The Effects of Mala Beads on Meditation and Yoga

Yoga and meditation are wonderful disciplines that are enjoyable and beneficial on their own. They are recognized worldwide for their healing and soothing powers. Through them, practitioners can achieve an altered state of mind and enjoy enhanced mood and intense relaxation. They are the perfect panacea for stress and depression, two negative conditions rampant in modern life.

Given the important role they have in holistic therapy and counseling, meditation and yoga are here to stay. Imagine that the experience can even be better by adding mala beads to the process. A simple strand of one hundred-odd beads can be a valuable aid in achieving positive results in mantra meditations. Smaller groups of beads are fine for shorter sessions. In fact, you can use them most any time. Proponents of crystals know that mala beads are made of gemstones with each one bearing a specific purpose.

No doubt you know mala beads from shrines where they are left as a reminder of affirmations. They are often around the neck of Buddhists as prayer beads. They are hardly just decorations. They date back centuries in the history of eastern religions. You don’t need to know some arcane rituals to use them. You simply follow a few steps.



Sit and Relax


Deciding to use malas means that you have a specific intention in mind during your meditation. Perhaps you are going to recite a mantra or affirmation. Once they are on your person, you can find a suitable space that is quiet and comfortable. Most people sit in a cross-legged posture, closing their eyes and feeling the ebb and flow of their breathing. As you inhale deeply, you become more aware and are ready for your mantra or affirmation.

Malas are fascinating in appearance and nature. Take one and place it on your right hand, either the middle or ring finger. As you place your thumb on the “guru” bead, you start your recitation. The mantra continues and you move the bead away to go on to the next one in the series. You count them one by one until you reach the end.  You can do as many “rounds” as you want as long as you don’t forget to include the guru bead. You go in the opposite direction, however, so it is a little different. Think of Greek worry beads or a rosary; they are analogous but each type has its own unique properties and powers.


Malas in Detail


If you look at them closely, you will notice that they are 7-8 or 10mm round beads. The shape makes them slide through the fingers like silk. Most aficionados want the traditional Rudraksha beads, lotus seed, yak bone, Bodhi seed, or wood varieties. Gemstones are used for beads intended to provide healing. As you well know, crystals and gemstones have specific and unique energies according to their colors and types. Turquoise, jade, rose quartz, black onyx, and others are imbued with special properties. Some malas, made of round glass beads or glass crystal, are adaptable for color therapy. To be a mala expert, there is much to learn.

In addition to shapes and physical properties, malas are also categorized by style. A typical set includes a guru, a tassel, and about 108 beads (of which there are a few markers to help with mantra meditations).  Overall, they are very attractive when worn as adornments, either necklaces or bracelets. Yoga practitioners love them as reminders of their spiritual quest.


Customize your Malas


There is no particular instruction for the selection of malas for meditation and yoga, but it makes sense to use your intuition. Select beads for which you have an affinity and that will produce results for your intention. It is easy to see the correlation of agate, a grounding stone, with better positioning in yoga.  Color is definitely an important factor in your customized collection. If you wear malas, this is probably tops on your priority list. The hue of a bead will have a definite impact on your chakras. Blue stones, for example, work best at opening the throat chakra. It is a known pairing. Healing beads have their own applications, and you may want to consult a gemstone guide.

No matter what you choose, your malas will be with you forever, if you so desire. Good ones don’t wear out, so quality counts. They come in grades, and the stringing threads should be premium unless you prefer wire. Mala users have providers they trust, who will stand by their products and repair them if needed. It can’t hurt to store them in a protective sack of a fine fabric.

In short, malas are a wonderful adjunct to yoga and meditation to enhance all of the benefits provided. Whether your aim is self-improvement, better social relationships, a reduction in stress and anxiety, or mood enhancement, you can attain them with these magic beads during your regular sessions.

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