Thinking about getting some mala beads of your own? Mala beads are a very special piece of jewelry that can function in many ways. For some people, they are strictly a spiritual item, whereas for others they are a fashion statement. From maintenance to practice, read on to learn everything you need to know about mala beads!
Depending on who you ask, mala beads have a different purpose or function, and it’s important to know that there is no right way to use these beads!
Mala beads have been used in a variety of different styles and traditions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, and meditation. There are typically 108 beads on a necklace and there is a decorative tassel at the end of the strand, with other amulets or embellishments placed throughout. While mala beads have their roots in religion, but recently they have found a new meaning in yoga and meditation for mindfulness. Before you pick out your mala beads, figure out what they’ll mean to you!
Meditation is the main purpose of mala beads, as they are perfect for keeping track of how many breaths or mantras you’ve completed.
The structure of a mala necklace is intentional and spiritually designed. Traditionally, they are made with 108 colorful beads (the stones and gems used to make up a necklace are unique, scroll down for “choosing your beads”). You might be wondering, why 108 beads? Well, mala beads have been used during mediation and are meant for reciting mantras. A mantra is a powerful phrase/prayer that will be repeated 100 times. So, as you can imagine, it might be difficult to recite a mantra 100 times while keeping track, and that’s where mala beads come in! Also, there are slightly larger beads than the rest that are used to help keep track when you’re counting.
If you’re not religious and don’t want to recite mantras, then consider reciting intentions for personal growth. Intentions are similar to mantras, in the sense that they are short statements that help us manifest our deepest desires, dreams, or goals. For example, if you wanted to be kinder to yourself, you might say, “I intend to be kinder to myself.”
Choosing Your Beads
Each mala necklace is unique in its own way, and you might want certain stones or gems over others depending on your intentions. Mala beads can be made from many different materials, including precious gemstones, seeds, or carved sandalwood. The best part about mala beads is that each material carries different energy!
For example, if you are striving for balance, then consider getting a necklace made of amethyst. Amethyst is a protective stone that balances emotional lows and highs. Or, maybe you decide you want a necklace that embraces adversity, so you get one made out of lotus seeds. Lotus seeds help you overcome obstacles because the lotus flower grows in muddy waters, thus, against all odds, the lotus flower blossoms into a striking flower. Another great example is sandalwood, as it is known for attracting positive energy.
Remember, mala beads are known for attracting your energy and manifesting your goals. So before you buy your mala beads, figure out what you want them to symbolize!
During mediation, the necklace is generally held in the left hand and one bead counts for each intention. Make sure to start with the first bead next to the largest bead (aka the guru bead). The guru bead is usually a large stone or some other noticeable, decorative bead.
Start by holding the first bead between the thumb and middle finger. Then, with each intention said, your thumb will pull the next bead in place of the one before it. In most mediations, it is custom to pull the beads towards you, as a way to bring positive energy upon yourself.
Don’t get upset if you repeat a mantra or an intention incorrectly; that’s why there are 108 beads! You’re only human and going to make mistakes, so know there is a grace period of 8 beads to help with mistakes! Also, repeating 100 intentions right off the bat might be a little difficult, so start off by repeating intentions 7 times, or at least until the first big bead on your necklace. Be kind to yourself!
Mala beads absorb the energy you carry AND the energy surrounding you, so it’s important to make sure your necklace stays in tip-top shape! This means every once in a while, you should cleanse your mala beads to keep them in good condition. You can cleanse them in a number of ways: First off, you can smudge the mala beads with sage. Also, you can place your necklace over a quartz cluster overnight, or you can place them next to carnelian crystal. No matter how you want to keep your mala beads clean, the bottom line is to do it!
Keeping in mind that your mala necklace absorbs your energy and the energy surrounding it, it’s also important to charge them from time to time. This differs from cleansing them, because here, the sole purpose is to replace a loss of energy. There are two main ways to do this: First off, you can place them in the sunlight for an hour or two. If you do this, make sure to take them out of the sun in a timely manner, so as to not let the color of the beads fade. Lastly, you can place them in moonlight (try and place them during a full moon to maximize energy).
Mala beads can be a cute fashion accessory, or a spiritual tool meant for self-growth. Whatever your mala necklace means to you, wear them however you feel most comfortable. This means you can wear them on your wrist, around your neck, or simply hold them during meditation. As long as you have a special connection to it, then it doesn’t matter where you choose to wear it!
Are you thinking about getting mala beads of your own? What stones will you get and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-beaded-accessories-994515/
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