What are Mala Beads?

hello for today’s wellness Wednesday
video we’re going to talk about malas malas are these necklaces or are often
wrapped to be worn as bracelets and they’re used to count repetitions of
mantras or affirmations during your meditation practice what I find
absolutely fascinating about malas is that you find prayer beads like this in
many different cultures and religious traditions you think about it in
Christianity and Catholicism we have the rosary beads and so those you also have
a set of beads where you’re using each bead to represent one repetition of a
set so malas like I said they’re great for getting lost in your repetitions
during your mantra meditations what that means is that if you know you want to
say 108 of a certain mantra or affirmation you don’t have to think
about Oh what number was I on was that 97 um you can just get in the zone
feeling your beads and just letting them go from there and you can know that you
can get that number 108 I’m going to explain 108 in a little bit so the word
mala means garland and it’s typically made of 108 beads strung together with
one guru bead now I have two models right here you know two very different
guru beads and I thought this is nice you can see one is much more plain than
the other totally different style of beads
so although malas commonly have 108 beads you can also find them in multi
with 18 27 or 54 beads so notice that those are all multiples of 9 and
actually on a 108 bead mala you have a separate type of bead every 27 beads so
if you have 4 repetitions of 27 that’s 108 so it’s pretty common to
mini malas of just 27 that’s a great size for our bracelet and then you can
go through that four times and get to your 108 so why 108 108 is a really cool
number the more I started digging the more fun facts I found so there are 108
chapters of the Rig Veda 108 Upanishads and 108 primary Tantras all of those
texts are written in Sanskrit which is a language comprised of 54 letters each
with a masculine and feminine form 54 times 2 is 108 in Ayurveda there are 108
sacred places in the body and this is my favorite fact the diameter of the Sun is
approximately 108 times that of the earth and the distance from our planet
to its solar star meaning the Sun is on average 108 times the diameter of the
Sun now the ancient folks working with the number 108 would not have had any
access to that really cool astronaut astron astrological map astronomical
whatever the math so I mentioned before the Guru beard so the Guru bead
is going to be sometimes larger or different you can see this one sort of
pokes out a little bit and this one actually not only pokes out but also has
some dangly pieces of citrine so the Guru bead is used to keep track of when
you’ve repeated your 108 repetitions so when you get to that point on your mama
it’ll feel different so when you reach the end if you’d like to repeat you’re
going to reverse direction so that you’re not crossing over the Guru so as
you do your repetitions going through counting one at a time eventually you’re
going to get to the point where you get to the Guru bead and then you’re going
to reverse direction and travel the opposite way
so we’re not meant to cross the Guru bead because it represents the absolute
or supreme consciousness so how do you use the mala i’ve sort of alluded
to this a little bit as I said before it’s used to really lose yourself in
chanting or repeating a specific mantra or affirmation so to meditate with your
with your mala what you’re going to do is find a nice comfortable place to sit
and then you hold them on in your right hand starting with the guru bead you
then use the thumb to pull each bead forward so you’re feeling with your
thumb for each new bead and as you go through it you’re going to be repeating
that that mantra on each bead I also heard about a really cool mala
meditation where you just focus on an inhale and an exhale for each bead and
that just sounds beautiful and calming so again when you get to the guru bead
coming all the way around you would then reverse direction if you want to
continue so the materials again wouldn’t be it’s are fairly common so you can see
this one has nice smooth wooden beads this has Rudraksha beads and those are
really cool the big beads are actually the same the same type just bigger so
the sanskrit name Rudraksha is comprised of the words all it translates to Lord
Shiva’s eyes so Shiva’s eyes and they come from a mythological tale where Lord
Shiva meditated for 1,000 years and when he meditated for a thousand years for
the benefit of all beings and upon opening his eyes teardrops rolled on his
face and landed on the earth and then took took form as a sacred Rudraksha
tree so there’s a lot of symbology behind these beads they’ve been you born
and used for meditation by many Asian Yogis and monks and there are
a lot of really cool vibes that go along with with them they’re said to be able
to help calm the body even beyond the meditations that you’re doing just
having them near you can have those calming effects so another difference in
construction some of them are loose like you can see these beads sort of going
from side to side and this mala has knots in between so either way whatever it’s
usually personal preference in addition to the to the wooden beads or the seed
beads you can find malas made from crystals so this the the counter beads
the three beads counting off the sections of 27 these are made of
carnelian and so that’s adding the crystals healing power to the malas you
can also get more more intense more expensive malas that are 108 beads that
are crystals and depending on the type of crystal that you’re using those can
get pretty pricey but they sure are beautiful I recently had a mala making
workshop and as part of the workshop we all discussed what mantras and
affirmations we we enjoy using so my I’ll start off with some of my favorites
the one I’ve been working with the most is all as well and that’s just a really
nice calming settling good meditation or good mantra and I find it very calming
when things seem like they’re getting hectic because all is exactly how it’s
meant to be even if we don’t understand it right now some other great ones Om Nama Shivaya and that would be a really cool one to use with Rudraksha mala
because that is a mantra invoking the protection of Shiva and these are
Shiva’s tears somebody said that they well I had two different people with
of similar affirmations which I thought was cool I’m here to bring more love
into the world which I thought was beautiful and the second was I’m in the
world to love the world and I thought that was really really cool they’re
similar but not – beautiful and one another one that I use a lot is om
shanti see my little Eddy wandering around om shanti shanti shanti just
invoking peace pretty much whatever yoga mantra are using or even affirmation
whatever works for you whatever feels authentic and you’re really giving power
to it by repeating at 108 times and even better once you you sort of instilled
that the energy of that mantra into your mama then you can wear it and you have
that energy with you which is really cool so let me know if you have any
questions about malas if you want to learn more about them and you can send
me a message and I’ll tell you what I know there are definitely people who
know more about malas than I do but I really enjoy working with them and it’s
a great tool for meditation keeping yourself focused and making sure that
you get all those repetitions in while keeping yourself nice and nice and
steady and calm so thanks for tuning in for your wellness Wednesday video and
again you can put any questions in the comments or shoot me a message or email
I am here for you take care

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