A mala is a simple string of beads used in meditation to count mantras, prayers, or intentions. Malas can also be used to count breaths or used in a gratitude meditation. Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning garland. A full mala contains 108 counting beads, The number 108 has a very powerful significance in the science and spirituality of India.
There are 108 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet! Vedic mathematicians measured the Sun’s diameter to be 108 times larger than the diameter of the Earth, & measured the distance between the Sun and Earth to be 108 times the Sun’s diameter. In the yogic tradition, we find 108 sacred texts of the Upanishads, 108 sacred holy sites in India, and 108 Marma (acupressure-like) points on the body.
In the bhakti yoga tradition stories are told of 108 gopis dancing with Krishna in Vrindavan, there are also 108 names of the goddess. In tantric yoga 108 energy lines are described throughout the body and they all converge and connect at the heart chakra.
Mala beads have been used in many different spiritual traditions for hundreds of years because people believe these beads have many powerful benefits for the body, mind and spirit, for some people Malas are used as a talisman for protection, or an amulet to guard against bad luck or for relaxation and stress reduction.
Often referred to as beads, Rudraksha pronounced “Rud-ruck-sha” are actually seeds from the Elaeocarpus Ganitrus tree that grow inside of what looks like a blueberry, these trees are found in India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand & Indonesia.
The name Rudraksha stems from Hindu mythology and means “the eyes of Shiva.” and have been worn by sages, yogis, and devotees of Shiva for centuries. In Hindu mythology It is believed that God meditated on the welfare of mankind and emerged crying tears of compassion. The tears, upon hitting the Earth, crystallized to form the trees that grow Rudrakshas.