When I first opened my yoga studio in 2007 and started teaching yoga and meditation, few of my student had ever seen a mala. Today, they are integrated into pop culture for fashion, but few people actually know how to use them aside from a funky outfit accessory.
If you struggle with meditation and are seeking an easy way to begin, mala beads may be the answer.
A mala is a string of beads, sometimes separated by tiny knots. Traditionally the beads were made of sandalwood or hard, round seeds, but today you can find them made from various types of wood, crystals, or gemstones.
A standard string has 108 beads plus one additional distinct bead or tag, so you can mark the beginning and the end of the circle.
Mala bracelets are also popular and may have 18, 27, or 54 beads.
Malas are a meditation tool. Each bead on the string is one inhale and exhale, one breath per bead, or one word or phrase of a chant, mantra, or prayer. (Similar...