It’s early in the morning, and I am faced with a familiar scene. Opening the window in my yoga space, I allow that first breath of fresh air to fill my lungs. I move quietly, unrolling my mat in one swift motion; a movement I’ve made many times before. My mat – a place I know that I can always come back to. A place to move, to breathe, to feel connected, to meditate. I burn some sage to clear the room, and proceed to light my favourite scents. Lavender, evergreen, and jasmine fill the air, and I gently pluck my mala from the bowl in which it rests. I sit down and fold my legs into sukhasana (easy pose), and close my eyes. I let the wind from the open window lightly brush my hair out of place. I slowly breathe in and out, basking in the stillness. Placing my hands together, I clutch my mala beads in front of my chest, and bow my head. I whisper the words, “You are exactly where you need to be,” and use my hands to connect my head and my heart. Holding my mala in my right hand, looped over my middle finger, I begin to recite my mantra, over and over. Carefully, I pull the beads towards me with my thumb. The sunlight falling through the shades feels warm against my skin, and it is in this moment, that everything else begins to fall away.

Let me just put this out there. I am not a yoga teacher. I am not a spiritual guru. I am however, someone who has felt the positive effects of a yoga and meditation practice in my life. I am here to share my personal experiences and offer some insight. My best advice to you is to do your research. Take classes, read books + articles, ask questions… And maybe, if it feels right for you, try incorporating mala beads into your practice.

You may be asking yourself, what is a mala? Well, to simplify, a mala is a meditation tool that helps the mind to focus, and allows the user to keep count of mantra repetitions. When meditating with mala beads, your mantra is repeated 108 times – once for each of the beads on the strand. While being a powerful meditation tool, mala beads can also double as beautiful necklaces. Wearing your mala daily provides a constant reminder to live your intentions, and helps to manifest whatever you are trying to bring to your life. Do you have to meditate to wear a mala? No, of course not! Anyone can wear a mala, but it may be beneficial for you to know the history behind your newfound accessory.

When I first considered incorporating a mala into my yoga practice, what confused me the most was how to go about choosing my first set of beads. Malas are made from a diverse range of materials, and there is a combination for whatever your intentions are. If you’re feeling overwhelmed – keep it simple! When choosing a mala, it really comes down to YOU. What are you drawn to? What are you trying to manifest? I gave myself some time to study different gemstones, and really focus on my intentions, before purchasing the malas that I use now.

Looking for more love in your life? Try a mala made of rose quartz. If you’re like me and travel a lot, maybe turquoise or amazonite are more your thing. Need to banish negativity and balance the body? Why not wear some beautiful fuchsia agate to brighten your mood? Take your time! And remember, there is no wrong way to choose a mala. Ultimately, whichever beads you choose will serve you well.

The other thing that seemed mystifying to me about meditating with a mala, was how to choose a mantra. A mantra (for those of you who don’t know) is a word or sentence that is used in meditation. I’ve come to the conclusion that your mantra, much like the mala you choose, depends on you.

Some people are given their mantra by a guru, but for most of us, this is unlikely. Feel free to choose your own mantra, which focuses on the intentions you have for your life. Your mantra can be in Sanskrit, or in English (or French, Spanish, Portuguese… whatever language it is that your words choose to flow), it can be a few phrases long, or a simple, “Om”. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and your practice.

I’m so incredibly grateful for the balance that yoga and meditation have brought to my life. Though I’ve only recently (in the last six months) added mala beads to my practice, their effects have been powerful and profound. I can’t possibly tell you everything there is to know about these beads and all their magic in just a couple hundred words, I’ve only just scratched the surface. However, hopefully I’ve sparked your interest and inspired you to delve into the world of malas.

It fills my heart with so much love to be able to share my practice with you. May your burgeoning meditation practice bring you all that you need.

Until next time,

Namaste.

Alex


Linked up with: WWIW, Let It Shine, Sophisticated Style, How I Spring, Style To Inspire, Inspire Me, Motivational Monday

5 thoughts on “USING A MALA IN YOUR PRACTICE

  1. Drew

    Great post! Inspiring me to step up my yoga.

  2. Liz

    I love this!

  3. Too funny – I’ve been strengthening my yoga practice over the past few months (so happy to be getting back into it!) and I was just looking to purchase my first mala this past weekend. Have you found any shops that you ladies prefer?

    Thanks for such a great post!

    xx

    • What great timing! We LOVE Blooming Lotus Jewelry! We did a three part series with them if you’d like to see them used in real life 🙂 [just search Blooming Lotus Jewelry on our homepage]

  4. Lovely read; honest, light, and sweet! I love Mala meditation and have also began a practice with malas not long ago-following a workshop at Kundalini Yoga Boston. I learned that there are 108 beads (plus the one guru bead at the top for yourself) which equal the 108 meridians or lines of energy to the heart <3 just one of the many things I have heard about the significance of '108' 🙂

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