Malas are powerful and symbolic tools for meditation.

Mala is a string of intention beads consisted of 108, 54, 27 beads, traditionally strung together on silk thread with one larger bead, called the Guru bead, from which a tassel hangs. The guru bead is used as a place marker for the fingers to feel the end of the beginning of the necklace for the spiritual practice. The tassel symbolises a thousand lotus petals. A mala is a simple, effective meditation tool, which can help to reduce stress and enhance wisdom, patience, and health. Malas are also often used as decorations and jewellery. You may see malas beautifying necks, wrists, ankles, altars of meditation devotees and also at the top of yoga mats of yoga practitioners. Malas are made out of gemstones, crystals, seeds, woods and etc. Every gemstone is believed to have different properties, energies, and meaning.

How to use a mala: Mala can be used with either hand, always start with the bead next to the Guru bead.  According to my personal experience you may start setting an intention related to what you are going through in your life at that moment: can be either breaking an habit, inviting love into your life or wishes for new beginnings etc. After setting an intention find a comfortable space, sit quietly in cross legged position, close your eyes and observe your natural breath, deepen your breathing and focus, either you chant your personal healing affirmations or a mantra which you think best fits to your intention. As a start you can simply chant Sat Naam, Har or Whaa-Hay Guroo. When reciting the mantra move only one bead (start with the bead next to the Guru bead) with the thumb for the entire mantra.

A mala is used for counting as you recite a mantra as a reminder of your intention. Everyday during 40 day (you start from the beginning when you miss a day) whenever you want during the day at least 108 times in a row repeat this mantra, either silently or loud. Sanskrit mantras are medicine for the soul. Additionally putting your much loved gemstone under your pillow will help you recall and stick to your intentions/dreams.

How to select a Mala: You can choose a mala based on your intention/prayer as every gemstone is believed to have different properties, energies, and meaning. Each mala listed in our website has its own healing properties. Your intuition also matters in selecting a mala, if it appeals to you it should be the right mala for you or you can choose a mala based on its color, or if you want to work on a specific chakra you can select a color of a chakra for chakra therapy.

How to care and cleanse your Mala: First of all, remember that your Mala is a sacred item carrying your intention in connection with the universe and so protect this precious item of yours in a silk or cotton bag would be the right thing to do when you are not wearing it or you can place it in your altar as the reminder of your intention. When you feel you need to re-energize your Mala you can burn a sage (kind of an herb) in the room in the presence of your Mala to cleanse and prepare your Mala for a new intention. All Mala necklaces and bracelets in Aria Mala Atelier are cleansed by sage smoke before delivery. 

Source: KRI Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 Instructor Yoga Manual