My most memorable experience with the mantra Sat Nam was in one of my first Kundalini Yoga classes. It was an experience that sits in my heart after all of these years.

One Sunday morning, I was sitting on my mat waiting for class to start. I closed my eyes and began to tune into my breath to ground into my upcoming practice. I was new to Kundalini Yoga and still not sure what to expect. After a few minutes, with my eyes still closed, the voice of the teacher signaled the start of the class with a powerful yet gentle Sat Nam. The simple sound of Sat Nam immediately hooked into me. There was no going back into the past or peeking into the future. These words commanded my presence, and I journeyed within for the next 90 minutes of class.

To this day, the use of this sacred mantra is something I have constantly appreciated. There is something magical about mentally chanting it to break free from the time constraints of a pose in a kriya, and it makes for an even sweeter way to tune into a class with a collective voice.

On a basic level, Sat means “truth” and Nam means “name.” The vibration of Sat reaches upwards through the crown chakra, while Nam is a more grounding vibration. By chanting Sat Nam, you pull the vibration of infinity into your own conscious awareness — your physical reality around you. With our breath connection to these two words, we create an experience of truth of our own divinity.

I cherish the use of this mantra as a way to greet others in the Kundalini community. The first time I used Sat Nam as a greeting, I felt a sense of authentic belonging. When we greet one another with this mantra we are saying, I see the truth of you.” Is there any better way to immediately connect authentically with another?

“Sat Nam means I identify the truth as truth, I identify you as a truth, no question asked. Do you understand, what a beautiful greeting that is? When we call Sat Nam, it means I identify, I, I identify your identity as a truth. I acknowledge you as true, no question asked.” -Yogi Bhajan

In the spirit of Sat Nam Fest, it seems fitting for us all to consciously use Sat Nam as an authentic greeting when meeting new yogis or reconnecting with old friends.

Here is a great way to utilize Sat Nam to connect with others during Sat Nam Fest (and beyond!):

  1. With your hands in prayer pose and pressing against the heart, look into your fellow yogi’s eyes and choose to see the divine truth of who they are.
  2. Project love or any other positive thought that feels good.
  3. From the heart, say Sat Nam. Feel the flow of energy running through you and the other person.

This elevated connection to the divine truth of ourselves and others takes a few quick moments and makes a huge difference in how we interact and quite possibly, can change the world — one interaction at a time.

Sat Nam!