If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you might have noticed colourful beaded necklaces with tassels around many yogi’s necks. These mala necklaces have become a popular accessory among yogis and hippie spirits alike. But they serve more of a purpose than just a pretty accessory. Here’s how to use a mala.

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How to use a Mala

A mala necklace is a string of 108 prayer beads, commonly used in meditation or prayer. The most basic way of using a mala is by reciting a mantra as you slide each bead of the mala through your fingers. You start at the guru bead, which is the larger bead near the tassel, and use your thumb and index fingers to work your way through the beads.

How to Use a Mala | http://BananaBloom.com #malabeads #yoga #mala #meditationTop by Electric & Rose

How to form your mantra

A mantra can be a single word, or a short sentence. As with anything, it’s highly individual and you can do your meditation or prayer in whichever way that suits you.

How to Use a Mala | http://BananaBloom.com #malabeads #yoga #mala #meditation

To find your own personal mantra for the day (or week, or month, or year!) start by considering if there is some kind of encouragement you need or something in particular you would like to focus on.

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For instance, maybe you’re about to step into an important meeting and you’re feeling nervous about it. In a situation like that you’d perhaps like a mantra to strengthen your self-esteem. Try reciting “I am knowledgable and skilled” or “I am prepared” as you roll your fingers over your mala beads.

You can also use your mala and meditation to practice self love. A lot of us have issues with body image and self-worth. We’re quick to criticise and judge ourselves more than necessary. Form a mantra that is kind to yourself, that will strengthen you rather than push you down. Try one of these:

I am strong
I am beautiful
I am enough
I respect myself

Or, if you’re feeling particularly feisty:

I am a sexy beast

How to Use a Mala | http://BananaBloom.com #malabeads #yoga #mala #meditation

Of course, malas are not exclusively used in meditation or prayer. Since becoming more “mainstream”, malas are increasingly used simply as a pretty accessory. Some just carry it as a reminder to stay present in the moment. And there’s of course nothing wrong with that. Use it in whichever way that speaks to you and makes you feel good, whether that’s to add a little dazzle to an outfit, or be a friendly reminder of your positive mantra.

How to Use a Mala | http://BananaBloom.com #malabeads #yoga #mala #meditation

My mala is a gorgeous “Good Karma Mala” from Malatopia. It has Amazonite, Carnelian, and Rudraksha beads. Thank you to Rachel for hand crafting this gorgeous mala for me.

Use the code BananaBloom20 to get 20% off your order from Malatopia (valid until August 2016).

What’s your mantra?

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