The word Mālā or Japamālā come from Sanskrit and means meditation garland.
Mala, also called prayer or meditation beads, are used for meditation and prayer.
They have been used by hindu and buddhist yogis for prayers and meditation for thousands of years. They are more than wearable fashion accessories. They are powerful and symbolic tools used in yoga.
A mala allows us to connect with our inner self and promotes devotion to practice.
It increases focus during meditation as it helps in counting recited, chanted or repeated mantras, intention, name(s) of a deity or breaths. It prevents our mind from wandering as we meditate. Its use is similar to a rosary. You don’t need to be religious to reap the benefits of a mala. It allows us to focus on the meaning or sound of the mantra and not on counting repetitions.
A mala reminds us to live a life filled with positive intentions. It is also a visual and physical reminder to stay in the present moment.
Mala could either be a bracelet or a necklace and is typically made of various materials: namely gemstones, crystals, rudraksha seeds, bone, sandalwood or rosewood.
Gemstones and crystals are known to have healing properties, energies and sacred meaning.
According to traditions, mala bracelets should be worn on the right wrist.