Your Cart


mala beads laying on a wooden surface

How to use mālā beads.

As you dive into mindfulness and yoga, you might encounter this thing called mālā beads. It’s a very useful tool within mindfulness and the yogic tradition.


If you’re curious to learn more about mālā beads and their proper use, read on to find out how you can incorporate these beautiful beads into your practice (without just considering them jewelry).


What are mālā beads?


Mālā (Sanskrit:माला; mālā) means 'string', 'necklace', or 'garland'. They can be used to deepen your mindfulness practice and are often connected to the practice of mantras.


A mantra is a phrase, word, or sound that is repeated or chanted during meditation or other contemplative practices. Mantras are often used to maintain focus, anker the mind, promote concentration, and cultivate a sense of inner calm and spiritual connection.


Mantras are an integral part of mindfulness and yoga practices, used to support your mind in meditation. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit words manas (mind) and trai (device).


Mālā beads often contain 108 beads, which is considered a sacred and complete number in many spiritual traditions. It is believed to represent the entirety of existence or the universe. In astronomy and astrology, there are said to be 12 zodiac signs and 9 planets. When you multiply these together (9 x 12), you get 108, symbolizing the cosmic connection and completeness.


Mālā beads can be made from a variety of stones, gems, wood, and crystals. Using different stones makes it possible to create a variety of beautiful mālā beads. The stones all hold special meaning and energies that can support you in your practice. Because of this, you can be very intentional with the beads that you choose. The sibling science to yoga āyurveda goes into depth as to how to use these different gemstones and their effects on the mind-body-spirit.


On mālā beads, there is often a guru bead. The guru bead is a larger stone, often with a tassel or ornament attached. The guru bead can be used as guidance in meditation to inform you that you have made it all the way around the beads.

 

How to use mālā beads.

 

In meditation, mālā beads are often used in connection with mantras. You let your fingers run through it, starting from the guru bead, and citing the mantra for every bead, until you reach the guru bead again.

 

Because of the beauty of mālā beads, many also wear them as a necklace or bracelet, but mālā beads are more than fashion statements, they are specific spiritual tools, like the Rosary in the Catholic church, and hold special meaning. As such you should never wear them simply as jewelry without understanding and knowing their meaning.


How to avoid cultural appropriation.

 

The usage of mālā beads is not considered cultural appropriation when used as meditation tools or as gentle reminders of mindfulness in your daily life and not simply as cute jewelry.

                        

So, while using mālā beads without respect, or understanding their origin and without intention could be considered inappropriate. Using mālā beads in meditation for a deeper mindfulness connection or as a necklace or bracelet in your daily life to incorporate mindfulness, spiritual connection, or as a gentle daily reminder to be more mindful would not be considered inappropriate.


Mālā beads are a time-honored tool to add a deeper level to your mindfulness, yoga, and meditation practice, and if you’re using them to become more mindful in your daily life and enhance your meditation. I would encourage you to incorporate them into your practice.


As long as you’re appreciating a culture by being informed, you are less likely to appropriate. There is nothing wrong with tuning into a culture and its practices, as long as it is done properly and with respect.



READ MORE: Yin and Yang

READ MORE: Serenity Prayer

Disclaimer

The information found in this blog post is for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for a health professional's advice. If you are struggling with health issues please seek professional help. The use of any information provided in this blog post is solely at your own risk.


Author Mette Rosenqvist


she/her

With 10 years of supporting women release and manage emotional and physical pain to achieve optimal health, Mette is the seasoned coach and blogger behind MeRoyoga, a Holistic Health website. Dedicated to empowering women of all ages and backgrounds, her work is based on cultivating mind-body awareness and self-regulation through compassionate inquiry. As a Multi passionate coach, Mette incorporates several healing modalities to create bespoken sessions prioritizing inclusion, meaning, and accessibility and thrives on helping women discover all the choices available to them so they can build trust and safety in themselves, and move through life present, centered, and empowered.




The latest Blog Posts

illustration mandala text samadhi
How to incorporate Samadhi (enlightenment/surrender) the eight limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?” This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Samadhi + journal prompts +...
Read More
illustration mandala text dhyana
How to incorporate Dhyana (meditation) the seventh limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Dhyana + journal prompts +...
Read More
Woman doing a breathing exercise
BOX breathing 4x4 (Sama vritti) exercise.
Sama vritti (box breathing) is a basic Pranayama exercise that, as one of the balancing breath exercises, teaches you to focus on your breath and balance your nervous system.It is a simple exercise with a focus on making your inhalation and exhalatio...
Read More
close up woman holding phone and laptop on table
5 simple guidelines for taking better breaks at work (to achieve success!).
Let me tell you what the key to success is - Breaks!In a world where the mantra "sleep when you're dead" is worn like a badge of honor, it can be hard to insist on your right to take breaks, both for yourself and for others.Yet, what if ...
Read More
illustration mandala text dharana
How to incorporate Dharana (focused concentration) the sixth limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Dharana + journal prompts + ...
Read More
illustration of the biofield
A guide for skeptics - myths about energy healing.
You have probably heard the words "energy healing" or "sound healing" from time to time. But what exactly is it? And what does that mean? There are as many myths and misunderstandings about energy healing as there are practices for it...
Read More
illustration of woman in meditation
Why balancing the Chakras is important to you!
Although talking about chakras might seem quite esoteric and exotic, they are in fact actual biological areas in your body, and not just an abstract idea.The chakras are central locations in your body where there is a greater concentration of hormone...
Read More
illustration mandala text pratyahara
How to incorporate Pratyahara (sense mastery) the fifth limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?” This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Pratyahara + journal prompt...
Read More
illustration of woman meditating
A powerful exercise for unlocking the unconscious mind.
Please note that you can also download a FREE PDF with this exercise at the end of the post!Being able to decipher what is going on in your body is a prerequisite for personal development and self-discovery. The ability to have introspection (to know...
Read More
woman looking out of a window
5 hidden procrastination triggers and how to mindfully fix them.
I admit it, I am the Queen of procrastination. Which is funny because when I have to, aka is pressed for time, or simply make the decision to do something. I can work nonstop for hours at high intensity and get things done in a very short time. I hav...
Read More
woman sitting in the garden journaling on laptop
Journaling for Spring - Reflections and Renewal.
As Spring slowly unfolds, take some time to tap into the theme of new beginnings, and renewal.Through the quiet, dark, and cold months of winter, you have had time to relax, restore your energy, and reflect on your journey so far. As spring approache...
Read More
illustration mandala text pranayama
How to incorporate Pranayama (breathing exercises) the fourth limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?” This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Pranayma + journal prompts &...
Read More
multiple crystal stones
9 powerful crystals for emotional health.
Please note that you can also download a FREE PDF with this blog post at the end of the post!Crystals have always been a favorite of mine to work with. There is just something about stones, the heaviness, the feel, and when it comes to crystals the a...
Read More
illustration mandala text asana
How to incorporate Asana (yoga postures) the third limb of the Yoga Sutra into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the principles of Asana + journal prompts +...
Read More
woman meditating outdoors on a yoga mat
8 easy ways to make sitting sill in meditation achievable.
The most difficult thing about trying to meditate is to have to sit still. Most people think that quieting the mind is a challenge. But the reality is that you do not need a completely quiet mind to meditate, you need to be present, aware, mindful, w...
Read More
close up woman performing nadi shodhana
A quick fix to balance your nervous system - Nadi Shodhana.
A quick fix to relax and balance your nervous system.There are many popular breathing techniques associated with yoga. Generally, we can divide theminto 3 overall types that can be useful for us when working with nervous system regulation.Exercises t...
Read More
people toasting with red wine
10 mindful ways to decrease your alcohol consumption.
Are you thinking of reducing your alcohol consumption? If so, please read on.Reducing alcohol consumption can have numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health, and contribute to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. Alcohol is a toxin...
Read More
illustration mandala text ishvara pranidhana
How to incorporate the fifth Niyamas Ishvara pranidhana (surrender) into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the concept of Ishvara Pranidhana + journal pro...
Read More
illustration of woman in a crowd
3 surprising ways to manage anxiety.
If you struggle with anxiety or panic attacks, you’ve probably already developed self-regulation tools to help you cope whenever you feel that anxiety is starting to rise. Having to cope with anxiety can be draining and exhausting, because you’re oft...
Read More
yoga mats on the floor
My personal yoga mat cleaner recipe.
Well, you have bought your yoga mat, and if you've been extra good, you've also actually used it!Regardless of whether you practice a more calm and relaxing type of yoga or are doing power yoga several times a week, you will find that over ...
Read More
creative collage image of person in meditation surrounded by energy
The effects of sound healing on the brain, body and spirit.
As I see it, sound healing offers a direct path to health, tranquility, and improved quality of life by working holistically with the whole body; brain, body, and spirit. Through the power of sound and vibration, singing bowls offer a way to balance ...
Read More
illustration mandala text swadhyaya
How to incorporate the fourth Niyamas Swadhyaya (self-study) into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the concept of Swadhyaya + journal prompts + practi...
Read More
older woman smiling
10 Benefits for Seniors when Practicing Yoga.
Getting older is not easy for any of us. Although each passing year is a gift, the challenges associated with getting older can sometimes overshadow it. But yoga is the miracle drug that can help create the old age you dream of.It may well be that yo...
Read More
20 easy ways to get in touch with your inner self by drawing.
As adults, we're often afraid to make mistakes or to be judged for our creative expressions. But drawing can reconnect us with the fearless artists we once were as children. Remember, when expressing yourself through art there are no mistakes, j...
Read More
illustration mandala text tapas
How to incorporate the third Niyamas Tapas (discipline) into your life.
NOTE If you just landed on this article please read the first article in this series first: “What can an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras do for you?”This article includes a short introduction to the concept of Tapas + journal prompts + practical ...
Read More

Be sure to get your FREE guide!

Newsletter with tips and tricks for holistic living and a FREE Guide on balanced breathing.