Life is getting challenging and hectic with every passing day. Many are seeking wellness options to instil some calmness into their lives. Exercises, healthy diets, relaxation methods, spa therapies and yoga bring some balance into their daily life. Yoga is perceived as a great way to stay fit, healthy and rejuvenated. There are many different forms of yoga like Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Raja and many more. Each form of yoga has certain guidelines and specifications. One such type of yoga is Mala yoga. Mala yoga lays its foundation in ancient times. Not a relatively common type of yoga, Mala yoga involves less of physical movements. In this type of yoga, the emphasis is more on breathing techniques, mind and soul, and emotions. Not many people take up Mala yoga.
Derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Mala’ meaning beads, Mala yoga focuses on meditation with the help of beads. Meditation can be a tricky practice – low energy levels induce sleep while high levels of energy cause distraction. In such times, mala or beads provide the much needed anchor. A strand comprising 108 beads is used for counting the ‘mantras’ or prayers during meditation. The mala beads are moved in accordance to the rhythm of the breath and chanting of prayers so that sleep and distraction can be prevented by the action of the beads. Choosing the right type of mala beads is also important. Beads which are smaller in size - about 7 to 8 mm and round in shape are perfect for the mala to glide through the fingers effortlessly while allowing you to focus on meditation and prayers.
To practice mala yoga:-
1. Sit down on the floor mat in a cross-legged position.
2. Eyes must be closed till the end of the session.
3. Now focus on your breath and breathing patterns.
4. Inhale and exhale slowly but deeply.
5. Once your breath is stable, now focus on chanting of mantras.
6. Concentrate on the breathing and chant mantras while at the same time glide the mala through the fingers.
7. Chant prayers loudly while focussing on breathing correctly and gliding the mala.
8. Hold the mala in the right hand and push each bead with your thumb.
9. The other hand should be placed on the knee cap with palm facing downwards. This is called ‘drona mudra’ and is very essential for meditation.
10. Chanting mantras creates positive energy which gets into the body.
11. When a round consisting of 108 beads are completed, do not get up immediately. Sit stable and calmly for some time and then wait till the positive energy enters the body.
12. Place the mala in your lap. Rub both the palms together and produce heat. Place the heated palms over your eyes and face to feel the heat. Allow this energy or heat to enter the body through eyes and feel the positive energy within you.
13. Open your eyes slowly and end the session.
Feel fresh and rejuvenated with the goodness and positive energy of Mala yoga.