How to Choose, Use, and Cleanse Your Mala Beads

Mala beads are small hand-held prayer beads that are often used throughout India, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Eastern Europe. Mala beads are frequently associated with meditation or yoga practice. Although you can find malas of all types in stores today, you probably don't want to spend the money on commercially manufactured mala beads. Top quality beads are made from unique materials, are created by artisans using centuries old techniques, are influenced by faith traditions or are simply unique. You can make your own mala beads or purchase hand-crafted mala beads from us at Dream of Stones.


Mala beads are worn around the wrist or neck, with the most common method being around the wrist. The beads are typically held in the left hand while chanting. You can keep track of your mantra by repeating it with each bead. When you reach the end of your mala, you turn the mala around and begin again at the beginning.

How To Choose Your Mala Beads?

The first thing to consider when choosing your mala beads is the amount of time you plan to use them. If you are using the mala to accompany your yoga routine, you probably want to stick with wood beads. If you plan on meditating each day for several hours, select stones that are more durable.


There are three basic types of beads you'll find in a market: plastic, top quality wooden beads, and glass. The majority of commercial malas use plastic beads. While they look nice in a photo, they don't stay in place very well and they easily fall off the string when pulled over time. Wooden beads are a good alternative for meditation or yoga wear because you can wear them for hours without losing them. Glass beads are a lower quality version of wooden beads and do not last as long as the other types.

The next consideration is the type of string that will be used with your mala. Beads can be threaded onto a string, tied around a cord or knotted. Stringed mala beads come in three basic types: Cotton, hemp and silk. Cotton is used for less expensive malas and tends to fray over time – so remember to wash them periodically.

How To Use Your Mala Beads?

Once you choose the top quality beads, the next task is to know how to use them. To use your mala beads, hold your mala in your left hand and wrap the string around one finger of the left hand. Holding the beads between the thumb and first finger, pull out one bead and then rotate it around to bring it back under the loose string. Now you have one complete cycle. Next, hold on to your mala with your right hand with your thumb on top of the mala. Use your right index finger to move one bead from under or over another as you count out each mantra.


The most common way to use mala beads is in prayer. To use your mala beads for prayer, you can either recite a mantra with each bead (like the Tibetan Buddhists do) or simply touch the beads in order to feel their effects. If you are using your mala beads for prayer, it is important to treat them with respect.


Most people choose the same beads for their mala that they use in their practices or rituals. If you are using your mala beads for prayer, you can either recite a mantra with each bead or just hold and feel the effects of the stone.

How To Clean Your Mala Beads?

It's good to wash your mala after each use. You can either wash your mala, wash the rosewood beads and the string separately, or soak a washcloth with a mixture of water and baking soda and wipe down your mala. You can use a mixture of milk and honey or warm milk on your mala to bring it back to life. If any dirt or grime is stuck to the beads, you can clean them with a mixture of water and vinegar. If you have a bead with an inscription that you don't want to erase, simply soak your bead in hot water for 30 minutes or so before washing it. You can also soak your mala in a mixture of water and vinegar to loosen stained beads. When you are ready to use the mala again, simply wash it with soap and water, rinse it off, and hang it up to dry.

Dream Of Stones

Cleaning and maintaining mala beads is easy and detailed but it is getting the genuine ones that takes energy. You can get them with us at Dream of Stones. The best beads are sold for your prayers and meditation. Get in touch with us at

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