Mindfulness meditation is widely recognised as an effective tool to help boost your well-being. Sitting comfortably and quietly, focusing on your breathing for mere minutes daily can reduce blood pressure, stress, and heart rate, relax the nervous system, improve your sleep and enhance your cognitive abilities.
But it isn’t always easy. Many find focus challenging. And whilst it’s ok for your mind to wander, bringing your focus back to the moment is a skill that needs developing through consistent practice. Something I’ve found most helpful in strengthening my practice is Mala Beads.
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What are Mala Beads?
More than just a necklace, Mala beads have been around for thousands of years. Traditionally rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism, they aid focus. Nowadays, no religious affiliation is required; they are quite simply a brilliant mindfulness aid for anyone wanting to meditate, from beginners to seasoned yogis.
Good to Know: Malas usually consist of 108 beads plus a larger bead in the centre, known as the ‘guru’. It is said the guru encapsulates the energy created during the practice.
How can Mala Beads enhance your meditation?
Mala Beads are a fantastic tool to help maintain focus during meditation. They help anchor our attention to the present moment and work as a non-disruptive guide. To me, they’re a physical representation of calmness and grounding. And, if you wear them as a necklace or bracelet, they become a tangible reminder to practice your meditation; after all, consistency in practice is key.
Previously I would have set a timer as I began to meditate – and I would have spent much of that time wondering when the timer would go off. Equally, I would jolt quite brutally back into awareness when it sounded (despite asking Alexa for a calming notification!). Now, there is no need for alarms or spoken guidance; once I reach the guru bead, I know my time is done, making for a much more peaceful practice.
Additionally, as you’re able to recite a mantra with them, they can give more purpose and meaning to your meditation, forging a deeper connection with what you are doing.
How do you use Mala Beads?
It’s very simple. Sit comfortably, with your eyes open or closed – it’s up to you. Place your thumb and a finger (if you want to be really ‘official’ about it, use your middle finger, but it’s not necessary) on the guru. Next, breathe in and as you exhale, proceed to the next bead and repeat the process.
Keep a steady rhythm and work through all the beads until you reach the guru again. On that last bead, exhale to empty your lungs completely, then inhale to return to your natural breathing pattern.
Top Tip: Add a mantra to your practice. ‘I am at peace’, ‘I am healing’, ‘I accept myself’ – whichever message resonates best with you.
Good to Know: 108 times doing anything can be challenging, especially when starting out. Smaller Mala beads are available with either 27 or 54 beads (a quarter or half of 108) for shorter meditation sessions. Although often 108 length Mala beads will provide quarter, half-way and three-quarter marker beads, so you can always stop when you get to one of them, allowing you to build up in your own time.
Which Mala Beads are right for you?
There are a wealth of Mala beads for you to choose from in a range of styles, colours and materials. A great starting point is to ask yourself, ‘does this appeal to me?’ It’s always worth paying attention to what you’re drawn to. Maybe they’re made out of a material that has a special meaning for you, or there’s a particular crystal that represents your purpose in meditation. Perhaps you prefer the feel of wood to stone.
There is no right or wrong, only what feels good to you.
Here are some beautiful examples of Mala beads (keep reading for your chance to win one of them!)
Good to Know: All the Mala beads featured here are wearable as necklaces or bracelets.
White Jade Bodhi Lotus Mala
Bodhi in Sanskrit translates to enlightened or awakened; this Mala intends to help you understand the true nature of things and enhance your connection. The combination of white jade and lotus offers protection, peace of mind, and strength to get the wearer through tough patches.
Tibetan Red Turquoise Mala
Created to restore hope, increase luck and promote a sense of warmth, love, positive thinking and vitality.
For Spiritual Connection:
NHA Trang Agarwood Turquoise Mala
Ready to connect with your spiritual side? This Mala helps to unlock the power of chi and self-enlightenment
Tibetan Lapis Lazuli Mala
Made to create harmony between our mind and body, the wearer of this Mala can look to bring hope, warmth, optimism and cheerfulness into their life.
For Love and Healing:
Rose Quartz and Amethyst Lotus Mala
Said to help heal heartaches, create soothing, gentle energy and promote healing, this Mala will invite strength, courage and peace whilst restoring trust and harmony. Rose quartz is also a symbol of universal love.
For personal growth:
Tibetan Green Jasper Mala
Made from black onyx, green jasper and tiger eye stones, this Mala wants to help you make better decisions in life, increasing your positive energy and promoting better living. The Buddha symbolises enlightening the mind and reaching your full potential.
Introducing Buddha Stones: Creating handmade and ethical Mala beads using natural materials
Buddha Stones produces authentic, high-quality pieces of spiritual jewellery to empower your life. They work to preserve the traditional crafts of artisans in locations such as Tibet, Nepal, China and Thailand.
Their sustainable and environmentally responsible sourcing practices ensure you can be confident you’re making a positive choice with every purchase. And with an abundance of beautiful, unique products, professional customer service, fast worldwide shipping and a great customer loyalty program, Buddha Stones is undoubtedly a rewarding place to shop.
Your chance to WIN your own beautiful Mala beads!
The wonderful people at Buddha Stones are offering three (Yes, THREE) lucky Living.Pretty.Happy readers the chance to win one of their own Mala beads as featured within this post.
To be in with a chance of winning, signup for the Buddha Stones newsletter. And for a bonus entry, follow Buddha Stones on Instagram. Be sure to enter via RafflePress above in order to validate your entry.
Please note: If a pop-up doesn’t appear on the Buddha Stones home page to sign up for their newsletter, a sign-up box is available at the bottom of their home page.
Giveaway closes on Wednesday, 5th October 2022. Please see the full terms and conditions below, and we wish you the best of luck!
Have you used Mala Beads before? Do you currently meditate, or are you looking to begin? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway; I’d love to know which Mala featured here is your favourite? Can you guess mine? Let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions, ask away – I’m happy to help, and I always love to hear from you!
General Terms & Conditions:
- The competition is open to residents in all Countries where Buddha Stones currently ship, except The Philippines, Indonesia, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.
- The competition is not open to anyone affiliated with livingprettyhappy.com or Buddha Stones.
- There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
- This competition is being run on Livingprettyhappy.com.
- Only one entry will be accepted per person. A bonus entry is available via Instagram. A maximum of 2 entries (that meet the acceptance criteria) will be accepted per person. Anyone attempting to enter multiple times on the same platforms will be disqualified. All entries (including bonus entries) must be made via RaffleCopter on this page.
- The closing date for entry will be Wednesday, 5th October 2022. After this date & time, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
- No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
- The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Sign up for the Buddha Stones newsletter. A bonus entry is given for following @buddha_stones on Instagram.
- Anyone found to use multiple accounts on the same platform to enter will be ineligible.
- The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
- The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
- The prize is as follows: 3 (three) Winners will each receive 1 (one) x randomly selected piece from Buddha Stone’s Mala Collection. The piece will be one of the following (subject to availability): White Jade Bodhi Lotus Mala Harmony Necklace Bracelet, Tibetan Mala Red Turquoise Lucky Necklace Bracelet, 108 Mala Beads NHA Trang Agarwood Turquoise Prayer Meditation Necklace Bracelet Mala, Tibetan Mala Lazurite Positive Necklace Bracelet, Natural Rose Quartz and Amethyst Mala Bead Lotus Pendant Bracelet, or, Tibetan Green Jasper Protection Necklace Mala.
- Entrants are permitted to state a preference for one of the 7 pieces listed, but no guarantee can be given as to the piece they receive from the list. Prize allocation is at the discretion of Buddha Stones.
- The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prize is not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
- Entrants must be 16 years or over
- The winner will be solely responsible for any additional costs or expenses incurred.
- www.livingprettyhappy.com cannot be held responsible for any cancellation, substitutions or delays
- Three winners will be chosen at random from all entries received.
- The winner will be notified via the email address with which they registered their entry – within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
- Buddha Stones will send the prize to an address requested by the winner (that complies with clause 1 of these terms and conditions). The winner’s address & phone number will need to be disclosed to Buddha Stones for purposes of delivery. Please note a phone number will be required for shipping purposes.
- The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
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- www.livingprettyhappy.com also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.