FUELLED BY YOGA
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 and it breathes meaning and colour into artifacts we surround ourselves with and gives and endless aspiration for a healthy way of life.
Even in India, very much the home of yoga to me, and troubled with a difficult time during this lock down, managed to see weekly meetings being replaced and supported with yoga for everybody.
Khandel-Light, a charity I support that 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 and his advice is proving very successful with more people taking some precious time out to reconnect with a practices 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 in mindfulness that I wanted to talk about how a mala can necklace help…
MADE WITH LOVE
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. So when I first discovered mala beads at the beginning of my yoga journey about 15 years ago and 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 specific characteristics of the mala (click here to see anatomy of mala) even making a mala is quite a mindful process. One very specific part is that it is made up of 108 beads representing the planets revolving around the sun which is 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.
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’.
How to use a mala?
It starts 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 ridged 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 is one repetition of your mantra and 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.
SUSTAINED BY LIFE.
Be patient and kind to yourself this is all part of mindfulness. At the end of the day there is no hurry, it 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