So, you have joined a yoga class and are curious about the beads that people seem to be wearing on their wrists whilst doing the crescent pose or tripod headstand? Well, these would be called Mala beads, yoga bracelets or ‘good karma charms’.
Whatever you choose to call them, they are more than just a piece of jewelry – they are said to have healing and spiritual properties. Since the 10th century these beads have been used and typically, there will be 19, 21, 27 54 or 108 beads.
For many yogis, beads are worn to improve focus and understanding but for others, the meaning is far more significant. It’s best to learn about the spiritual meaning of yoga bracelets before turning up to class with a decorated wrist, so let’s get started.
What is Mala?
Mala or as it is spelled in the Sanskrit language ‘Maala’ is the meaning for a garland of beads. Typically, it is used for mediation purposes, such as counting the mantra repetitions. When this process takes place, it is called ‘Japa’.
Breathing and Counting Mala Beads
One of the main spiritual meaning of yoga bracelets is the way in which it helps with breathing. By focusing on each individual bead with every inhale and exhale, the yogi can develop a stronger focus. Good concentration is essential for meditation to be performed and the Mala acts as an object that aids in achieving this as well as helping to align your chakras.
The String on Yoga Bracelets
It’s not just beads that have significance but also, the string. The string represents an individual’s ‘Universal Self’. By supporting the beads and holding them in place the string plays an important role, considering it’s the force that keeps the bracelet as one.
Alternative Uses for Mala Beads
While some people may simply clench tightly to their Mala beads, others will wear them as bracelets or necklaces. By doing so, the spiritual meaning of yoga bracelets can be used as you pass through life, allowing you to keep your beliefs and practices as close as possible at all times.
How to Use Yoga Bracelets Properly
The thumb and index finger (a symbolization of ego) should be perpendicular to one another, with the thumb pointing up and the index finger pointing away from you. Group the remaining three fingers together and position them perpendicular to the index finger, before placing yoga bracelet beads (or Mala) on the middle finger. This is when the mantra chanting begins and once the Guru bead is reached, chanting should stop.
Choosing the Right Mala
You will notice that not everybody’s Mala is the same color and this is because the spiritual meaning of yoga bracelets is chosen according to the yogi’s needs. This is not the easiest process, but it should represent your intentions, affirmations and favorite things. For example, if someone wants to feel purified and protected, amethyst is a good color for this.
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