Ever wondered how to use a mala necklace? This week's guest blogger Carly Grace, founder of Thunderbolt Yoga, tells us her recent experience of using her mala and mantra as a tool in her personal meditation practice.
When I think about mala beads, I think about yoga. More specifically, I think back to New York City in 2011; wherein, I was a student at Laughing Lotus Love Skool assigned a teacher training assignment, 'recite om mani padme hum 108 times every day for the next 30 days." I remember wondering how in the world I would remember how many times I had chanted om mani padme hum. Wasn't the mantra itself hard enough to remember? While I began counting on my fingertips, I noticed one of my fellow teacher trainees using a beautiful necklace full of colorful beads. Twirling a strand of Bodhi seeds and gemstones, she looked like the yoga gypsy I wanted to be. After class, I beelined for the beautiful necklaces in the studio gift shop. A sign read 'Mala Necklaces' and the price tags read $100 and up. My parents had already dished out money for my yoga teacher training tuition as well as my books, supplies, and airfare to NYC so I didn't call and request money for a mala. Afterall, I told myself, they are just pretty necklaces with 108 beads. Little did I know, mala's are so much more.
Each mala contains 108 beads, where a mantra is repeated 108 times. When practicing mantra, it is important to start with the bead next to the Guru (the biggest) bead at the beginning of the mala. Then move each bead with the thumb towards the body over the meridian point located on the side of each finger, between the tip of the finger and the first knuckle. Thus, the Guru bead descends and eventually ascends to be the last bead of your meditation. As you hold the Guru bead, repeat your mantra and make a prayer. It is customary to express gratitude to your teachers and the most important people in your life.
Additionally, the various gemstones and beads carry different meanings. When shopping for a mala, purchase the one that you are automatically attracted too then learn the meanings of each of the stones. You can begin associating yourself with the unique energy of the beads around your neck. When your day begins to wind out of control, grab a hold of your mala and anchor your energy into the power of the stones.
The stones in my new mala serve as a reminder to let my creative juices flow, accept myself as I am, and remain courageous in my endeavors. I wear my mala to reinforce feelings of self-love and an open heart. Our little peanut Channing also loves to grab a hold of my mala, which is 1000x more adorable than a handful of my hair.
Like what you read? Check out her blog about motherhood, wellness and yoga life here: