What is a mala?
Mala, in Sanskrit, means "garland". A mala is a string of beads used as a tool for meditation that can be worn as a necklace or wrapped multiple times around your wrist. Similar to counting beads on an abacus, beads on a mala are used to count breaths or mantras while meditating. Using your fingertips, beads are passed one at a time for each completed breath or mantra. They are similar to prayer beads used by other religions - like a rosary. A traditional mala has 108 beads plus a "guru" bead or some kind of talisman or amulet to mark the beginning and end of a round.
Why 108 beads?
There are a lot of reasons why 108 is a significant number. The Buddhist tradition believes 108 to represent the mortal desires of mankind. There are 108 Upanishads or Scriptures of the Veda, significant to the Hindu faith. Twelve zodiacs multiplied by the nine planets equals 108. In some way or another, the number always seems to represent the universe.
How do I choose a mala?
Listen to what speaks to you - perhaps you are drawn to a particular mala because you have shared an experience in the park or wilderness that it has been inspired and designed for, or maybe the colors and textures of the beads and stones call to you. You can read about what each stone means and the energy they carry in the description of each mala. Malas are said to carry intentions - if you meditate to promote inner peace or patience or to inspire creativity, look for a mala that connects you to that intention.
Do people ever use more than one mala?
Yes. Malas represent intentions; if you meditate with more than one intention, you may like to meditate with different malas. Further, some have one everyday mala for casual wear and a reminder of one intention, while they have a second mala for private use in meditation, charged with a much more personal intention.
Mala construction + repair:
Every mala is hand knotted in between each bead. This technique protects stones from wearing against each other, allows for easier movement between fingertips while meditating, and saves you from losing all of your beads if for some reason your mala should come apart from long-time wear and tear.
If your mala comes apart for any reason, save your beads and contact me about repairing it.
If you have a mala that you purchased somewhere else that has fallen apart, I'd be happy to discuss repairing it for a small fee. Just shoot me a message and we'll figure out how I can help!
Have a better idea of what you're looking for now? Click here to shop grace + gravity malas!
How do I care for my mala?
Try not to expose your mala to oils or excessive water. If your mala becomes dirty, simply rinse with warm water and lay it flat on a towel to air dry. Treat your mala with care - avoid pressure or force, as the stones could crack or break.
Some believe that malas absorb and distribute energy, depending on what they are made out of. You will notice that as you wear and use your mala, and the rudraksha beads are exposed to the natural oils produced by your skin, they may patina or darken in colour - this is normal. Polished stones will naturally age with time too.
Many people choose to lay their mala out in the light of a full moon to restore the energy within it, and charge it for a new cycle. You can use this time to identify a new intention for your mala to represent in the new cycle's meditation practice.
Can't find the perfect mala that resonates with you or your intentions? Get in touch with me - custom malas are one of my most favourite things to make. You can give me as much or as little detail / direction as you like, including stone varieties, preferred colors, meanings and intentions, etc., and I will create the mala of your dreams!
Each mala comes with a personalized mantra and descriptions of all stones and the mala's overall significance.
Pictured left: "core confidence" mala with lava stone, hematite, frosted rose quartz, multi-coloured moonstone and black sardonyx.
Pictured above: "strong love" mala with lava stone, african turquoise, tigers eye (hex cut) and a large agate supplied by the commissioner.
You can contact me via the contact page, or email me personally at