A mala is a long strand of 108 beads that you can use to enhance your meditation practice. Instead of focusing on the number of times you repeat your mantra, you can use your mala to keep count so that you can focus your mantra’s meaning.
Choosing a Mantra. A mantra is defined as a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs. You choose a mantra during your meditation practice to enter the silence of your mind and achieve deeper awareness. The repetition of the mantra can allow you to escape your thoughts and feelings that fill your mind each day, allowing you to disconnect your mind and thoughts from your physical body. One of the most commonly used mantra is “Om” (said as aum), which represents your universal consciousness. Many people love to chant a mantra on their mala. Including me.
Ask me about the recording of "108 Om's".
Another option is to follow a guided meditation that has music and mantras for you to recite. The website of Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center for Wellness offers free guided meditations with specific intentions here. You can also choose between thousands of free videos and audio recordings available online or on YouTube.
How to Choose the Right Mala for You
You can find malas made of seeds, wood, bones and gemstones. The possibilities are nearly endless. To choose your mala, I recommend using your intuition and thinking about what you would like to achieve in your practice. Then find a mala that helps you reach those intentions. A good rule of thumb for choosing a gemstone mala is to match your intentions with your body’s chakras as follows:
How to Use a MalaHindu traditions say to hold the mala in your right hand with the thumb flicking one bead to the next while the mala is draped across your middle finger. Traditions in northeast India dictate that the best practice is to drape the mala on the ring finger of the right hand, and move the beads with the middle finger and thumb.
Either way you choose, begin your practice by sitting in a quiet, comfortable space. It is best to sit with your legs crossed to keep your mind and body engaged, but you can lie down if sitting up is not possible or uncomfortable. Breathe in deeply and focus your attention on your chosen mantra or affirmation. Once you are calm and focused, start with that bead to the left of the larger center bead – the guru bead – and turn your finger clockwise around each bead and then push that bead away and move onto the next bead. Once you arrive at the guru bead, you can stop your practice, or you can turn the mala around and repeat the process in the other direction.
Practice your mala meditation daily, weekly, monthly or whenever you feel that your body and mind are in need of clarity, peace and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy world.
Great info from yogiapproved.com
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, 2019
Yoga Maya Uvita