Mala Meditation Made Easy

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.

What are mala beads?

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.

What are mala beads for?

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...

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How to Forgive the Unforgivable

How easily can you forgive someone for a transgression against you or a loved one? How easily can you forgive yourself?

The inability to forgive has a massive impact on your life design. A past betrayal can hinder your ability to be vulnerable and allow a new love into your life. Distrust can poison future opportunities and color every aspect of your day from impeding your ability to trust the next partner, to crushing your own self-image because you believe yourself a poor judge of character and unable to make sound decisions. The inability to forgive encourages looping negative thoughts while feeding anger and depression, two endlessly greedy emotional states.

To provide a new perspective on a familiar topic, the following is a zen story on forgiveness I learned from a source of my own inspiration, Amma:

A man visits his teacher seeking guidance. He says, “I'm having a really hard time forgiving. You are always preaching about forgiveness. And I believe in...

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