What are Mala Beads?
While I personally practice yoga at least a couple times a week to take time for myself, breathe, reflect, and increase my level of awareness, take time to set intentions and for the amazing health and healing benefits for my body - I wasn't aware of the purpose of Mala beads and their role in the life of many yogi's.
As for fashion, I loved the bohemian look and style of the Mala necklaces and bracelets, but upon carrying them in the store from an amazing local designer and artisan, Melissa Casteneda of Atelier Naica, I was educated more and dove further into research and understanding. I think it is information that you will love as well.
Mala beads have been worn for thousands of years by yogis and spiritual seekers from all over the world. At first I wondered how this related to me...I thought but wait, I am a Christian...what are these Mantras and beads really all about. Especially considering Mala's were first created in India 3000 years ago, and have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and yoga, but I do believe in prayer and meditation, and that is exactly what these beads are all about for me.
The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.” Originally, mala beads were used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite.” During Japa meditation you repeat a mantra softly, 108 times, using your mala beads to keep track. A mantra is a word or sound repeated during mediation to help you concentrate. Malas have 108 beads, made out of rudraksha seeds, sandalwood or rosewood, plus one guru bead or stone. The 109th stone symbolizes gratitude and our connection to a greater power. They believe it is a way to say thank-you to all the spiritual teachers who have helped us on our path to enlightenment.
How to use mala beads?
Mala beads can be used in a variety of ways to help you manifest and achieve your dreams and desires. Once you’ve given your mala an intention you can use it during your meditation practice to keep you focused and on track.
Wear your mala around your neck or clasp it firmly in your palms as you tune in and focus on your breath. You can also bring your mala beads to your mat during your yoga practice as a way to focus and bring awareness to your intentions and to infuse your mala with the energy of your practice. Try placing your mala beads on the corner of your mat and using them as a focal point during your practice.
Our wrist malas or stacks can be worn during yoga and are another great way to bring intention to your practice. If yoga and meditation aren’t really your thing, simply wearing a mala can help you feel good and manifest what you’re looking for. Our mala beads also have gemstones that carry special and specific energetic properties that can help you attract and repel certain feelings, thoughts and emotions.
When setting intentions, THINK...What are your dreams? Your goals? Your deepest desires? Take a minute. Think about it. Get intentional. Mala beads are more than just accessories. They’re meditation tools that have been used for thousands of years. They encourage us to pause, breathe and realign with our deepest intentions.
When selecting a Mala Necklace or creating one yourself there are a few things to think about...
What is your favorite color? What color of clothing do you wear most often? Which colors are you drawn to? What color are your favorite foods and scents? Life is full of color, and like other things on your spiritual path it has meaning. You want to choose a Mala that you will use and wear often so choose a stone and tassel color that you are drawn too and can see being a staple.
Each gemstone that we use in our Mala beads is believed to emit its own special vibration and healing energy. Gemstones are to be worn near the chakras, which are energy centers of the body. Make sure that this energy aligns with your intention! A lot of malas will assist everyone on some level – see if you can find something that you connect with individually.
If you are in Cabo San Lucas be sure to join us for our workshop to create your very own Mala with Melissa Casteneda from Atelier Naica, or come create one as a gift for a loved one... What a perfect workshop for the month of November - Mantras of Gratitude!
Remember: A Mantra is a phrase, word or sound that is repeated to aid in concentration for meditation. Lets make malas and mantras together!
A special thank you to Melissa, for educating us at Eclectic Array about Malas and also the website lovetinydevotions.com for being a great source of information that I could use as a resource to share as well.