You always see pictures of yogis and yoginis with long strands of beads around their necks or wrapped around their wrists, but do you know what they are and what they’re used for?
Personally, I first noticed someone wearing a mala necklace (a circular strand of 18, 27, 54, or 108 beads) when I was in my yoga teacher training program. I had no idea what it was for, but I knew that I thought it was beautiful. I wanted one simply for it’s beauty, and I assume that’s why a lot of people purchase them nowadays.
At that time, I wanted to purchase one for myself, but I knew that it had a deeper meaning, and I wanted to discover what that was before I invested in one. It took a bit of research on my part, but eventually I came to understand that they are used for meditation.
Coming from a Catholic background myself, I compared it to the way we pray with the rosary in that each time you move to a new bead, you repeat the prayer. It’s a very similar concept when using a mala, but there’s no need for religious affiliation.
Here is how to use them:
1. Choose a mantra or affirmation that you want to focus on. Perhaps pick something that you’re trying to achieve within yourself, or something that represents how you want to view yourself or the world.
2. Sit in a comfortable crossed legged position, possibly on a pillow or blanket to create some lift in your hips.
3. Hold your mala beads in your right hand draped over your middle finger, and place the thumb on top of the bead next to the guru bead, which is the bead sticking out from the rest. Place the other hand on your knee facing upward.
4. Close your eyes, and deepen your breathing. At first hold your attention on your breath to come inward and quiet your mind.
5. Use your thumb to move from holding one bead to the next, and each time you land on a new bead, repeat your mantra or affirmation. You can do this aloud or quietly in your mind.
6. Repeat your mantra and move from bead to bead until you reach the opposite end of the necklace on the other side of the guru bead.
7. Repeat in the opposite direction if you’d like, or take a few more deep breaths and slowly open your eyes to complete your meditation.
I hope that helps you in better understanding how to use your mala beads for meditation. Let me know how you’re finding your meditation practice with mala beads in the comments below. Thank you so much for joining me to today here on the blog! I hope to see you here again soon! Namaste.
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