How do I choose the right Mala Beads for me?
It’s a question we get asked a lot here at Elizabeth Caroline London. With so many beautiful mala bead designs now available online across the globe, it can be a little over whelming knowing how you should go about choosing the right mala for you.
Mala beads are traditionally used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity during meditation. This sādhanā (practice) is known in Sanskrit as japa. Malas come in different lengths, and can be worn around the neck on on the wrist. They are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads. In Tibetan Buddhism, Malas of 108 beads are used and this is probably the most common design you will see available from most western spiritual jewellery suppliers and yoga studios.
Firstly we believe there is no right or wrong way of choosing the most appropriate mala for you, but there are a few things you can take into consideration when choosing your new mala.
Take a moment to centre yourself.
You’re a keen yogi looking to add the spiritual essence of mala jewellery to your practice? You are on a personal journey of spiritual development or have just discovered meditation? Or maybe you are drawn to the healing properties of sacred rudraksha seeds or semi-precious gemstones and wish to explore this fascinating subject more?
When choosing a piece of spiritual jewellery we would always suggest you take a few moments to centre yourself, and ask yourself what is it that draws you to purchase your first mala. Why do you want it? What will you use it for? Establishing the answer to this question helps you set your intention.
Setting your Intention.
Once you know why you wish to purchase your mala necklace or wrist mala you can then explore the intention behind this. It’s beneficial to ask yourself a few questions.
What is it that I want to manifest in my personal or professional life?
Are there any areas in my life that I currently feel challenged with or need support in?
Where am I spiritually, do I need any help or guidance along my spiritual path?
Where am I emotionally, do I need emotional support or guidance with anything right now?
Where am I in my body? Do I suffer with any emotional or physical issues I would like to heal?
Connecting to your intuition.
Using your intuition is always a powerful way to choose the right mala for you. If you are purchasing mala beads online, try looking at the images of the malas but refrain from reading the descriptions. Jot down which images you were drawn to first. More often than not you will be drawn to the designs that offer you what you are primarily in search of at that time, be it physically, emotionally or spiritually.
If you are buying your mala from a store, take time to actually hold the beads in your hands, take a moment to centre yourself and simply see which designs you feel energetically connected with. You can then read the descriptions of the malas healing properties or intentions afterwards to determine if you have been drawn to one you feel resonates with where you currently are.
Gemstones and Colours.
It’s widely suggested that semi-precious gemstones possess healing qualities, as too do colours. Each gemstone and each colour resonates with its own energetic vibration. Gemstones and colours also correspond with the Chakras (the seven main energy centres of the body). When browsing mala designs take note of the colours you are drawn to. Reds and browns relate to the Root Chakra for example, the energy centre that grounds you to stability in your life. When this chakra is out of balance you may experience feelings of fear or anxiety. Blues relate to the throat chakra, the energy centre that governs our ability to communicate freely and with truth. If you are drawn to gemstones that are blue in colour such as Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine or Turquoise it may be because energetically this Chakra is in need of support or balancing.
What colours are you drawn to most? Consider the colours you wear often and your environment. What colours do you use within the interior of your home, which colours do you love wearing? Can you see repetition or connections with your choices?
How does a colour make you feel? Happy, safe, tired, withdrawn or comforted perhaps.
Mala Beads can also be crafted using sacred Rudraksha Seeds, Sandalwood or Rosewood beads. Each of these materials carry their own spiritual history, healing properties and healing intentions. Take time to see if you are drawn to simple mala designs crafted with wooden beads, or designs with more colourful semi-precious gemstones. Or maybe you favour a combination of the two.
Bead Size and Mala Lengths.
It’s also beneficial to consider what kind of length of mala you ideally would wear. Mala’s not only come with a different number of beads within the design, but these beads can also come in different sizes too. As a rule, if you are choosing a mala design that incorporates 108 beads, the smaller the individual bead size the shorter the necklace will be. Most commonly mala beads are crafted using 6mm or 8mm beads, but you will see them made with 4mm or even 10mm beads.
Selecting the right mala beads can be part of your own spiritual practice, enabling you to take a moment to re-connect with your higher self, breathe, centre your energy and make a choice that will aid your own meditation, yoga practice or spiritual journey. And remember if you need any personal guidance we are here to help!