These little beads go by many names: meditation beads, mala beads and prayer beads. While the origination of mala beads can be traced back thousands of years, they are making a huge come back in a huge way.
Mala beads, while hindu in origin are not designated for one particular religion anymore. The day I discovered
mala beads was a total game changer for me. I had been making attempts at different ways to use meditation because I believe strongly in it’s benefits. From guided YouTube videos, to just sitting quietly in my criss-cross-applesauce position and hoping for the best; I had tried it all.
Naturally, when I read about mala beads I was super excited about the idea of having a new tool that was also super stylish and came in a variety of colors. Yes, they are that big. If you’re anything like me, the idea of making a fashion statement an also gaining a little inner peace is a pretty fantastic thought.
So what are mala beads? Where do you find them and how do you use them?
Mala beads, like I had mentioned originated over a thousand years ago and were first used by Buddhist monks during their prayer time.
Each string of beads consists of 108 beads that are broken down in 4 sections of 27 beads. You can see that each section of 27 beads is separated by a bead of a different color.
The best part is that you can also buy smaller prayer beads with only 27 beads on them! These are a great idea if you are just getting started with meditation or if you want to help your younger children begin some easy meditation techniques.
For monks, each bead was used to say a prayer or repeat a mantra. Today they can be used in similar ways. The best part is that these mala beads can really be beneficial to you however you need them to be.
When it comes to finding a wide variety of mala beads, (drumroll, please) Amazon is my go to. It’s shameful, I know. I just love the convenience of having things shipped directly to my front door with as little as effort on my part as possible.
There are also a huge variety of mala bead makers on Etsy. My personal favorite shop for the most stylish beads is MintAndGlamor. She is also offering a great coupon code when you enter “FREESHIPPING” into the coupon code at check out! Her beads are incredibly reasonably priced and beautifully done. If you are hoping to get started with some mala beads, I highly recommend starting here. I’m a firm believer in supporting small shops and self run businesses. Etsy is a great place for this.
If you yourself are handy with crafting, then assembling some of these beads and customizing them to your liking is easily done as well. Me, I prefer mine to stay in one piece and avoid the cussing that comes along with crafting when I try.
Rather than attempt a lengthy, worded explanation, I decided to link to a YouTube video that very clearly explains how to hold and maneuver your mala beads.
Personally, depending on what I need that day, I will use my beads in many different ways:
Sometimes my mind is already racing and what I need is to quiet it down a little. So, with every bead that makes its way into my finger tips, I just a very aware, big, deep belly breath and then just…let it go. All of it. Summits I chose to do this for 27 beads, just to give myself a quick calm down. My personal favorite time to use this method is when I can’t sleep at night. That 2am time when my mind races with all the potential dangers that the next day may bring. In those moments, I need to just breathe and I need to sleep. More often than not, if I get my beads in my hand and start taking my big belly breaths, I quickly find myself drifting off to sleep.
Affirmations are becoming a more and more popular thing, and I love it. Self doubt or self sabotaging thoughts are a sure way to ruin a day, or a month, year, even a life. Taking the time with each bead to repeat an affirmation is a great way to lift your thoughts and distract yourself from anything negative that may be running through your brain.
Choosing an affirmation can be anything from “I can do this.” to “I’m a badass motha who don’t take no crap off of nobody.” –Maybe I’m just quoting Cool Runnings. Either way, they both could work wonders for ones self love state-of-mind.
Often, again at night, I will take the time to pray for people or situations in my life. This can also be a good practice when you are feeling to focused on yourself. With each bead, take the time to say a short prayer for someone in your life. These don’t have to be long and lengthy by any means. It’s simply a way of being conscious of your words, and pray with intention.
Like I said, these (not so new) tools can really help you when it comes to living on purpose, aiding anxieties and helping you sleep at night. All these things can be real health crushers. So often we look to external forces to help us fix the areas we feel incomplete or unhealthy. I believe in taking a look internally and these prayer beads can help you achieve this.