In Buddhist and Hindu prayer, a mala is a string of beads used for keeping count while reciting a mantra. Beaded Mala necklaces can be a wonderful reminder to devote time to your daily meditation. The main bead where the necklace comes together, called the Guru bead, is the starting point for the meditation, and symbolizes your guru, who has given you a mantra to reflect on. The Guru bead often has a tassle hanging from it, which some say symbolizes the eternal lotus.
Malas can be helpful for focusing the mind on the sound of the mantra, rather than keeping count of the number of repetitions. Starting with the bead after the Guru bead, place it between your thumb and index finger, and recite your mantra. Then shift your fingers to the side so that you are holding the next bead in succession, repeat your mantra, and so on. When you have reached the Guru bead again, you may stop, or make your way around the mala again in the opposite direction.
Malas come in a variety of bead styles, and the type of mala used can often depend intention of the mantra. Some common types of beads are gemstones, precious metals, special woods, and necklaces made of Bodhi seeds, called Rudraksha malas.
Posted under Yoga Supplies
This post was written by Lauren on March 4, 2014