I was first introduced to Leah of Free Soul Malas by my friend Candace of Yoga by Candace. One of my YBC Mantra Boxes had a wrist mala in it, and after I saw it, I was hooked. I had to learn more, and I had to introduce myself to Leah. I loved what she was doing, and I especially loved the beautiful malas she was making. I have a mala with me almost daily. I have yet to meditate with them, but I feel a sense of peace just knowing I have them with me. I now have 3 malas from Leah. Two wrist malas, and a full size mala that I wear around my neck. Leah sent me a wrist mala with Rose Quartz, which has quickly become one of my favorite stones, as well as made the full size mala with Moss Agate, which is also a favorite of mine.
Make sure you follow Leah at @freesoulmalas on Instagram and Facebook, and check out her website, too! She has generously offered a 10% off coupon code for all of you. Just use the code “PRIMALPALATELOVE” at the check out when you purchase your mala.
I hope you all enjoy this post from Leah. Tell us in the comments what you love about mala beads!
Set Your Intentions for 2016 with mala beads
As we welcome in 2016, our attention turns to how we can make this new year better than our last. Resolutions are set, but often we find ourselves at the end march back to our old habits. Mala beads are a great way to set, and help keep your intentions all year long! They can serve as a forget-me-not so to speak. A gentle reminder throughout the day to take a moment to breathe, reconnect to your desires and carry on in a more mindful way.
What are mala beads anyway?
Mala beads, also known as worry beads, prayer beads or just simply referred to as a mala, are meditation garlands that have been worn for thousands of years in eastern traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga. While they do have a traditional spiritual significance, whether or not you choose to use them for religious purposes is entirely up to you. Anyone can wear mala beads! Whether you are looking to start or deepen a mediation practice, set and remind yourself of your intentions or just want to bring good vibes to an outfit, you can benefit from wearing mala beads. They offer a sense of balance, inspiration and can help you manifest your intentions.
Typical traditional malas are made up of 108 beads (or a fraction of that number like 54 or 27) made from gemstones, wood or seeds. There are about 108 reasons why 108 is considered a sacred number and they vary from tradition to tradition. Some reasons include the astrological significance of the distance between the sun and earth and earth and moon. The diameter of the sun multiplied by 108 equals the distance between the sun and earth and the diameter of the moon multiplied by 108 equals the distance between earth and moon. The diameter of the sun is also 108 times the diameter of the earth. It also is said there 108 energy pathways in our bodies said to converge together to form the heart chakra, or the energy centre responsible for love. One of these pathways is said so be the path self realization.
Each material chosen for a mala is carefully selected for its unique healing properties and energetic vibrations to work along with the energy centres in our bodies. For example, the custom mala I made for Hayley, is made using Moss Agate to support her healing. It’s not only considered a powerful gemstone for attracting prosperity and abundance, it is also believed to help heal, strengthen and balance the mental, physical and spiritual bodies. It is also said to speed up recovery, counteract long-term illness and boost the immune system.
Mala beads are usually used in japa meditation where a positive affirmation or mantra is used to focus the mind and is recited along each bead. They are also used te set and manifest intentions and as an outward reminder that you have power to create the life you want by making moment to moment choices that align with your deepest desires.
So how do you use mala beads to set an intention?
Each mala is made up of unique materials that carry with them specific energy vibrations that align with specific intentions. Aligning yourself with the intention of a mala is a powerful way to set yourself up for success.
But how do you choose what mala? There are a couple of ways, First, you can let your mala choose you! When you see one that jumps out at you, its likely because something in your subconscious is resonating with it. It’s often just what you need and as simple as that. Or when in doubt, ask yourself What do I want? Do you want to be more patient, to love yourself, improve communication, spark creativity, reduce stress? Once you’ve narrowed down your desire, find a mala that carries intentions that align with your desire. Once you have your mala, take a moment with your beads in hand and focus on your intention. Whenever you find yourself wavering from the intention you set, simply hold your mala in hand and take a moment to reconnect with your desire.
What’s the story behind Free Soul Malas?
I was first introduced to mala beads while I was in China. There was a Buddhist monestary near where I was teaching, and that definitely had an influence on the culture of the small village I was in. I bought myself a set of beads as a memento before heading back home to Canada. It wasn’t until 15 years later, when I did my yoga teacher training, that I really started to understand the significance behind those beads that I had long since lost. Meditation had become a daily part of my life, but I also wanted something with me throughout the day to keep me connected and grounded to myself and to the life I wanted to live. In my teacher training, I was fascinated by the teachings about chakras and energy movement in our bodies so I knew I wanted to incorporate crystals and gemstones into my day to day as well.
After extensively researching materials, I made myself a mala that felt just right. I chose to start with date wood beads. The Chinese Date Wood tree is known to grow and even flourish in less than favourable conditions. It has a strong root system that lends to its resilience and strength and its fruit has incredible healing properties and is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to heal anything from anxiety to sore throats. The wood of this tree carries with it these healing and grounding qualities and is said to to help bring patience, resilience, generosity of spirit and strength.
I included sterling silver for its for its balancing and purifying properties. While gold is said to be the metal of the sun, silver is said to be the metal of the moon and like the moon, it carries reflective properties which reflects our our true selves back to us.
I selected a stone that represented my deepest desire at the time and set my intention. Then I hand knotted it all together, not only to lend to its quality, but also to space the beads to make japa meditation easier. Plus I love the way the knots look between each bead and match the tassel! Right away people noticed and wanted me to make them malas too. It took off from there and created some local retail support, a pop up shop and workshop at my local lululemon store, an online shop and a blog spot on Primal Palate!
I chose the name Free Soul Malas, because when you acknowledge your deepest desires, you’re connecting to the truest part of yourself – your soul. When you allow that part to guide your life, you really do live more freely. You become freer of the confines of limiting thoughts and beliefs, free to be who you really are and who you are meant to be, and by doing so, you make a difference in the world by sharing your unique gifts. We all have the power to live our best lives and be our best selves. I have found that mala beads are a way for me to stay grounded in that power and my wish is for everyone to experience it too!
Founder, Free Soul Malas