What are these Mala bead bracelets all about? I know you’re curious about mala just like I was, so I wanted to share some pretty neat info with you about them! Mala means garland in Sanskrit, they are also referred to as Japa Mala, prayer beads & yoga beads. They are considered to be a type of rosary to use to count mantras(affirmations said aloud). You can set an intention & use the beads to help manifest your desires. They are a great tool to use during meditation to help keep your mind from wandering and buzzing around. Just hold on to your mala and repeat your mantra with every bead that passes through your fingers. This helps me focus so much!
Mala has been around for well over 3,000 years! They have been used for centuries by Indian, Hindu, Japa & Buddhist practices. There are 108 beads that make up a traditional mala necklace usually adorned with a tassel. The tassel on the very first forms of mala are said to be a symbol of unity & oneness by way of the many strands within the tassel all coming together to make one powerful necklace. Connected to the tassel is the guru bead, symbolic of the student teacher relationship. The very first forms were made of wood, seed or bone beads. In todays world malas come in all kinds of gem stones to help attune and align your energies creating a higher vibration. A mala bracelet has a fraction of the number of beads to be used in the same manner as a necklace. Why 108 beads? What is the significance? It is believed that the 108 is the number of existence & represents the universe. It is also believed by some that the one represents God, zero for humanity & the eight signifies the infinity symbol. Malas are truly versatile and represents whatever the wearer intends it to. The possibilities of intention setting are endless!
There are a few rules of wearing mala beads as tradition would have it. First off you should never allow your mala to touch the ground. You should also be sure to cleanse your beads every so often if you choose to. This can be don’t by placing them in a selenite bowl overnight or by way of moon light. When using moonlight I suggest setting them out under a full moon until morning. This will leave your beloved mala freshly cleansed and charged of any unwanted energies that may have been picked up along the way!
When using a mala I suggest to find a quiet comfortable sacred space, settle into a seated position or a yoga pose of your choosing & begin to quiet your mind. A great way to get into a meditative state is to focus on your breathing. Try slowly inhaling deeply through your nose to the count of five. During the inhale expand your belly like a balloon, pause at the end of your breath. Then exhale even slower allowing the air to escape from your mouth in a very controlled manner while contracting the muscles in your throat to the count of ten. This is one of my most favorite styles of deep breathing! This deep belly breathing is called ujjyi breathing, I learned this when I became a yoga teacher over 10 years ago. Once you have slowed your mind and you are ready begin by holding your mala in your right hand. Start by holding the guru bead between your thumb and your index finger, begin counting as you say your mantra or intention allowing the next bead to pass through your fingers as you repeat your mantra. You can repeat this process as many times as you choose.
Meditation or praying isn’t your jam? That’s quite alright! It absolutely doesn't have to be. Mala can be worn as a fashion statement creating an amazing bohemian look. So don’t fret! Rock those malas however you so choose!