Meditation Mala F.A.Q.
What is a mala? The word mala is Sanskrit for garland. Malas can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body and spirit. Malas are also used to count mantras (Sanskrit prayers) or breath in sets of 108 repetitions.
What is a Mantra? Mantra is the repetition of Sanskrit word(s) to aid in your concentration during meditation.
Can I use English as my Mantra? In Yogic tradition, Mantra is in Sanskrit. However, repetition in English is also a very powerful practice commonly referred to as prayer or affirmation. You can use prayers, affirmations or Mantras that inspire you.
How do I use the mala beads to count my mantras? Start after the Meru/guru bead (the bead that dangles from the mala). Hold your mala in your hand, and turn each bead each time the Mantra is said. Reaching the Meru/guru bead during meditation, signals a time for reflection. Do NOT include the Meru/guru bead in your 108. If you are doing multiple Mantras of 108 counts OR repeating the same Mantra of 108 counts, do not continue over the Meru/guru bead. Instead, turn around and continue in the other direction.
Why are there 108 beads? All of our malas are made to specific spiritual numbers. The significance of the number is open to interpretation, but 108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga. Traditionally, malas come as a string of 108 beads (PLUS one for the Meru/guru bead).
What are marker beads? While meditating, the mind often trails off into stories that take you away from the present moment of Mantra. The marker beads act as a "check" to refocus your attention, and are placed at special numeric positions (usually 7 & 21), which removes the "How many more beads to the end?" question. Unlike the Meru/guru, these beads ARE included in the 108 repetitions.
Do all malas have marker beads? No. If you would like to have marker beads, please let us know when ordering your custom mala.
How do I choose my mala? Start by looking at the malas you feel drawn to. Each gemstone carries its own intention and meaning. Click here for a list of gemstones and meanings.
How do I clean my mala? With regular use, you may also wish to clean your mala from time to time. You can do this by wiping your mala with a damp cloth. Use a solution of warm water and mild clear laundry soap. Please do not submerge your mala in water, as this could damage some of the beads and gemstones.