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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Mala beads for Meditation Practice

Mala beads, traditionally used in meditation and prayer, have become increasingly popular as tools for enhancing spiritual practice. With various materials, bead counts, and intentions to consider, selecting the right mala can be a deeply personal and meaningful process. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of mala beads and provide practical tips on how to choose the perfect mala to support and enhance your meditation practice.


Key Takeaways

  • Material Matters: Different materials offer various energetic properties, so choose one that aligns with your meditation goals.

  • Bead Count Options: While 108 beads are traditional, smaller counts like 54, 27, and 21 beads are also useful for shorter or more specific practices.

  • Intentional Practice: Setting a clear intention with your mala can enhance your meditation experience.

  • Personal Connection: Select a mala that feels right in your hands and resonates with you personally.

  • Versatility: Consider how you plan to use your Mala, both in meditation and as a piece of jewellery?



Close up of woman sat meditating holding a Mala in her hands
Select a mala that feels right in your hands and resonates with you personally.

Understanding Mala Beads for meditation

Mala beads, also known as prayer beads or meditation beads, typically consist of 108 beads, a guru bead, and a tassel. The number 108 is considered sacred in many spiritual traditions. However, Malas can also come in smaller bead counts, such as 54, 27, or 21 beads, which are often used for shorter meditation sessions or for wearing as jewellery.


Types of Mala Beads: Materials and Their Meanings

The material of the Mala beads can significantly influence the energy and intention of your meditation practice. Here are some common materials and their associated properties:


  1. Rudraksha Beads:

  • Properties: Grounding, protection, spiritual growth.

  • Best For: Deepening meditation, balancing energy, connecting with the earth.



2. Sandalwood Beads:

  • Properties: Calming, soothing, enhancing spiritual awareness.

  • Best For: Promoting tranquility, reducing stress, enhancing focus during meditation.


3. Gemstone Beads:

  • Properties: Vary depending on the stone; commonly used gemstones include Amethyst (calming), Rose Quartz (love), and Tiger's Eye (protection).

  • Best For: Specific intentions based on the healing properties of the stones.




4. Taxus Wood:

  • Properties: Calming, soothing, reducing stress and anxiety.

  • Best For: Helping ground your energy, promoting stability and a sense of connection to the earth.



5. Tulsi Beads:

  • Properties: Purifying, protective, promoting devotion.

  • Best For: Enhancing devotion and spiritual growth, purifying the mind and spirit.


Bead Counts and Their Uses

While the standard Mala consists of 108 beads, other counts can also be beneficial:


  • 108 Beads: Ideal for traditional meditation practices, allowing for the repetition of mantras or affirmations.

  • 54 Beads: Suitable for shorter meditation sessions or for those new to the practice.

  • 27 Beads: Perfect for brief, focused meditations or for wearing as a bracelet.

  • 21 Beads: Often used for more intense, concentrated prayer or meditation sessions.


Setting Intentions with Your Mala

Setting an intention is a powerful way to align your Mala with your meditation practice. Consider what you wish to achieve or focus on during your meditation. Here are some tips for setting intentions:


  1. Reflect on Your Goals: Consider your current life situation and what you hope to cultivate through your meditation practice (e.g., peace, love, clarity).

  2. Choose a Corresponding Mala: Select Mala beads that resonate with your intention. For example, if you seek calm and balance, Amethyst beads may be ideal. Read our guid on "Exploring the Healing Properties of Gemstones in Mala Beads" to discover the powers of gemstones.

  3. Charge Your Mala: Hold your Mala in your hands, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Visualise your intention and imagine it being absorbed into the beads.



Virginia Lee standing in-front of her pop-up Mala stall at a festival
Hi there, I'm Vee! I sometimes hold shopping events and pop-ups, where you can find my little shop and explore the beautiful range of Malas in person

Practical Tips for Choosing Your Mala

I sometimes hold shopping events and pop-ups, where you can find my little shop and explore the beautiful range of Malas in person. I’m always happy to help you select a Mala that feels right for you and your needs. Sign up for my newsletter (bottom of my homepage) to get information about private shopping events and pop-up stalls. Alternatively, if you want a more personalised shopping experience, I can offer a Mala consultation just for you. Get in touch, email admin@venusmala.com for further details!


Or, if you prefer to shop online, consider these tips to help you choose;

  1. Consider Your Meditation Practice: Think about how you intend to use the Mala. If you plan to use it for lengthy meditation or yoga sessions, a 108-bead Mala may be best. For shorter sessions, a smaller bead count might be more practical.

  2. Feel the Energy: When possible, hold different Malas in your hand and see how they feel. Trust your intuition to guide you to the Mala that resonates with you.

  3. Aesthetics and Comfort: Choose a Mala that appeals to you visually and feels comfortable in your hands. The more you like it, the more likely you are to use it regularly.

  4. Versatility: If you plan to wear your Mala as Jewellery, consider its versatility and how it fits with your personal style.



Choosing the right Mala for your meditation practice is a deeply personal journey. By understanding the different materials, bead counts, and the importance of setting intentions, you can select a Mala that enhances your spiritual practice and aligns with your individual needs. Remember to trust your intuition and enjoy the process of finding a Mala that supports and inspires your meditation journey.


Whether you're new to meditation or looking to deepen your practice, a well-chosen Mala can serve as a powerful tool on your spiritual path. Explore my collection of Malas at Venus Mala to find the perfect Mala that resonates with your heart and soul.


With love

Vee xx

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