Haven Yoga and Meditation shares easy ways to use mala beads in your next meditation practice.
Mala beads are a great way to further enhance your meditation practice and connect with your inner self, helping you restore balance across all 7 chakras. Mala beads provide something tactile to help focus your mind if it starts to wander, which can happen to the best of us. Rolling the beads through your fingers provide a physical way of directing your energy and attention to refocus and reground your thoughts and involve your sense of touch in your meditation also.
The breakdown of the meditation in a step-by-step manner goes as follows:
- Hold your Mala with your non-writing hand.
- Let it drape across your fingers so you can move it easily.
- Place the first bead between your thumb and middle fingers, the one next to the tassel.
- Complete one full breath (inhale and exhale).
- Move your fingers to the next bead, breathing in and out once per bead.
- Finish when you are back at the tassel to complete 108 breaths.
- If you want to do another round, just move your fingers in the opposite direction until you reach the tassel again.
To further enhance your meditation with your Mala beads, you could introduce a mantra – a phrase, word, or sound you can use to help focus your awareness during meditation and involve your sense of hearing. “Om” is a common one, but there are countless others. A Kundalini mantra is “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma” from the Kirtan Kriya. You can also incorporate a chakra sound to help bring back balance throughout your meditation.
You can create your own mantra in which you can focus on your most vital and relevant inner emotions, perhaps one you would like to strengthen or embrace. Something that feels reassuring or calming, for example, something like “I am calm,” “I am safe,” or “I am loved.”
To use mala beads with a mantra, follow the same process as you would for controlling your breath. But instead of exhaling and inhaling at each bead, repeat your mantra. You can whisper it, say it in a loud, clear voice, or stick to a mental repetition — whatever feels best.
It is also important to note that once you have made it around the 108 beads and have reached your guru bead (or tassel), you can take a moment to pause and reflect. At this point, you may want to thank and honour your teacher, your goals or mantra and most importantly, yourself. Self-affirmation and gratitude are important for taking time for yourself and your commitment to self-improvement.