Mala necklaces have been traditionally used in prayer and meditation by Buddhists, Yogis, and Hindus for thousands of years. They are made of 108 beads, a guru bead, and sometimes a tassel. The guru bead serves as a marker to let the wearer know when they have reached 108 repetitions of a mantra, which verses which have spiritual or religious intentions. The type of beads used depends on the wearer's needs and preferences, though the typical purpose is to help one achieve a calm mind, body, and spirit. Each natural gemstone has its own unique energy and healing properties, which you can read about here.
You definitely don't need to be religious to wear mala beads though! Today we find all sorts of people wearing malas whether for meditation practice, reminder of your intentions, or for fashion. Need help finding your perfect mala? Read more about how to choose yours here.
WHY 108 BEADS?
The number 108 has tremendous sacred and spiritual significance and here are a few reasons:
It is said that there are 108 lines of energy that converge onto the heart chakra, and one of them originates from the crown chakra which is the path to Self-Realization.
In math, the powers of 1, 2, and 3 (1 to the 1st power = 1, 2 to the 2nd power = 4, 3 to the 3rd power = 27) multiplied by one another equals 108.Pranayama breathing is the extension of the life force in Sanskrit. Some yogis have achieved such deep meditation and relaxation that they only need 108 breaths in a day.