The jewellery of choice for the modern day yogi is imbued with a rich history and deep symbolism.
Reciting mantra is a beautiful part of an authentic yoga practice. As an increasing number of studios take their classes beyond asana, they’re introducing the next generation of yogis to this ancient ritual.
If you’re inspired to deepen your practice, it may be time to embrace the mantras and the malas.
What are Mala Beads?
Prayer beads are age-old; an intrinsic part of many cultures and religions, they are used to count while chanting or meditating. Mala is Sanskrit for garland; a necklace with a purpose and a gentle reminder of intention and devotion.
Annie from boutique jewellery company, Wilde Asher, creates mala beads with her two daughters, Sophie and Phoebe. She believes that malas are a touchstone for healing, encouraging the wearer to live consciously from the heart. It’s for this very reason that she makes them with ethically sourced materials including sandalwood-infused wooden beads, sterling silver charms, and precious gemstones.
“I spend hours wiring and threading each set of beads. As a small family business we take pride in ensuring that all our pieces are created ethically, sustainably and with great love and care, cleansed under the full moon and infused with healing Reiki energy,” she says.
Each necklace is made from 108 beads (plus one “guru bead”), a number of great significance in Buddhist and Hindu traditions as well as numerology, Ayurveda, and astrology. It’s a number that also connects the sun, moon and earth; the average distance of the sun and the moon to earth is 108 times their respective diameters. Furthermore, ancient yoga texts state that there 108 marma points, or sacred places, on the body.
Wilde Asher recently launched its collection of handcrafted Chakra mala beads and bracelets - sacred talismans to connect with and balance individual chakras. The wearer can benefit from defining their focus and intention to a specific area of their body and their life.
Crown Chakra - Moonstone: Inspiration, spirituality, connection to source
Third Eye Chakra - Lapis Lazuli: Intuition, self-realisation, inspiration
Throat Chakra - Amazonite: Communication, self expression, truth
Heart Chakra - Rose Quartz: Empathy, love, self love, compassion
Solar Plexus Chakra - Yellow Quartz: Power, purpose, self esteem
Sacral Chakra - Goldstone: Creativity, emotional stability, sacred feminine
Root Chakra - Smokey Quartz: Grounding, security, prosperity, instinct
Beyond your mantra and meditation practice, you may consider waking in the morning and setting an intention with your beads. Wear them daily as a reminder of your sankalpa - a touchstone to return to when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or distracted. As Annie says: “... Mala beads are truly unique and individual for each wearer. When chosen and worn with love, held close and treasured as part of a sacred practice, they can provide transformative connections and divine experiences.”