Mala beads are strands of 108 beads that are traditionally used during japa meditation, where a mantra is quietly repeated 108 times. Mala’s are typically made from stones, crystals, sandalwood or rudraksha beads that carry certain energy
Wearing the mala as a necklace or as a bracelet throughout the day helps you manifest the power of the beads. And much like a rosary, the beads help you keep track of your place as you move through a meditation practice with the beads in between the thumb and forefinger (never letting the beads touch the middle finger, a sign of disrespect). At the 109th bead, it is customary to give gratitude to teachers and the most important people in your life.
Although mala beads are traditionally used during seated meditation, they can also enhance an asana practice. Place the mala at the top of your mat, as a reminder of the intention you are trying to manifest, as you move through your vinyasa.
It is recommended that you wear a new mala for 40 days to form a connection to the meditation tool.
Why 108? It is said there are 108 reasons why this number is considered sacred in the yoga practice. Some examples include the 108 energy lines that converge to form the heart chakra, 108 goddess names, and the diameter of the sun, which is 108 times the diameter of the earth.