the meaning of mala beads + how to use them for meditation March 07 2017
we love to wear our yoga, from tees to tattoos to jewelry that expresses our devotion. malas, strands of 108 beads plus a “guru” bead traditionally used for meditation and prayer, are the newest trend in wearable yoga, with designers making mala necklaces that combine gemstones with potent energies and sacred meaning to infuse your practice.
there are many theories behind the significance of the number 108, which has long been considered a sacred number in hinduism. the number 1 is often taught to symbolize God, the universe, or your own highest truth, 0 for emptiness and humility in spiritual practice, and 8 for infinity and timelessness.
malas also offer people a wearable reflection of something in their own journey, and in that way can become whatever the wearer intends for it. every gemstone is said to have different properties, energies, and meaning. they are a great symbol for the grace we create. for meditation however, the use of mala beads with mantra is the most popular method of meditation, and is taught by many gurus as the safest way to meditate, raise kundalini, and open the chakras. if you're not familiar with mantras, you can learn about them on my mantras page here.
how to use mala beads:
- choose a spot and sit comfortably with your spine straight and your eyes closed. take a few deep breaths to center and align yourself with your intention.
- use a mantra for this practice, chanting aloud or silently.
- hold your mala or mala bracelet in your right hand, draped between your middle and index fingers. starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. do this 108 times, traveling around a mala or mala bracelet, until you once again reach the guru bead.
- for a mala bracelet, instead of passing over the guru bead, simply reverse direction and begin again.