Mala Beads are of huge importance to us at Elizabeth Caroline and while we take pride in the beautiful aesthetics of all of these pieces of spiritual jewellery – there is a lot more to them than meets the eye.
In this blog we are sharing some important information about Mala Beads, as well as some ways you can use them in a way that honours their roots and tradition.
What is a Mala?
The word Mala means Garland in Sanskrit. Mala Beads are most commonly made of wood, seeds or gemstones and consist of 108 beads plus often a pendant, talisman or tassel. We pride ourselves on our Mala Jewellery all being crafted by hand using traditional methods by women in Northern India and you can meet the incredible souls behind this here.
Although we can’t be sure exactly when Mala Beads began to be used, there are ancient texts that suggest they were used as far back as the 4th Century BCE. They have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga.
The traditional use of Mala Beads is as an aid for meditation to help the mind stay focused. Using each bead as an anchor you can simply count the breath or recite a mantra 108 times.
Mala Jewellery can also be used as a way to ground during your meditation practice, to connect with the energy of the crystals or wood it has been made with, as worry beads to help soothe anxiety or to set intentions.
It is believed that when used as a meditation tool, the Mala Jewellery absorbs the energy of your practice, meaning you can then take that with you when you wear them around your neck or wrapped around your wrist.
A Mala Bead ritual…
- Start by finding a sacred space to sit quietly. Place your Mala Jewellery safely on a cushion or yoga mat if you are using one. It is said to be disrespectful to place it directly on the ground.
- Cleanse your space, and your Mala, using a practice that resonates with you. You can explore some ideas here.
- Invite an intention into your practice, it might be something you wish to ask for guidance on, a positive word or sentence of affirmation to support you, or simply that you just wish for space to receive wisdom, insight and a sense of peace.
- Holding your Mala Beads in your right hand, bring your thumb to the first bead next to the pendant or tassel and then with your eyes closed, or with a soft gaze, repeat your intention 108 times, using each bead as a counter.
- At the end of the practice give thanks and gratitude for your Mala Beads, for the hands that created it and for the traditions and roots in which it stemmed from.
- You can then either wear your Mala Jewellery as a way of connecting with the intention you programmed into it during your practice, or keep it somewhere safe.
It is said that the more you work with your Mala in this way, the more it absorbs the intention and energy of your practice.
A few mantras to try with your Mala…
I AM GROUNDED – this is a lovely mantra to use if you need support during a challenging time.
I AM SAFE – a wonderful protective mantra that is ideal if you want to use your Mala Beads as an intentional tool to aid in energy protection.
I AM HEALING – if you wish to infuse your Mala with positive healing words to support you on your journey.
I AM PEACEFUL – ideal if you wish to bring a sense of calm and peace into your being.
I AM BRAVE – this one is perfect if you want your Mala to support you in confidence and growth.
Of course, the way you use your Mala Jewellery is entirely up to you, it does not need to be a strict practice, however we personally feel it is important to always honour the roots and cultural background of Mala Beads – and any other sacred items that we use in our world.