This week we’re all about staying motivated for intentions we set for 2016. Katie Horwitch, the body positive blogger behind WANT: Women Against Negative Talk, sat down with Blooming Lotus Jewelry founder, Jennifer Ciraulo to find out more about mala beads – the jewelry item we are sure you’ve seen, but may never have known the meaning behind.
Here’s Katie on these mindful and beautiful wearable resolutions, and how to make your own…
I know that for me, coming down from the high that is the holiday season usually means turning inward, reflecting on the twelve months past, and working to quiet the hustle and bustle that’s been brewing all December long. It can be a challenge to shift gears so suddenly, especially when the tree’s still up and there may or may not still be gingerbread men in the fridge calling my name (no comment). I love the holidays and hate for them to end… which is why it’s extra important for me to surround myself with things that remind me of who I am and where I’m going in order to prep for an intention-filled new year.
Blooming Lotus Jewelry is a brand that specializes in just that: mala beads that each carry a special meaning and intention. Think of a mala as a wearable resolution. Malas have been used for centuries to help their owners set intentions, meditate in the moment and get in touch with what they truly want to manifest in their lives. Just wearing my mala makes me feel more grounded in who I am, and gives me a visual reminder to keep my daily intentions in check – quite the feat for just a little string of beads.
I recently sat down with Blooming Lotus’ lovely founder Jennifer Ciraulo to find out more about the malas I love so much – and how you can DIY your own for the brand new year.
Mala beads recently have been surfacing all over the place as a beautiful fashion accessory. But there’s so much more to a mala than a stylish beaded necklace with a bohemian vibe. Mala, meaning “garland” in Sanskrit, have been used for centuries for meditation and prayer. Traditionally, a mala has 108 beads, which assists in counting your mantras during Japa meditation. You’ll often see gemstones as part of (or all) of the 108 beads. Each gemstone adds meaning. Once learning of their special meaning, people are drawn to them even more. Wearing your mala around your neck or wrist serves as a gentle reminder of what your intentions and goals are. A glance or holding it in your hand can bring it back to you, your dreams, and where you want to be.
KATIE HORWITCH: What’s the significance of 108 beads?
JENNIFER CIRAULO: It is said that there are 108 reasons why 108 is a sacred number. Here are just a few:
-it is said that there are 108 energy lines that converge to form the heart chakra.
-it is said that there are 108 Indian Goddess names
-the diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth
-there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet…each having a masculine and feminine (Shiva and Shakti). 54 times 2 is 108.
-in astrology, silver is thought to represent the moon…the atomic weight of the silver is 108.
KH: What is the Guru bead?
JC: The Guru bead represents your teacher(s) in life and also the teacher within yourself. During a Japa meditation cycle, this is where you pause, reflect and give thanks to your teachers and the teacher within you. If you choose to do another cycle of meditation, you reverse the direction and never cross over the Guru bead as that would be seen as stepping on your teacher.
KH: How can I meditate with my mala?
JC: Mala beads can be used to help keep count of your mantras during what’s called a Japa meditation cycle. During Japa meditation, you recite your mantra on each bead, going around the entire mala to reach 108 repetitions of that mantra. Through Japa meditation, you will become more aware of your intentions.