Welcome to your guided mala meditation to help anchor your energy and connect with your most important intentions.
This style of meditation – using a mala necklace and pairing it with a powerful statement – is how I regularly practice meditation. It’s the style that has stuck with me, my energy, and my psyche over the past years, serving as an internal refuge. And today, I am here to share it with you.
Here’s what you can expect to learn, as you continue to read (and then meditate with me).
- The why behind mala beads
- How to use a mala necklace
- How to choose a powerful statement to pair with it
- How to maintain your mala piece
And lastly, this meditation experience is in collaboration with LYS Jewelry, who graciously supplied the beautiful mala that I am wearing in today’s video, as well as in the photos below. If you feel called to begin this type of meditation practice, their pieces are hand-crafted with intention, made by artisans using high-quality, natural, and ethically sourced materials, and each piece comes with a lifetime warranty.
Click here to invest in a mala piece AND save 20% off your entire order, using the discount code JUNKIE20 at checkout.
Now I want to center in on the lifetime warranty feature, as this is super important once you own and use a mala necklace. I own four different malas and each one carries a special energetic quality.
My first mala was purchased upon entering into yoga teacher training some 6 years ago, and it has supported my evolution as a yoga student, yoga teacher, business owner, and human being. My second mala was gifted to me and I am now planning to gift it to someone in need, a dear friend of mine who needs to be reminded of her potential. My third mala was created in conjunction with the launch of my first ever yoga program. It symbolizes my transition from a “yoga blogger” to a yoga business owner, and is a powerful reminder that I can do really hard things. My fourth mala is the one you see in today’s video, it is brand new to my mala family, and has yet to carry great weight/meaning, but in time it will serve it’s purpose and carve out a piece of my story. And lastly, I have a new mala being created for my upcoming chakra yoga retreat, as a gift to everyone who attends. This piece will be a reminder that human connection is paramount when it comes to our soul’s happiness.
As you can see, these pieces hold great meaning for me and if one were to ever break, hot damn, this woman would be in disarray. This brings me back to the lifetime warranty and why it’s an important feature when choosing who to purchase a mala from.
Now with that said, let’s dive into the important pieces of today’s blog post.
WHAT IS A MALA? WHY 108 BEADS?
So you might be wondering, where did these special necklaces originate from and what is their true purpose?
Mala beads were birthed by the yogis and from the yoga practice, with their creation dating back over 3000 years ago. They originated from India and have roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. The mala beads were (and still are) used for a specific style of meditation called Japa, which means to recite, hence the use of mantras paired with mala beads. The word mala is Sanskrit for meditation garland.
From this information, we can infer that mala beads were created as a meditation tool, specifically to help the mind reside in one-pointed focus (aka turn down the volume of your mental chatter).
As someone who practices this meditation style, I can personally attest to it’s potency. My mind always wanders, this is normal, but when using the beads and reciting my mantra, my mind always returns back to equilibrium, helping to rinse away whatever is currently ailing me (frustration, anxiety, disappointment, jealousy….).
If you already own a mala, you might notice that in-between each bead is a knot, this is to help meditation practitioners chant their mantra/intention with each individual bead, ending with 108 repetitions. It can be likened to a personal timer that guides your experience, gently moving you forward, and then sealing your meditation at the end.
Now let’s talk about the number 108.
There are several reasons behind the 108 mythology, so let’s explore these, knowing that one reason might resonate deeper than another. This is the beauty of this work, we get to choose what guides us.
The number 108 breaks down to:
- 1- God or a Higher Truth
- 0 – Emptiness or Completeness
- 8 – Infinity or Eternity
There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and each one has a masculine and feminine quality – Shiva + Shakti. 54 letters x 2 qualities = 108.
There are 108 energy lines that converge to create the heart chakra – Anahata. The heart chakra is the bridge between the physical and spiritual chakras, without it’s presence – our energy system would collapse.
There are 108 names for the revered Hindu God, Shiva.
There are 108 Upanishads – an ancient text that is highly revered in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Some believe there are 108 stages on the journey of the human soul.
As you can see, the number 108 has several significant meanings, making this necklace a meaningful tool to guide your self-discovery journey.
HOW TO USE MALA BEADS:
Your mala necklace can be used in various ways, but it was created with meditation being it’s primary purpose. However, I have found that once one begins to regularly meditate with their mala, it can be enjoyed in a plethora of ways to support your intentions.
Here’s a few examples:
- It can be worn as jewelry, this is a favorite of mine
- It can be kept at an altar or in your Zen Den to be present while you practice
- It can be hung around your rearview mirror as protection
- It can be kept in your purse/bag as a pillar of support
- It can be beside you in your bedroom to use upon waking and going to bed
As you can see your mala necklace is yours to use, however it best supports you, and in whatever ways resonate with you.
HOW TO CHOOSE A POWERFUL STATEMENT:
Okay, now we’re getting to the good stuff, the life-changing-kinda-stuff.
To double down on your mala beads potency, it is common to pair your mala with a mantra/intention. Once you choose your statement, it is advised to keep that statement paired with that mala, to increase it’s power and potency.
But how do you choose one? Is there a specific way to craft a statement?
The answer is: YES!
Let’s start with the mantra.
Mantras originate from the yoga of sound and they are traditionally crafted using the Sanskrit language. If you’ve ever participated in Deepak Chopra + Oprah’s 21 Day Meditations, they use mantras to communicate a specific lesson and create a specific energetic experience.
Here’s a few examples of Sanskrit mantras:
- Om Gum Shreem – My limitless awareness overcomes all obstacles
- Sharavana Bhava – My awareness is aligned wit the creative power of the Universe
- Om Karuna Nama – My true nature is compassion
- Eeem Hreem Shreem – My being radiates wisdom, truth, and abundance.
If choosing a Sanskrit mantra speaks to you, click here to download my 21 Mantras to Inspire Guide.
Butttt what if you’re not into a Sanskrit mantra and you prefer a statement in English?
This is called an intention, or a Sankalpa if you’re viewing it from the yoga lens. Because this is a yoga community, we shall explore an intention through the yogic lens.
A Sankalpa is an inner resolution that positively reshapes and influences our direction and purpose.
It is a short statement that penetrates into your psyche (like a mantra), excavating through limiting beliefs, blocked emotions, and unwanted behaviors. It creates a shift from the inside out. Choosing a Sankalpa (or a mantra) comes from within and addresses something you would like to strengthen, maintain, or change.
It is best experienced as short, powerful statement that is easy to repeat, such as:
- My pain is my power.
- My soul is in charge.
- I am listening to you.
- I am a student of my body.
- I am a student of my breath.
- I have the power to choose.
- I am worthy of change.
- I am ENOUGH.
Once you choose your Sankalpa (or mantra), you then plant it like a seed, pairing it with your mala beads, keeping it present while practicing yoga, upon waking and going to bed, while in conversation, or moving through the mundane of day-to-day reality. Your chosen Sankalpa (or mantra) feeds on repetition – hence the reason we use a mala and repeat it 108 times – the more you recall it and keep it within your consciousness, the more direction and strength it will provide.
Whatever you choose, be patient with it, as it will not manifest overnight (we can look to nature for comfort here).
And lastly, your intention can change just like the seasons do, but only after that internal resolution is fulfilled. We then plant a new seed to reshape another layer of our being. This cycle of beginning again never needs to end, as it provides an unlimited opportunity to evolve into the person we want to be.
Butttt what if you read all the way to here and are confused AF about which mantra or Sankalpa to choose? Don’t fret. You can mediate with this statement until one appears: I am a student of my Sankalpa. I wish to find my mantra. I am student of my evolution.
In time, what you need will arrive.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MALA:
Last on the list, take a deep breath, you are almost armored with all the mala knowledge.
Your mala is not just a string of beads, it’s a highly revered tool that originates from thousands of years ago, as such, it should be treated with respect. Here a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Do your best to keep it off the floor, placing it on your yoga mat if need be
- Do not lend your mala to another, unless it’s cleaned of your energy first
- Appreciate your mala as a spiritual tool, not a piece of costume jewelry
- Most malas are created with precious metals/gemstones, do your best to avoid swimming or showering with it
- To cleanse your mala of negative energy or a mantra/intention that no longer resonates, keep it outside or near a window during the full moon, it’s forgiving qualities will cleanse it for you
Psst: all LYS Jewelry malas come with a crystal cleansing tool and a silver cleaning kit to help you maintain it’s sacredness.
And the mala meditation lesson is now complete! Is it time to join together and meditate yet?
If you have mala beads, please gather them for this meditation experience, and if you’re sans mala, no worries. I will guide the meditation, letting you know when to begin and when to end. All you need is yourself, comfortable clothing, any meditation props you desire, and a mantra/intention to pair with your meditation practice.
I’ll meet you on the mat (or meditation cushion).
p.s. – If you feel called to begin a mala meditation practice after today’s experience, don’t forget that LYS Jewelry is offering 20% off your entire order for only 48 hours, using the code JUNKIE20!