What is a Mala Necklace? – Does It Work?

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Meditation is an essential aspect of life that requires maximum focus. But what is a Mala necklace, and does it work?

During my years at the university, I had a great friend from India, and I learned a lot about their religion and culture.

One of the most exciting things about him is that he could super concentrate when meditating.

I was curious to understand how he did it because although I had learned some yoga, I could not get strict attention during meditation.

So he showed me a rather long necklace and told me it was called Mala. In this post, we will learn about Mala, its functions, and whether it works.


What is a Mala necklace?

What is a Mala Necklace

 Mala necklace is also known as yoga beads or japamalas. It is a necklace that is used to practice yoga and meditation.

The mala necklace or beads have been in use for thousands of years. They are originally from India and were mainly used for religious practices such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

It is estimated that the mala necklace has been used in India for over 3000 years. The religious use of the mala beads was in counting mantras or prayers during meditation. That explains why they are much more entrenched in spiritual practice than secular yoga.

What is a Mala Necklace

The mala beads are seeds, pearls, gemstones, crystals, or wood. The beads are attached by a tassel which may be adorned with amulets or talismans, whichever a person prefers.

The mala beads are seeds, pearls, gemstones, crystals, or wood. The beads are attached by a tassel which may be adorned with amulets or talismans, whichever a person prefers.


Functions of mala

What is a Mala Necklace

Mala necklace has been in use as an aid during prayers or mantras. The mantra consists of a group of sounds, syllables, or words repeated for optimal concentration.

The terms do not have any literal meaning but are believed to have spiritual energy that helps a person relax during yoga.

Since the words do not have any spiritual meaning and need to be repeated in a specific sequence, one needs an aid that can help them focus and not get lost in counting or figuring out the next step.

What is a Mala Necklace

Therefore, the mala necklace has beads that assist those repeating the prayer to focus on the prayer solely. In other words, the mala beads were used to enhance concentration and focus during prayer or meditation.

Another function of the mala necklace is that they symbolize faith and identity. Those who wear the chain can easily be identified as Buddhists. Additionally, the mala necklace is a symbol of trust and an indication that one believes in the prayer and meditation done using the necklace.


How many beads are in a mala necklace?

What is a Mala Necklace

The mala necklace has 108 beads. However, half Mala has 54 beads, usually made as bracelets instead of necklaces. Each bead is separated from the other by a knot to make it easy to count.

Each mala necklace has an extra bead called the guru bead. The guru bead is also called the Mountain or Meru bead and is usually larger than the rest of the beads. It marks the start and end of the necklace and holds a tassel or other adornment for the bead.


Why Does it Have 108 Beads?

What is a Mala Necklace

According to Fire Mountain Gems, the necklace has 108 beads because

1. Some ancient Indian mathematicians estimated that the sun’s diameter was 108 times bigger than the earth’s diameter.

2. It was also estimated that the distance between the earth and the sun was 108 the diameter of the sun

3. The traditional yoga text has 108 sacred text

4. The sacred cities in India are 108

5. The body has 108 junctions in which the tissues meet

What is a Mala Necklace

6. The Gopic dancers who were dancing with Vrindavan and Krishna were 108

7. The goddess Krishna has 108 names

8. Traditional yoga can be divided into 108 energies that affect the body after the process of mantra and counting the mala beads

9. Each mortal human living on earth has a total of 108 desires.

10. When you multiply the two sacred numbers –9 and 12, you get 108.


Does it work?

What is a Mala Necklace

Yes, the mala necklace works perfectly. I understand it’s working from experience. As mentioned in the introduction, as I studied at the university, I had an Indian friend who was strictly devoted to Buddhism.

We both were doing yoga, but I was impressed at how much he could concentrate during the meditation. Out of curiosity, I asked him how he could meditate with so much focus and for a longer time than I could.

What is a Mala Necklace

He answered that he had learned how to use the mala necklace early. I, therefore, requested if I could get a mala necklace and whether he could train me to say the mantra and use the necklace.

He agreed. After several months of learning, I had a whole new experience in my meditation. I could focus more for a longer time and attain levels of relaxation I had never reached before using the mala necklace. I still use the necklace, and I believe it is a perfect tool for meditation.  


How to use it?What is a Mala Necklace

To use the mala necklace, you needed a convenient environment, which consisted of a quiet room that was dark or dimly lit.

A dark or dimly lit room was believed to have minimal distractions and, therefore, optimal for maximum concentration. The mala necklace was traditionally used in a sitting position.

You were then required to hold the mala necklace with your right hand. You should hold the necklace with the middle figure and pass the thumb over the bead on top of the finger.

The index finger should never touch the bead because it represents the ego, -a significant obstacle to meditation. After holding the necklace in the correct position, close your eyes and begin to say your prayers as you pull each bead towards you.  


Advantages of using a mala necklace

What is a Mala Necklace

Stress reduction is the first and most significant advantage of using a mala necklace. Using the necklace assists you in getting to deeper levels of meditation, which is an approved means of getting rid of depression and anxiety.

Yoga and meditation also reduce pain which can activate psychological problems.

Using mala bead has physical health benefits such as reduction of cholesterol, heart rate, and blood pressure. Additionally, deep relaxation during yoga and meditation improves blood flow to the brain and reduces the instance of headaches.

Finally, mala beads can reduce the need for medication. Meditation improves your general health and hence reduces disease related to old age. Therefore, you will need fewer medications.  



The mala necklace is magical. Using it helps you attain higher levels of meditation and concentration than you could without it.

Although many associates the chain with the religious functions of Buddhism, you can still use it even when you are not a Buddhist.

If you are a yoga enthusiast, you need to employ the most effective tool for yoga.  

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Hey! I finally find the Answer!