Meditation

A Yogi’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mala Beads

Discover the meanings and intentions of different stones to help you find the mala truest to your unique, authentic self.

mala

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 energy—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.

See also Hone Your Intuition: 12 Poses to Activate Your Third-Eye Chakra

Mala Beads for Every Intention

If you need: Balance

None

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.

See also The Gift of “I Don’t Know”: How Mary Beth LaRue Is Embracing Life’s Uncertainties

If you need: Strength

lava mala

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.

See also Kino MacGregor’s Sequence for Inner Strength

If you need: Healing + Protection

mala.

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: Move Softly Mala, $118, Silverandsagejewelry.com

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

See also A Healing Home Practice to Foster Confidence & Resilience Against Chronic Pain

If you need: Inspiration

None

Your stone is: Hematite

Hematite will aid you in overcoming obstacles, rising to your full potential, and manifesting what you truly desire.

This hematite mala is strung with Rosewood and rock crystal—great for people who need to break out of negative patterns that could be stopping them from expressing their imaginations or ideas freely.

We like: Girl Boss Mala, $181, lovetinydevotions.com

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

See also 12 Yoga Poses to Spark Creativity

If you need: Clarity

wood mala

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, $118, 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.

See also Elena Brower’s Yoga Sequence to Create Space + Find Clarity

If you need: Confidence

blue opal mala bead

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: Open Heart Warrior Faceted Peruvian Blue Opal Power 108 Mala, $235, Openheartwarrior.com

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

See also Hold It Right There: Build Strength + Confidence

If you need: Love

rose quartz mala

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.

See also What Is Love? Understand the 3 Spiritual Levels of Love

See also Give Your Meditation Practice Staying Power: Set an Intention