mala beads yoga
Photo: Courtesy of Mala Earth.

Why MALA?

Life can get very full, fast and crazy. How can we learn to slow ourselves down?? No matter where we are in the world, life can fly by really fast. Before we know it, we are exhausted & stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled. To me this makes life run away even faster. I say this because it was happening to me, all the time. I was breathing heavy, and feeling overworked and unloved.

Here’s a few simple things everyone can do to assist themselves into slowing the world down. For years everyone has been talking about meditation (sitting quiet and just breathing). I’ve been told there’s no right or wrong way to mediate but it’s the daily practice that makes it work. Yes, know you’ve heard all about it. There was a cover article of Time Magazine discussing how helpful meditation is for the mind, body and soul. So I tried for years to get myself into the regular practice of meditating. Stop just talking the talk, but actually start doing it on a daily basis.

Here’s what has really helped me to take this daily time and meditate – it’s called a MALA or MALA beads. What are MALA beads one might ask? They are a string of beads that number 108 (108 is a magical number related to ancient teachings, meridians in the body) with a starting/ending point. They can be made very simply with nuts, or a fancier set can be made with tiger eyes. MALA beads, if used on a daily basis help me to take that ten minutes to sit in silence, to breath, to calm down. By using the MALA beads I don’t need a timer, it takes about ten minutes to actually get through a whole string of the 108 beads by taking one full breath with each bead.

Here’s how you use MALA beads: find a comfortable seat that’s away from the noises of the world, work, kids, traffic, people. Grab your set of MALA beads, sit comfortably, close your eyes, put your beads in your right hand at the beginning bead (usually marked with a tassel or special stone), and using your thumb and your middle finger hold each bead. Take one full inhale and full exhale while holding that first bead. Then move on to the next bead by pulling that bead thru. Take a full inhale and exhale and pull the next bead. You will continue this for the entire string of beards. All 108.

Yes, your mind will wander. Yes, your butt may feel a bit sore, but try to just keep breathing and pulling each bead one at a time with each breath. If you get distracted try to come back to your inhale and exhale. When you get all the way around the MALA to the starting bead you’ll feel it. You’ve finished your mediation. Maybe say a little internal thank you to yourself for spending this time trying to help keep yourself healthy. If you have a daily prayer or chant you can use that upon completion also.

There are so many ways to MALA and tons of options to meditate. This is just one suggestion. If you do your daily MALA mediation for 40 straight days then they say you’ve empowered your beads and they can be worn around your neck. There are many types, brands and even people making there own. Here’s a few brands I’ve had really good luck with and are super stylish, and they can be worn as bracelets until you’ve done your 40 day MALA to empower your beads.

Brands we love:

www.bloominglotusjewelry.com
www.malaearth.com
www.tinydevotions.com

Meditating daily has helped me focus, set new intentions, and slow my brain down just enough to assist me in making better choices and decisions. For me, this practice has really changed my life. It has given me more time to be grateful for life, and given me time to reflect on how I’m Living in Grace.

‘Til next time!

Michelle