Mala Necklace "I Am Free"
If you practice yoga or any form of meditation – or know people who do – you have likely seen these beautiful beaded bracelets and necklaces with tassels on the end. These are more than just gorgeous pieces of jewelry, however. These fabulous beaded meditation bracelets and necklaces, called Mala, have significant spiritual meaning to their owners. People will often pick out their mala – or have one custom made – as a way to work on certain emotional or spiritual issues that are important to them personally. Your mala is unique to you. It is up to you to decide what your mala means to you and what its intended use is.
Malas are used by many different types of people including those who are interested in meditation, spirituality, positive / healthy living, and several religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.
So what exactly is a Mala?
Mala – which means garland – is a strand of beads, traditionally used as a tool in meditation and yoga. Malas are made of different materials including wood, stones, seeds, crystals, and pearls and a variety of different gemstones, which are carefully selected based on the desired meditation goals of the user. Typically used to keep count and help maintain concentration, malas usually consist of 27, 54, or 108 beads per strand, plus one additional bead – called a guru – which is larger than the other beads and is used as a place maker during meditation or chanting.
How do I use my Mala?
In the United States (and around the world) today, yogis and other spiritual individuals use mala necklaces and bracelets in a variety of different ways. They may be used as decoration in a meditation shrine, worn as jewelry, or carried in a mala bag. People who practice yoga may coil their mala at the top of their yoga mat or wear it while practicing. Doing this helps the mala to absorb the positive energy from the physical yoga practice and allows the yogi to carry this energy with them wherever they go.
Whether you are doing yoga, chanting mantras, or doing some other form of meditation the mala can be a significant part of your practice. The number of beads on a mala may correspond with the method of keeping count during a mantra meditation. Some mantras are associated with a special number, typically 3, 10, 21, or 108 (although you may choose to chant other numbers including 27 or 54 times). Keeping count of how many times you chant a certain mantra can help you know when to stop. Some mantras are short and take less time to chant, while others are longer and take more time. Using mala beads, we can keep track of how many times we chant any given mantra depending on how much time we desire (or have available) to chant. For example, if we only have 10 minutes available, we might be able to chant a short mantra 54 times; but, if we are chanting a longer mantra, we may only be able to do so 3 times in the same amount of time. Thus, keeping count of the mantra serves as a sort of clock or timer. In addition to this, using mala beads to keep count helps us concentrate by focusing on the counting, breathing, and the mantra itself.
Another way to use your mala beads is when meditating as a way to focus on something you wish for or something you are trying to understand about yourself.
What are the benefits of using mala beads?
If you are interested in living a healthier lifestyle, you are a spiritual person, and/or you enjoy meditation, mala beads may be just what you need to bring improved health and balance into your life.
Mala beads help to deepen your meditation, which results in a stronger outcome. Meditating with mala beads helps to calm and soothe your mind, which increases your ability to connect mind, body, and soul and achieve a state of mindfulness.
Using different stones in your Mala bracelet or necklace allows you to gain the benefits you want. Different stones offer different benefits. For example, a Mala made with amethyst stones can be used to focus on detoxification and purification, clearing away negative influences and balancing your energy field.