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What is a Mala?

September 20 2018
September 20 2018
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Malas have become a popular tool in the yoga world these days. The reason is not just because they are beautiful to wear, but also because they really work!

If you are not sure what a mala is, I sometimes describe it as a rosary, but for yogis. You usually find them with 108 beads plus one guru bead at the end. 108 is a sacred number in yoga world and the extra guru bead represents that you have all the knowledge you need inside you. A tassel is at the end of the guru bead and it represents the lotus flower.

Mala-making Malas (sometimes called malabeads or prayer beads) can have a very powerful effect on the mind, body, and spirit. They help increase one’s focus and concentration. They activate a healing response by lowering heart rate and reducing blood pressure. Using these tools helps to reduce stress and balance one’s emotions.

Malas help bring in wisdom and depth.

Depending on what stone you use can also have an effect. Wood beads usually have a grounding quality, diamond cut beads can amplify the energetic property of the crystal, and even mixing and matching the gems can create different energies. Whatever you choose, it’s a powerful tool to help your meditation practice.

To use a mala, take the first bead next to the guru bead between the thumb and index finger. Pull the bead towards you one by one. With each bead, chant your favorite mantra or watch each exhale and inhale. There are a lot more ways to use a mala, including which finger, which mantra, which beads, but the way just described is a good beginning point.

“How do I pick out my mala?” Being the owner of Atma’s Offerings, I get this question a lot.

I can tell you to use muscle testing to choose, run your hand over them and sense which one is it, or Google every stone ever written about to see what you need. I can give you all sorts of other tips to choose your mala, including using a Vedic astrologer to look at your chart and give you a prescription!

But the best way is this: It is the one you keep being drawn to.

When looking at the malas online or in person, it is the one you keep going back to and looking at. It’s really just that simple. If you are reading this, take yoga, classes or meditate, you have “enough” intuition to decide for yourself. Your intuition has been developed to know what is right for you.

Well…I do believe I stopped talking about malas and am now talking about your life! Actually, I’m talking about both.

Choosing your mala is like choosing in your life: You know what you need.

I love this.

I hope you got a little information about these beautiful beads and enjoy trying out meditation with your favorite mala. Join me on October 20th at Yoga Yoga Westgate for Mala Making 101.


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