Malas have been used for millennia as a wonderful meditation tool. A traditional mala is 108 beads plus a guru bead, usually strung on silk. The 108 repetitions is often used as a sacred number. The guru bead is meant to represent the 1,000 petal lotus.
To use the mala, you simply place it between your thumb and one finger on either hand, starting with the bead just after the guru bead. Pull the mala toward you moving from bead to bead reciting a mantra. You will want to use the whole mantra on each bead before you move on to the next.
The tips of our fingers have incredible accupressure points which, when massaged by the beads, activate certain qualities and tattvas. You can choose which finger you pair with the thumb when using your mala based on what you are working on in life right now.
Index: Jupiter -- Wisdom, Prosperity
Middle: Saturn -- Patience, Discernment, Commitment
Ring: Sun -- Vitality, Energy
Pinky: Mercury -- Effective and Intuitive Communication
Malas are often used today as beautiful decorative jewelry, and even if not meditating with them, their presence can serve as a touchstone of peace and tranquility.
Traditional malas are made from wood or seed beads, which is an excellent choice when using them frequently as a meditative tool. Gemstone malas are not only beautiful and feel good against the skin, but they also impart the energy and qualities the stones or crystals carry. Learn more about crystals here.
And be sure to check out our Mantra Malas.