Open a New Door to Peace of Mind With 5 Ways to Use a Mala

January 22, 2017

Open a New Door to Peace of Mind With 5 Ways to Use a Mala

Throughout my travels in Asia this past year, I have dedicated my attention to opening the doors to spirituality -- to learn new ways to calm this crazy mind of mine, to finally find peace, to trust the journey and to accept whatever comes my way. Easy, right? Not so much when you’re constantly stuck in the past or the future -- that could-of, should-of mindset. It’s been a long road but every hurdle I’ve had to face has been nothing short of worth it!

One of the best ways I’ve found to calm my “monkey mind” is the use of a mala, a simple yet powerful addition to my life, that has been extremely helpful when I let my mind get the best of me -- more times than I’m happy to admit!!

The first time I saw a mala, which honestly, was probably on the front cover of a yoga magazine, I had a deep desire to have my own. Yes, maybe I wanted to look perfectly spiritual and zen like the woman on the front cover of that magazine, but either way I knew there was something special and meaningful about owning one.

I did some research on malas since I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’ who owned a ‘fashion’ mala and I learned that mala’s are composed of 108 beads strung together. A guru (larger bead) or a tassel is strung to the bottom. A wrist mala has fewer beads but is used for similar purposes. The beads are a combination of sacred seeds and gemstones all encompassing different significance through symbolism. They have been used by Buddhists and Hindus for centuries as a form of prayer and meditation.

After swooning over mala’s for quite some time, I finally got my own mala a few months ago in Bali! Better yet, I met a healer who offered to teach me how to make one, which to my delight, really helped set me apart from one of those fashion girl mala rockers!  I’m truly in love with my relationship with my mala and it truly has opened my door to peace of mind. Here are some of the ways I have learned how to use my mala:

 

mala beads, sacred seeds, mala meditation

1. Meditation

A mala is a type of meditation and it’s easy to do anywhere you are. Place the mala over your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead or tassel, use your thumb to pull each bead towards you one at a time. Count all 108 beads until you reach the guru bead. It’s recommended to recite a mantra while counting for deeper concentration.

My mala meditation is my go-to in many situations because it’s so easy, quick and effective. I find myself counting my beads in the airport lobby when my flight has been delayed five hours (that’s a lot of counting),  or while I’m people watching while sipping a cup of chai.  I use my mala to help calm my nerves before heading into a crowded, chaotic Indian market for fear of having to bargain, only to most likely be ripped off. If all else fails, just keep counting.

2. Yoga

Wear the mala during your yoga practice or place it in front of your mat as a reminder of your intentions. My mala reminds me of each personal intention I set before my practice. I also use it as a drishti (point of focus) to maintain my concentration.

The use of a mala also offers positive healing energies, which is another beautiful addition to my practice. I chose specific, meaningful sacred seeds when I created my own mala. For example, the red ginger bead (as seen in the picture) reminds me of my intentions of love and the red color keeps my root chakra balanced and energized. I also use my mala as a meditation before or after my practice to solidify the benefits of yoga and the sacred seeds that compose the mala.

3. Daily Reminder

These can be any personal reminders such as intentions, goals, hopes and dreams. The sacred seeds and gemstones represent these different reminders. For example, I love the sacred bodhi seed, which is the “seed of enlightenment” offering a reminder to maintain my awareness and connection to myself and the external environment. When you can’t find a post-it, find your mala!

A mala is also a special reminder of when and where you got them. My mala will always remind me of Bali which has a special mark in my life -- of the place my door to spirituality decided to open wide and inner peace flooded my soul. I also celebrated one year sober the day that I made my mala -- one of the most special reminders I have when I feel like giving up. It reminds me why I made this huge life change to begin with. It will always remind me of the mental obstacles I was finally able to conquer and the future battles I now know I can tackle.

 

Open the new door to a peace of mind with 5 ways to use a mala, intentions, goals, personal reminders,

 

 4. Everyday

Not only wearing a mala as jewelry, but as an expression of beauty, meaning and the self. I use my mala for everyday affirmations and I wear the beautiful beads in the form of a necklace and wrist malas. As I mentioned above, a mala holds different energies depending on the sacred seeds and gemstones used. A chakra mala or wrist mala (like in the photo below) for instance, is created with gemstones specific to each of the seven chakras and they offer energies for mental and physical balancing.

Wearing a mala each day cultivates positivity and connection. On my journey I have learned to be aware of the different energies surrounding me and of the connection to myself and others. I am finally at a point where I understand that what I put into the world, I receive back. I love when someone asks me about my mala because it’s a chance for me to express who I am and hopefully inspire them to do the same.

 

 

chakras, chakra mala, rudraksha seeds, sacred seeds, fair trade, global groove

5. As a Gift

Share the beauty of a mala with someone that would appreciate its benefits. It’s a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving and one that can be used anytime and anywhere. This is my favorite kind of gift!

You can purchase a mala or add more meaning by crafting one yourself. Now that I know how to make a mala, I can’t wait to create more and share them with my loved ones. When purchasing or making a mala, carefully choose the sacred seeds that compose it depending on the receiver’s personality and needs. It may also help them to start their own spiritual journey and introduce them to the meaningfulness and energies that a mala offers -- that is always my hope.

I’m incredibly grateful for my experiences abroad and the many different ways of life I have been exposed to. It’s important that I give back and make a difference in the world by giving a fair trade mala or wrist mala. It’s also a great way to start a conversation about the importance of fair trade and contributing to a sustainable economy. Call me crazy, but it’s better than discussing the latest celebrity drama!  Or maybe I’m just walking through a different door!

5 ways to use a mala, fair trade, conversation, mala as a gift, thoughtful gift, malas, wrist malas, sustainable economy, important of fair trade, make a different, global groove life

 

What is your favorite way to use a mala?

 

 

About the Author

Amber Johnson is a yoga enthusiast and passionate traveler. She loves cultural connection, a good laugh and exploring her curiosities. 

Follow her bucket list adventures at This Tiny Backpack.





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Global Groovin'

Groovin’ From Home: Comfort and Posture For #WFH
Groovin’ From Home: Comfort and Posture For #WFH

January 07, 2021

Working remotely brings new challenges, namely staying comfortable in mind and body. Here are some tips on how to do WFH. 

Continue Reading →

How do we prove our Groove?
How do we prove our Groove?

June 06, 2019

As if the “Who am I “ question wasn’t enough, I sometimes, oftentimes am compelled to truly consider what Global Groove Life is.  Over the years, I’ve examined our motives, especially when folks ask us questions about the GGL “brand”. I’ve never thought of us as a brand, I’ve always thought of us as a team. Our family, volunteers, artisans, loyal patrons; Team GGL.

Continue Reading →

Volunteers Bring Innovation to Global Groove
Volunteers Bring Innovation to Global Groove

May 09, 2019

At GGL, we're proud to work with volunteers from all across the globe, and we fervently believe it's a part of our innovation.

Continue Reading →

Ball Covers FAQs

Before you Order your Yoga Ball Cover:
How can I measure my ball?

We urge you to double and triple check the size of your ball before you order! Do NOT trust the ball package.  Measure it, please. It is quite common for folks to not inflate their ball to the specified size and since we often design in small-batches, we don’t want you to miss out on your favorite design due to a time lapse postal delay due to mismeasurements!

45cm, 55cm, 65cm or 75cm is the height of the ball when correctly inflated but this is quite difficult to measure. A more accurate measurement is the circumference;

45cm ball (height); circumference = 56 inches (142.2 cm)

55cm ball (height); circumference = 68 inches (172.7 cm)

65cm ball (height); circumference = 80 inches (203.2 cm)

75cm ball (height); circumference = 92 inches (233.6 cm)

This is the size the ball needs to be for our cover to fit correctly. All of our covers are checked to fit balls of the specifications above.

PLEASE NOTE: Our 55cm ball covers will fit the 52cm balls sold with the classic ball chair. 

After you Receiver your Yoga Ball Cover:
How can I get the best fit?

We now include instructions and a length of cord to make measuring your ball easier. Our covers are tailor-made to fit your ball snugly leaving no loose fabric.

Use the pre-cut string provided with your ball cover.  The string should wrap around the circumference (the middle of the ball) snugly without any extra length for a correct fit.

To double check you have purchased the right size:

Our strings are cut to 68” for a 55cm ball, 80” for a 65cm ball and 92” for a 75cm ball.

PLEASE NOTE: Our 55cm ball covers will fit the 52cm balls sold with some ball chairs. 

Now place the full circular piece of fabric at the top of your ball. This is the end WITHOUT the plug.

Wrap the cover around the ball gathering loose fabric towards the zip and then start closing the zip while continuing to smooth out loose folds of fabric towards the zip. When you get close to closing the zip completely, you may have some room to inflate your ball a little more for the most snug fit possible.­­

 

 

What are our covers made of?

All of our covers are 100% cotton and include a heavy weight YKK zip which wraps around 3/4 of the ball. This makes a close fit over a fully inflated ball possible.

Most of our covers are now made with non-stretch cotton but our cover pattern does allow for some give in the fabric. Our stretch cotton covers provide a little more flexibilty for inflation of your ball.

Who makes our covers?

Our covers are made by a co-op that we set up in Chom Thong, northern Thailand. Each ball cover includes a personal producer tag, giving you a short introduction to the face and personality behind the sewing machine : ).

Get to know our producers in our bios section.

Testimonials....

 

Returns

We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase.

Please view our simple return policy for instructions

Custom Order Requests

Thanks for your interest in our ball covers. We don't do any custom orders for retail purchases but we do like requests and we take all requests into consideration when planning our future orders.

Are you ready to make a selection now? Choose from our collection here!