Disclaimer.