by: Kelsey Norten
What is a mala? Malas are one of the latest fashion trends to hit the yoga space, but their origin and history goes back to the birthplace of yoga. The term mala is derived from the Sanskrit word “Japamala,” which is a string of beads used for prayer and meditation by Hindus and Buddhists (similar to the concept of a Rosary in the Catholic faith). The string is made up of 108 individual beads, which are used to keep count while chanting or repeating a mantra while meditating.
The number 108 has spiritual significance and is considered sacred in the Hindu religion. Silver and Sage Founder Logan Milliken shared the meaning with Yoga Journal, saying “the number 1 stands for God, the universe or your own highest truth, 0 stands for emptiness and humility in your spiritual practice and 8 stands for infinity and timelessness.”
Just like malas mean more than they appear, the individual stones themselves each have different meanings and are meant to harness different energy. See below for some common stones used in Malas and their meanings:
Magnesite: A peace and love bearing stone, magnesite brings a deeper sense of peace to you during your meditation practice. Shop this stone in the Peacefulness Bracelets.
Amazonite: Owing to it’s powerful filtering action, amazonite promotes clarity by dispelling negative energy, aggravation and blockages within the nervous system. This soothing stone also supports universal love by encouraging empathy and balancing masculine and feminine energies. Shop this stone in the Path of Truth and Still Water Malas and Love All Around Bracelets.
Onyx: Imparting great strength to it’s wearer, onxy is an especially useful stone in difficult situations. It has the ability to center energy, improve self-confidence and help one be at ease with their surroundings. Shop this stone in the Endless Potential Mala.
Jade: A protective stone, jade promotes purity, serenity and harmony. It helps one to improve their self-image by encountering self-sufficiency and dismissing negative thoughts. A stone of abundance, it promotes good luck while fostering new ideas and strengthening friendships. Shop this stone in the Color Outside the Lines Mala.
Jasper: Oftentimes called the “supreme nurturer,” jasper promotes qualities that help to both nurture the self and others, providing protection and balance while instilling courage and honesty. Shop this stone in the Here to Be Bracelet.
Gaiam is proud to be offering Silver and Sage jewelry and malas handmade in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now available on gaiam.com!