Yoga has taken the fitness world by storm and has become a form of exercise highly recommended by many. With its ability to get you relaxed while working all your muscles, this ancient Indian practice has evolved into many different types and teachings over time. The idea and concept behind it is to find one that works best for you.
There are many aspects to yoga, one of it being meditation. Here's where the mala comes in. A mala is a string of beads (108 to be exact) plus one 'guru' bead (the main one) that is used for meditation and prayer purposes.
What Is A Mala?
Malas are generally made out of gemstones, crystals and seeds. All of which have their own unique properties and meaning behind them. Each bead is separated by hand knots, making it easier to use during meditation as it allows you to chant your mantra without losing count. Generally it’s 108 beads but some use different numbers as well such as double (216) or half (54).
Why 108 Beads?
There are many theories as to why the bead count is specifically 108, such as:
- It is related to the 108 stages of the journey of the human soul
- It takes 108 breaths a day in deep meditation to achieve enlightenment
You may subscribe to any of the theories out there or interpret it to mean something that is personal and significant to you; meditating is after all done solely for yourself so there is no right or wrong.
Crystals And Gemstones On Malas
Every stone has a different energy and significance for the individual wearing it. A strand of mala beads can have a variety of stones mixed so as to create a mix and blend of energies that coincide with your intentions when it comes to meditation. Pick your malas wisely and find one that feels right for your purpose. It generally is whatever the wearer wants it to be.
Mantras That Work For You
There are so many mantras to pick and choose from, but you'll know which ones work for you once you feel it. Be clear of what intention you'd like to give out to the Universe as it will help bring you closer to your goals.
How To Use The Mala
Pick a space that is comfortable and quiet for you to sit for a long period of time. Sit down, close your eyes, breathe evenly and centre your thoughts to the intentions you'd like to give out to the Universe. Hold the mala in your right hand with the strand between your middle and index fingers (refer to picture above).
The process starts with the guru bead. Using your thumb, count each bead as you chant, pulling it towards you. The mala helps you get your intention out without having to worry about losing count (thus allowing you to focus on your intention) as you know your start and finish points will be the guru bead.