Types and Styles of Malas
Prayer beads are a spiritual tool used by many cultures and religions across the world. Malas are a traditional Buddhist and Hindu item used for counting or keeping track of repetitions of a mantra, breaths, prayers, affirmations, or other means of spiritual practice. They can be used within the context of religious affiliation, but they are also used for secular meditation and mindfulness practices.
They have been used for thousands of years, and can be made of many materials, from wood to semi-precious stones to seeds. Moonfelt Malas is the first line of malas made of felted wool! The oversized wool beads create a tactile experience great for those who want warmth, softness, and ergonomic ease in their prayer bead routine.
Buddhist mala necklaces are most commonly made up of 108 beads plus one larger bead known as the "guru bead." This bead often is connected to a tassel, and is used for keeping track of repetitions. Some people complete a circle of 108 repetitions and turn around when they get to the guru bead; others keep going in the same direction.
Different colors are associated with different energies and benefits, and many people choose a mala for its color association, in order to reinforce the benefits of their mantra or focus. Check out the Moonfelt Malas blog to read more about the associations of each color!
Over the centuries, different styles of the traditional 108-bead mala have emerged, as you can see in the diagram above. Moonfelt Malas offers single-color 108-bead malas, zen-style malas with marker beads at specific intervals, and freestyle malas with modern patterns and colors, including rainbow!
In recent years, malas have also become commonly used as jewelry. For many people, even if they don't practice traditional use of their malas, they still benefit from the sense of calm and centeredness that a mala can bring. Moonfelt Malas can be used as a devotional tool, as a modern accessory, or both. Since they're big enough to loop around 3-4 times and be worn as a scarf, they present the opportunity to wear your prayer beads as a statement piece!
With 32 different colors and styles, browse the collection and find your perfect fit!
Article sources list here.