A Yogi’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mala Beads


Searching for the perfect mala necklace to enhance both your meditation practice and style can be an overwhelming endeavor with the plethora of stones, intentions, and mantras to choose from. That's why we put together this guide to lead you right to your perfect mala match—the necklace truest to your unique, authentic self that will further your intentions, dreams, and manifestations.

Everything You Need to Know About Mala Beads

“They’re more than just a [fashionable] necklace,” says Jenn Ciraulo, founder of Blooming Lotus Jewelry. “Mala beads encourage a calmer mind, body and soul. That is why people are so drawn to them.”

Mala necklaces are strands of 109 beads—typically stones, crystals, sandalwood or rudraksha beads that carry certain energie—traditionally used during japa meditation, where a mantra is quietly repeated 108 times. Wearing the mala as a necklace or as a bracelet throughout the day helps you manifest the power of the stone. And much like a rosary, the beads help the practitioner keep track of their place as they move through a meditation practice with the beads in between their thumb and forefinger (never letting the beads touch the middle finger, a sign of disrespect). At the 109th bead, it is customary to give gratitude to teachers and the most important people in your life.

Why 108? It is said there are 108 reasons why this number is considered sacred in the yoga practice. Some examples include the 108 energy lines that converge to form the heart chakra, 108 goddess names, and the diameter of the sun, which is 108 times the diameter of the earth.

See also Q&A: What’s So Sacred About the Number 108?

Although mala beads are traditionally used during seated meditation, they can also enhance an asana practice. Place the mala at the top of your mat, as a reminder of the intention you are trying to manifest, as you move through your vinyasa.

“Wear mala beads as a subtle reminder during your everyday life,” says Diana House, Tiny Devotions founder. “It’s an armour or protection for confidence. Something you can grab to calm down.”

It is recommended that you wear a new mala for 40 days to form a connection to the meditation tool. Christy Wendrei, founder of Bali Malas, says it’s important to make a ritual every morning of associating yourself with the energy and aura of the beads so you’ll feel the protection, confidence and strength throughout the entire day.

See also What Are Mala Beads? And How Do I Use Them? 

How to Choose a Mala

Choosing your mala may appear difficult and confusing with so many designs, stones, and colors to choose from, but trust your intuition and let the the power and energy of the stones guide you to the right mala beads for you.

“There is a lot of feeling, intuition, connection, and energy,” says Mary Caroline Cruz, Founder of Open Heart Warrior. “People are drawn to something and they don’t know why, even if they aren’t [aesthetically] attracted to it.”

Often times, people instantly connect with one mala and begin to second-guess themselves as they continue to shop around. By listening to your intuition and understanding the stone's meaning, you can find the mala that is most needed in your present life.

Mala Beads for Every Intention

  • If you need: Balance

    If you need: Balance

    Your stone is: Jasper

    Jasper is considered the supreme nurturer. The stone is a protector from life's negativities. A balance mala would benefit anyone who is in a transition period in their life or feeling like they should align their chakras.

    We like: Balance Mala, $44, BaliMalas.com

    Try this mantra: I am supported in every moment, with every breath.

  • If you need: Strength

    If you need: Strength

    Your stone is: Lava

    "Lava is believed to promote strength when facing difficult situations," says Ashley Wray, founder and CEO of Mala Collective. "Historically, it's believed the stone was worn by American Indians when entering battle for its qualities of strength and clarity."

    A lava mala is good for anyone dealing with a personal struggle or working through self-judgement.

    We like: I Am Strong Mala, $140, Malacollective.com

    Try the mantra: I Am Strong. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hold an innate human ability to find strength in situations, surroundings, and myself. I make the choice to be happy, to be grounded, to be love, and to be strong.

  • If you need: Healing + Protection

    If you need: Healing + Protection

    Your stone is: Turquoise

    "A stone of healing, turquoise provides protection and promotes purification by releasing negative energy," says Ashley Allan, Marketing Manager of Silver and Sage Jewelry. "This stone also promotes communication between the spiritual and physical, fostering a sense of inner tranquility by aligning all of the chakras."

    We like: The Yoga Journal Turquoise Mala, made exclusively for YJ readers, $138, Silverandsagejewelry.com

    Try the mantra: My body is strong. My mind is clear. My soul is limitless.

    Follow us on Facebook for a chance to win in this one-of-a-kind mala!

  • If you need: Creativity

    If you need: Creativity

    Your stone is: Lemon Quartz

    Lemon quartz will aid you in taking more risks, experimenting, and cultivating optimism.

    A lemon quartz mala is great for people in creative fields such as writing or graphic design. But people who don't work in creative spaces would benefit from this mala as well if they feel they aren't expressing their imaginations or ideas freely.

    We like: Creative Catalyst Mala, $127, lovetinydevotions.com

    Try the mantra: I am a sensory being full of creative potential.

  • If you need: Clarity

    If you need: Clarity

    Your stone is: Clear Quartz

    Clear quartz is known as the master healer and will help you connect to your crown chakra, or higher self.

    "When the crown chakra is open and in balance, we are at the height of our spirituality development and maturity," says Ciraulo. "Through choices we make, our life lessons and realizations, we gain a greater, clearer sense of who we are, what we are capable of and what our purpose in life may be." She says Clear Quartz also aids mental clarity, discovery of our inner wisdom, and focus for the mind, body, and spirit toward clear goals.

    We Like: Clarity Mala (Crown Chakra), $108, BloomingLotusJewelry.com

    Try the mantra: I am connected to the world around me. Above me, below me and around me at all times. I seek the highest truth and the most healing ways into my life. I appreciate, honor and protect the spirit within me and that brings beauty, harmony, peace, and joy.

  • If you need: Confidence

    If you need: Confidence

    Your stone is: Blue Opal

    Blue opal is a power stone focusing on the throat chakra. It will help you speak your truth clearly and confidently without hurting other's feelings in the process.

    Anyone who is feeling unsure of themselves, their worthiness, or their power would benefit from a confidence mala.

    We like: Faceted Natural Blue Opal Power Mala, $268 with code: YJLoveOpenheartwarrior.com

    Try the mantra: I am aligned with my truth. I stand in my power.

  • If you need: Love

    If you need: Love

    Your stone is: Rose Quartz

    Rose Quartz is the stone of the heart and love and will help align your heart chakra. It is a comforting and healing stone that will nourish your emotional wounds and fears.

    A love mala will help those who feel blocked in giving or receiving love. This mala will help you cultivate more love in your life with a partner, family, or friends.

    We like: Rose Quartz Mala, $48, Ziji.com

    Try the mantra: I am full of endless love.