by Becky Duncan July 26, 2020

A Mala Necklace And It's Ancient Wisdom


It seems that the energy from the ancient tradition of yoga has spread and blended into the cosmos like honey, bringing with it sweet vibes of positivity and wellbeing.

It’s ancient philosophy and wisdom can be applied to our modern day lives, by breathing meaning and colour into artefacts we surround ourselves with and giving an endless aspiration towards a healthy way of life.
Khandel-Light - a charity I support which works to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Rajastan - have reported that the local Rameshwar Lal advocates a 20min yoga session in the mornings to keep fit and well. His advice is proving very successful, with many people taking some precious time out to reconnect with the practice's humble energy.
From ayurvedic nutrition, ethical clothing to eastern inspired art and jewellery I am in love with it all and yoga’s sweet shine shows through so bright, expressing a complete devotion to our wellbeing.

Mindfulness is another limb of this ancient tradition that is being recommended by health professionals everywhere. In the UK our National Health Service” says:

‘It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.
Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.’

And its through mindfulness that I wanted to talk about how a mala can necklace help…

Chanting Stork Yoga Mindfulness Yoga Japa Meditation


This is where a mala necklace comes to life.

Yes, it’s a beautiful bohemic piece of crafted jewellery but it is so much more than just that, it carries a much deeper powerful wisdom.

Partly because of the stones which are imbued with potent energies but mainly because of the way they are made and used.

I have never been the kind of girl that aspired for diamonds and sparkles but was always attracted to semi-precious stones because of their colours and meanings.

When I first discovered mala beads at the beginning of my yoga journey about 15 years ago, it was instant love. I thought they looked so nomadic and unique and then to find they had a deeper meaning that can be used as an aid to mindfulness. I was enamoured.

I felt like I had discovered a secret. Of course I hadn’t as they have been made and used for thousands of years by yogis and spiritual enthusiasts, but the discovery felt new to me and so my passion for these meaningful garlands begun.

The beads are strung and knotted together by hand and there are common characteristics to each (click here to find out more about the anatomy of a mala necklace).

Even the making of a mala is a mindful process.

Each mala has 108 beads symbolising the planets revolving around the sun, which is in turn represented by the guru bead. There are many reasons why 108 is an auspicious number. Some say there 108 styles of meditations, but I like to believe there are 108 stages to the soul.

Parts Of A Mala Necklace Chanting Stork Yoga Design

Mala; is a sanskirt word for garland, it is traditionally used to endorse a mantra and/or a positive affirmation which can be remembered with sincerity, devotion, feeling and full attention. (see my positive affirmation blog).

Simply wearing the mala throughout the day carries the energy of meditation into daily activity and also a sense of connectivity, just like this quote:

We are all strung together on a universal thread of love ‘Amma’.


Start by finding a comfortable seat and close your eyes so you can bring your awareness onto your mala beads.

Feel the beads between your fingers and then start with the first bead next to your guru bead.

Choose a mantra (it doesn’t always have to be the same) - there are no rigid formalities, it may be a positive word of something that you need in your life right now such as “peace” or more of an affirmation “I am free”.

Each bead equals one repetition of your mantra. Continue on the journey simply by running your fingers over the beads and repeating a mantra silently to yourself. This technique is known as Japa Meditation.

I particularly like to consider the knots in between each bead as a reminder to pause and breath to bring you into the present moment. Once you reach the guru bead pause to absorb the energy from your mantra before moving into your day.


Be patient and kind to yourself. This is all part of mindfulness. At the end of the day there is no hurry, it is about learning something new and enjoying the journey on the way.

“By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, "There is no hurry. We shall get there some day. 

 Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

You can shop my mala collection here




Becky Duncan
Becky Duncan

Becky Duncan Yogi. Mummy. Jewellery Designer. Mantra: Live everyday as a new adventure. One of my favourite Sanskrit words is Lila, meaning “play”. There’s something incredibly humbling about being able to have fun and explore and I like to encourage this concept throughout my yoga classes as a way to find freedom, self discovery and joy! After all, yoga is all about connecting your outer to your innermost self.

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