For thousands of years, people have learned how to use mala beads, or “meditation garlands”, to enhance their spiritual journey. Made with 108 beads, mala beads are traditionally used for Japa meditation, in which you repeat a mantra or affirmation, using the beads to keep track of count. However, there are many different ways you can use meditation beads.
What are Mala Beads?
There are many theories behind the meaning of 108 mala beads. In Hinduism, it’s considered a sacred number, while others believe that 1 stands for the divine, God, or your higher self, 0 represents emptiness and humility, and 8 stands for infinity. When you wear mala beads, it serves as a reflection of your spiritual journey and your intentions for their healing energy. When you connect with the energy of gemstones, its infinite wisdom helps to magnify your prayers, hopes, and dreams.
Start by choosing a mantra or intention for your mala. (If you are new to setting intentions, check out our blog post on the Art of Setting Intentions). When thinking of your desires and dreams, ask yourself why you want to achieve them. If you cannot think of a strong reason for the why, you will not have the willpower to see it through. Your goal should be motivating and uplifting so that it inspires you everyday. Once you’ve set an intention, meditation beads are a beautiful way to focus on achieving your dreams during your practice and everyday life.
You may wish to simply wear a mala necklace or bracelet as a reminder of your dreams and to allow the power of the healing crystals to guide and protect you on your journey. During times when you feel your desires are out of reach or that you’ve strayed you’re your spiritual path, close your eyes and hold the guru stone in your hand. Allow the energy of the crystal to flow through you as you repeat the intention you set. This will help refresh your willpower and purpose.
You can also use your mala while practicing yoga by wearing it or placing it on your mat. Doing so will allow you to reenergize your intention during the centering at the beginning of class. As you focus on your mala and goal throughout the class, you practice the actions needed in order to achieve your intention in your daily life.
If you are seeking a spiritual experience through the mala beads, you will want to try mantra meditation, which helps your keep your mind focused. Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes as you deepen your breath. After you feel centered and free of distractions, bring your mind to the intention you set. Hold the first bead between your left index finger and thumb. Begin repeating your intention as you push the bead away with your thumb and move to the next bead. If you finished passing over all of the meditation beads, but you would like to do more rounds of mantra, turn the mala around and move in the opposite direction.
How to Use Mala Beads
The mala beads are made with different types of healing crystals, which gives them specific healing powers. For instance, meditation beads made from Rose Quartz help to cultivate unconditional love by activating and opening your heart chakra. It also adds a rose-hued glow to your aura. Every time you glance at your beads, let it remind you to reflect on life with positive joy so you can face the world with openness and loving communication.
The mala bracelet can also be made with Green Aventurine, the ultimate stone for good luck. Part of the green color ray, this gemstone represents the prosperity and abundance found in lush forests and other natural greenery. According to naturalist John Muir, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” If you find yourself spiritually adrift, grab your mala bracelet made with Green Aventurine and venture into the woods for some forest bathing, a glorious way to reconnect with great outdoors. Being immersed in a gorgeous cathedral of trees reminds us to be humble in our spiritual work and yoga practice while the Aventurine mala beads help magnify those feelings even more.
If you need protection from dream crushers, energy vampires, or your own inner critic, wear a mala necklace made with Malachite crystal, a powerful warrior stone that works as your personal protector of the spirit. It also boosts your self-confidence by cleansing and activating the heart chakra, which is why you should wear it as a necklace so that the mala beads are in contact with this energy center.
No matter how you chose to use your mala, be sure to check in with your intention daily. Ask yourself what small accomplishments you’ve made with the help of your mala beads and what is still blocking you from achieving your goal.
What intention did you set for your mala? We’d love to know! Share with us on Instagram @EnergyMuse.