Mala beads are a mysterious part of yoga culture. They were first created in India over 3,000 years ago and have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and yoga. Available in a wide range of colors and materials, they are worn to help the user keep count during mantra meditations and prayer, as well as for beauty.
If you’ve considered mala beads for meditation before, or if you could use some assistance with maintaining focus during meditation, look no further.
Meditation is the act of quieting the mind, slowing the breathing, and focusing on the here and now. Yet sitting still and quiet can be challenging, especially for beginners.
To help calm the mind, many people will choose a personal mantra which they repeat during meditation that helps them concentrate. This mantra can be a word, a sound, or a phrase that holds personal meaning and guidance. The mala beads help the user focus on their mantra and keep count.
When reciting a mantra during meditation, 108 is the ideal number to repetitions due to the spiritual and sacred connotations of the number. The mala string has 108 small beads, with one large stone known as the summit or head stone. By incorporating a mala string into your meditation, you can help maintain concentration and repeat your mantra the ideal number of times.
Begin your meditation by sitting cross legged in a comfortable place. Close your eyes and breath deeply. With your mala beads in your right hand, place your middle or ring finger and thumb around the first bea, starting at the summit stone. As you say each affirmation, slide the beads until your fingers meet the next bead on your mala string.
If you choose to continue your mantra past 108 repetitions, do not pass over the head stone. Instead, reverse the mala and continue your affirmations in the opposite direction. Keep in mind the index finger is known as the “ego” finger, so it should never touch your mala during meditation.
Choosing a mala is a very personal decision. Mala beads come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials.
When choosing the right mala for you, focus on your intuition. If a mala feels right to you, then it will be the right time for you to have that mala.
You can also choose a mala based on the intention of your meditation. For instance, agate is considered a grounding stone, so this type of mala might be right for you if you use yoga to feel more grounded and centered. Likewise, certain colors hold meaning to individuals and cultures and that might be more important to you, or you may prefer a mala based on your personal style. All of these reasons to choose are mala are fine.
The right mala string for you is simply whichever mala string feels right at that moment. Find it, and enjoy it.
Whether you are looking to improve your meditation or whether you are a yoga beginner, mala beads can help you feel more focused during yoga and throughout the day.
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