# What is a mala?

**WHAT IS A MALA?**

Mala beads can be used as a tool to enhance meditation, or as an accessory to raise your vibration. The most important element is believing in the strength of your mala's energy to guide you.

To begin using your mala beads as a meditation tool, start by sitting in a quiet place with your mala and deciding on a 'mantra' (a mantra is a word or series of sounds that is repeated to aid in concentration). Your mantra can be as simple as 'peace' or as complex as a chant you're drawn to.

Next, drape the mala over the middle finger and then pull one stone at a time with the first finger towards the heart, making your way around the mala back to the 'guru bead' (the larger stone down by the tassel). Meditation takes patience and time, so if your mind wanders, simply pull your attention back to the mantra and the grounding weight of your mala beads.

**WHY 108?**

There are 108 beads in a traditional mala. Below are just a few of the many reasons that 108 has become a powerful number in science and spirituality:

**Heart Chakra**: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

**Sun and Earth**: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

**Moon and Earth**: The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

**Sanskrit alphabet**: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

**Upanishads**: Some say there are 108 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages.

**Pentagon**: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.

**Astrology**: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

**Planets and Houses**: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

**Goddess names**: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.