Tips on How to Use Mala Beads
For those who practice yoga and those who do meditation regularly, it may be important that you consider using mala beads as an aid to meditation. Mala beads are a strand that is made of 108 beads to keep a count when doing mantra meditations. Mala beads can also be made using 27 or 21 beads that can be used when making shorter meditations. Malas are used during meditation; they are made from different gemstones that match the desired intention of a believer’s practice. Mala beads are placed in shrines to remind one of affirmations. Mala beads are also referred to as malas, Buddhist malas or Buddhist prayer beads; they have been used in Buddhism and Hinduism for centuries as far back as the 10th century.
How to use a mala: Using mala beads is not a complicated task; it is actually easy, simple and enjoyable. You start by clarifying the intention of your practice before your choose your affirmation or mantra. Once you are done with choosing, you need to look for a comfortable place where you can sit in a cross legged position and close your eyes while trying to observe the depth and speed of your breath. Start breathing deeply as you try to bring your focus and attention on your chosen mantra or affirmation; your thumb should be placed on the guru bead as you begin reciting your mantra. When you have finished, push the mala bead away using your thumb as you move to the following bead for another round. Keep on repeating the same process until you come to the 7th, 21st, 27th or 108th bead. If you desire to do another round of affirmations or mantras, don’t skip over the guru bead; simply turn the mal bead around as you move in the opposite direction.
Types and styles of mala beads: Malas are almost always made using round beads which measure between 7mm to 10mm; they are shaped in such a way that they will easily glide through the fingers. Traditionally, malas were made using lotus seed beads, Bodhi beads, yak bone or simply wood. There are healing mala beads that are made using gemstones that have different properties, energies, and colors. You will be able to find different mala beads that are made from turquoise, onyx, jade and rose quartz. There are fewer mala beads that are made using round glass beads or glass crystal but they are mainly used for color therapy.
There are mala beads that are made with only 108 beads, a tassel and a guru; there are others that have markers at 7 or 21 so that one can use them for alternative shorter mantra meditations. There are mala necklaces that have only 108 beads and a guru; all the108 beads can be worn as necklaces or mala bracelets. There are thousands of people who wear them in the Western world when they are not on the Yoga mart as a reminder of their practice.