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What is a Mala?

The mala, or traditional prayer necklace of 108 beads, means “meditation garland” in Sanskrit. Originating in India 3000 years ago, malas have roots in Hinduism and Buddhism and have been used by yogis and other seekers to help focus the mind during meditation by moving their fingers over the beads to recite affirmations. These beads can be made of healing gemstones, crystals, seeds, or wood.

 The symbolism behind mala jewelry is rich and can be used as metaphors for life: Each bead represents a truth; the small knot between each bead a challenge between the smoother, more beautiful aspects of life. 

Why 108 Beads?

The number of beads in a mala—108—is considered sacred in Vedic culture, representing the wholeness of existence. A variation of the mala, such as a bracelet mala, will have a number of beads in any variation of the number 9— another sacred number in Yoga that corresponds to 108. 

The Makeup of a Satya Jewelry Mala 


The gemstone beads in Satya Jewelry malas are said to carry the healing energies of the stones themselves. When the mala is held or worn, these energies are conveyed to its wearer. If you feel yourself drawn to a particular gemstone, pay attention: Chances are, it resonates with you for a reason and will help you manifest what you’re seeking.


The knot between each stone of the mala strengthens the necklace, but placement of the knot between each bead signifies a challenge between the smoother, more beautiful aspects of life–a reminder for us to persevere, even when faced with obstacles.

Guru Bead 

The bead that connects the silk tassel to the loop of gemstones is often referred to as the “guru bead,” the 109th bead on the mala. It is so named to honor the guru who gifted a mantra to their student. If you do not have a guru, that’s ok! You can use the guru bead to pray to a deity, set your intention, or to give a prayer of gratitude upon completion of your meditation session. 

Tassel or Pendant

The silk tassel of the mala is often understood to be a symbol of oneness, though in some traditions it also signifies pure consciousness. Pendants are also used in Satya Jewelry malas, and are chosen for their spiritual symbolism.

Which Gemstone Mala is Right for You? 

With their healing gemstones and meaningful symbols, malas often call to us to help us manifest what we’re seeking. Gemstones carry healing energies, so if you’re drawn to a particular mala, pay attention: Your inner knowing is no doubt guiding you toward the mala that’s right for you at this point in your life.

For some, a mala made of their birthstone calls to them. For others, a gemstone mala that reflects their zodiac sign is meaningful. In truth, there is no “wrong” mala for you. As we are constantly evolving and seeking deeper knowledge, you may end up with more than one mala to use interchangeably during your meditation practice. 

What Gemstone Mala are you drawn to?


How to Meditate with a Mala 

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How to Energetically Cleanse Your Mala 

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