For centuries, malas have served as tactile reminders during chanting and meditation. In Sanskrit, “mala” means “garland,” and malas were used with a particular style of meditation called Japa, which means “to recite.” In this style, as the meditator touches each bead, they repeat a chant or mantra, declaring their intention.
But why stop at meditation? By leading with style, we hope to create beautiful reminders for women to hold their intentions, even amongst the chaos of daily life.
Selecting Your Mala
Based on the materials, Malas hold an energy or intention. As you read through the meaning of each gemstone, see what resonates with you. What do you need more of in your life right now? What reminder would be helpful day to day? Follow your intuition; feel it, don’t think it.
Setting Your Intention
Once you’ve selected your Mala, it’s time to set the specific intention you want it to hold. Traditionally, each Mala is associated with a single intention, such as “abundance” or “freedom.” The Mala is infused that energy, and touching it strengthens your affinity for your intention.
So how does one set an intention? By grabbing a glass of wine, and lighting a candle, obviously. Seriously, though, do what you need to do to be in a calm, reflective space. Then ask yourself, “What do I desire for myself?” Focus on affirmative and empowering statements (not goals), like “I am courageous” or “I am grounded.” Or a single word, like “gratitude.” There is value in choosing a singular focus that speaks to you, so give yourself time. It might take a while (or even a second glass of wine) to get there.
Each of our Malas arrive with a card for setting your intention. When we write our intentions down we make them real, we give them power.
Whether you use your Mala to recite mantras while meditating, or wear it to remind you of your intentions, we hope it brings positivity and purpose to your everyday life.
Meditating With Your Mala
Like anything, there are ideal places to meditate and not-so-ideal places. Both are fine—what’s important is that you practice. Some people even meditate on the subway! But let’s start with the ideal: Find a quiet, comfortable place. Take a seat—either on a floor cushion, or in a chair with your feet on the floor. Inhale, exhale. Feel the weight of your body.
Now, hold your Mala in one hand and turn each bead with your thumb and middle finger. Start with the bead next to the pendant (or guru bead) and make your way around. (Each mala is hand-knotted to create the perfect amount of space between beads for meditation.)
Inhale with one bead, exhale as you move to the next. Repeat your mantra with each bead.
Some necklaces include stones of different sizes, or spacer beads. These beads can be used to bring your mind back into focus. Don’t worry if you wander. The practice of meditation is the practice of coming back to center with kindness and without judgement.
When you come back around to the pendant (or guru bread), take a moment to reflect on your intention and express gratitude towards yourself. When you’re ready, you can turn around and continue in the opposite direction.
Malas have different counts, but the most common and sacred number is 108. There’s a lot of different beliefs around how malas arrived at 108 beads — from the 108 energy lines converging at the heart chakra to the symbolism of each of the numbers.