Malas, also known as prayer beads, are used as a counting tool to keep track of mantras, breath work, affirmations, etc. These tools are believed to have been around for thousands of years and are often linked to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Yoga.
Components of a Mala
Guru Bead: symbolizes the connection to life, energy, the divine
Tassel: symbolizes enlightenment
108 Counting beads: the sacred number 108 has a sense of significance in multiple areas including Yoga, Mathematics, Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Malas can also be broken down into multiples of 9.
Knots between beads: these knots often represent the road blocks we face in our daily lives. In more practical terms, they prevent the stones from rubbing & create optimal spacing- allowing your fingers to glide smoothly through the mala.
Marker Beads (optional): Marker beads can be placed throughout the mala to signify how far you've traveled through the mala- as well as helping bring attention back to the mala and meditation.
How to use a Mala
You start with the bead closest to the guru bead.
The thumb and middle finger guide the beads towards you as you recite your mantra, affirmation, breath, etc. with each bead
Once you have reached the final bead, you can stop or spin the mala and go back. *the guru bead should not be handled or passed over when using your mala
How I've Incorporated Malas Into My Practice
I've recently incorporated Malas into my morning rituals. I have a 108 bead mala to recite an affirmation I've created inspired by the tarot. I'll generally work with the affirmation/tarot card for a few days until I feel I've captured the essence and fully understand what the card is try to show me. In addition, I recite the Reiki Principals on my 18 bead mala bracelet- which I wear throughout the day as a constant reminder of these empowering principals. Malas have honestly become one of my favorite spiritual tools and are a beautiful addition to my practice.
Reiki Principals: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAiLGDSH9FD/)
If you need a little help using to tarot to create an affirmation check out this post: https://www.rosebmystics.com/post/78-affirmations-to-accompany-the-tarot
Thanks for reading,