Mala Beads and Meditation

Everything You Need to Know about Mala Beads and Meditation

Never heard of mala beads? Wondering how to incorporate them into your practice? Read on to learn more about mala beads and how they can make your meditation even better.

What are Mala Beads?

Mala beads are a simple collection of beads that are used during meditation. They can be made from a variety of materials and are used to set intentions. Many users choose mala beads for specific purposes. Popular choices include crystal mala beads that can help promote healing and wooden beads that can help form natural bonds with Earth. Since mala beads can be made from any material, it’s usually up to the person who is creating the strand to decide on what type of beads they want to include.

Most mala bead strands include 108 beads plus a tassel and a guru bead. Some variations include 54 or 27 beads, which add up to 108.


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Their History

Mala beads have been a major part of meditation for thousands of years. They’ve been used in yoga practices around the world and by practitioners who want to get intentional about their meditation.

Throughout the years, the materials for the beads have changed. In the beginning, they were made from natural materials like stone, wood, and bone. Many people still prefer natural choices, but that has expanded to include crystals and gemstones. Artificial materials like resin are also a popular and more affordable choice. However, the beads are less about the material choice and more about focusing on intentions.

meditation statue

Using Mala Beads During Meditation

Yogis use mala beads during meditation to count intentions and make meditation easier. They are a tool that can be included with meditation practice and they work to allow better focus. These beads can also help count mantras while guiding the spirit through a meditation session.

While people of all levels can use the beads, they are very helpful for beginners who are just getting started with their meditation journey.

Set-Up of Beads

The traditional setup of mala beads is to do strands of beads in multiples that can add up to 108. Some people prefer a long strand with the full 108 beads, but others choose to do just 54 or even 27. The number of beads is intentional and can help make an impact on the way mantras are counted during meditation.

At the end of the strands is the guru bead. This bead is larger than all the others and it can help bring the rest of the beads together. The tassels after the guru bead are also about unity and bringing the entire strand together.

Mala Beads

Outside of Meditation

While most mala bead strands are still used for meditation, they are also a popular fashion piece. People who are interested in trendy jewelry and those who want to share their passion for meditation or yoga may wear the beads on a regular basis.

In addition to wearing them during meditation and for fashion purposes, people may choose to use the mala beads on a daily basis to focus on mantras and to get intentional with their lives. They can be a helpful tool for day to day life.

Gifting of Malas

Whether someone makes the mala strand themselves or purchases a premade one, the gift of mala beads is a sacred one. It’s a very serious gift and is seen as such in the yoga community. Mala beads mean a lot and the intentional gifting of them can show someone’s dedication or appreciation to the receiver. Yogis may also pass them down to people who they believe are ready for the gift.

Meditation is a tool that can help align all the areas of your life and mala beads are a great way to help make meditation more successful. Using mala beads isn’t necessary for meditation, but they can help improve your experience.

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.