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What is a Mala?

Mala beads are tools that have been used by sages, yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years.  A mala (Sanskrit:माला; mālā, meaning garland) is used to count affirmations or recite mantras through chanting, whispering or mental repetition.  This practice is known as Japa. Dating back thousands of years, it is believed that they originated in Hindu traditions.  They are usually made with 108 (or divisions of that number)  rudraksha, tulsi, sandalwood or semi precious stone beads.  

Our malas are all made with 108 semi-precious crystals, sandalwood, rudraksha or rosewood beads.  This does no include the Guru beads.

The knots are symbolic of the energetic force that supports and sustains every part and every being of the universe. Not only do the knots maintain a consistent space between each bead, and strengthen the entire mala, they also symbolize the divine link present between all beings.

Almost all malas have an extra, larger, bead at the end called the Guru bead which signals the end of one round in the Japa cycle. The Guru bead is said to represent the teacher/student connection.  When completing a full cycle of japa, one should never cross the guru bead but instead flip the mala around and continue reciting backward through the beads.  The guru bead is also said to represent the summer and winter solstices, when the sun appears to stop in its course and reverse directions. In the yoga tradition we believe in the interconnectedness of the universe. Using a mala is a symbolic way of connecting ourselves with the elements and the natural cycles of the universe.

the tassel represents the energy created from meditation. It is also said that the individual strands are continuously moving and flowing in constant change, representing change within the changeless, the illusion of separateness, non-attachment and impermanence.  It is also symbolic of the thousand petals of Sahasrara, the crown chakra, and signifies spiritual illumination.