How is a Mala beneficial for Meditation?
3 ways to hold a Mala while meditating
Hold the Mala between the thumb and the third finger, count one bead with each breath or mantra recitation;
Simply wear the Mala around your neck as an anchor or grounding tool while meditating; or
Hold the beads in prayer form between your hands, in front of your heart while reciting a mantra or prayer.
A Mala is a sacred tool traditionally used to count breaths while meditating or the number of times a mantra or prayer is recited. This is a phenomenal way to focus the mind, lower the body’s stress response and induce The Relaxation Response. Meditation is a very powerful practice that has many psychological, physical and spiritual benefits. Meditation is great for the brain and helps reduce the toll that stress has on the mind and body. It can help focus our energies in a positive direction, reduce our hyper-reactive response to negative stressors and improve our ability to handle future challenges.
Whether you are trying meditation for the first time or looking to enhance your current practice, the use of a Mala can be extremely beneficial. The idea of meditating can seem very intimidating if expectations are too high. It is called a meditation practice because it is exactly that, a practice that spans a lifetime. The experience will be different each time we sit because we are different each time we sit. Sometimes the mind will settle quickly and sometimes it won’t. It’s easy to get caught up in what you think you should look like while meditating but the key is let go of preconceived ideas and find what works for you. Get comfortable using props or pillows or a chair and just settle in with an open mind to see what happens.
If you would like to know more...
1. The Relaxation Response, Dr. Herbert Benson, 1975, 2000.
2. Yoga for Anxiety, Meditations and practices for calming
the body and mind, Mary & Rick NurrieStearns, 2010.