What are Malas?
Posted on 04 June 2020
Malas have their roots in India and were used by yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years for Japa meditation. The word japa means “to recite”. It’s a special style of meditation which consists of reciting mantras to quiet and focus the mind.
Mala beads, also referred to as meditation beads or Buddhist prayer beads, are an ancient spiritual tool, used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra. It also helps to stay focused and to count the breaths while meditating. The word mala means “garland” in Sanskrit. It’s a simple but yet powerful knotted string of beads made of gemstones, crystals, seeds or wood beads, such as sandalwood. At Gypsy Soul Jewellery, we only use authentic gemstones, sandalwood beads or rudraksha seeds which are hand knotted between each bead. Each gemstone, seed or wood bead adds meaning to your mala. You can read more about their meaning here: Crystal meaning and properties.
A traditional full mala consists of 108 beads, in addition to one guru bead which is often larger than the rest of the beads and a tassel that is connected to the guru bead. With 108 beads it has a perfect length, to wear it as a necklace. The beads can be strung also as a half mala with 54 beads, or 36, 27 or 18 beads which can be worn as a bracelet. Even in 108 bead malas there is sometimes a bigger or different shaped bead placed after every 27th, 36th or 54th bead to make it easier to keep track of the mantra. You’ll often also find bracelets and decorative necklaces with 54 or 27 beads.
When worn directly on the skin it keeps the energetic properties of the beads close to you and it also serves as a reminder of what your goals and intentions are or even just to remind you to be in the present moment. It has become a physical symbol of spirituality and you have seen probably many yogis and spiritual seekers wearing their mala proudly as a necklace or bracelet. Even if you are not into meditation, our mala necklaces and bracelet can be worn also as a unique and beautiful piece of jewellery that will add some extra energetic support and help you to connect to the energies of the gemstones, crystals or seeds.