How To Meditate With Mala Beads

Having trouble learning to meditate? Ever wondered how to utilise your mala to  meditate? Learn how to meditate with mala beads, with our founder Lucy Edge.

The main challenge with meditation is a wandering mind. You start with the best of intentions and within 30 seconds you’re thinking about what to have for dinner, or that email you forgot to send. Don’t feel bad about it – it happens to everyone – whether you are new to meditation or have years of experience. The great thing about meditating with mala beads is that they are a great way to manage that wandering.

That’s because mala beads are not just beautiful – they are also a symbol of your devotion to your yoga practice, imbued with sacred meaning, and one of the most powerful tools for meditation. Gently rolling the 108 mala beads through your fingers provides a gentle rhythm that will help you create space between your thoughts – giving you a feeling of freedom, and stillness.

Here is a simple guide for using mala beads in your meditation practice:   
Find a quiet spot to sit. Get comfortable with your spine straight. Take a few deep breaths.

  • Take a moment to focus your attention on your mala. There are 108 beads on the necklace string. The single bead between the tassel and the necklace string is called the guru bead. The tassel is the end point. It’s there to tell you that you’ve gone all the way around the mala loop – a full cycle of meditation.
  • Hold the mala in your right hand, between your middle and index fingers, tassel towards you.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Starting with the bead to the right of the guru bead, turn each bead with your thumb, pulling it towards you as you slowly progress to the next bead.
  • Pace yourself by taking a deep inhale and exhale on each bead.
  • Do this 108 times, pulling each mala bead towards you, until you reach the guru bead.
  • When you reach the guru bead take a moment to pause and offer gratitude for your  practice.
  • If you want to do another cycle, rather than passing over the guru bead, reverse direction and start over.

This practice will take a while to get used to but don’t give yourself a hard time. Set an intention at the beginning of each practice not to judge yourself when your mind wanders – because it will. Instead, treat yourself as you would a friend or partner; with freedom, gratitude and love.

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.