Mala Yoga – What Is It And What Are Its Benefits?

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Every day brings new set of challenges in our lives. With today’s busy and hectic lifestyle, people have to be on their toes all the time to keep pace with the changing times. The most important thing required is to stay fit and healthy. People often resort to various methods like exercises, healthy diets, fitness centers and most importantly – yoga!

There may be various ways in which one can stay fit, but yoga is the best amongst all. It is perceived as a modern technique which not only keeps you healthy, but also keeps you rejuvenated throughout the day.

Type and Forms of Yoga:

Yoga has many types and forms. One can choose any type according to his needs and requirements. The most common types of yoga include – Raja yoga, Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga. But this is not the end to the types of yoga. Yoga has several types depending upon the purpose of practicing it too. One such significant type of yoga is Mala yoga.

Mala yoga is not practiced by all; the reason is that it does not have too many physical movements as in Bikram yoga or Hatha yoga. Instead, it focuses on internal aspects like controlling your breath, emotions, your mind and soul. Mala yoga is an ancient form of yoga which lays its foundations in ancient times. This type of yoga has its name derived from the Sanskrit term “Mala” which means “beads”. Mala yoga concentrates on meditation using beads. It helps a person to focus on his goal.

The Yoga Mala is a strand of 108 beads which is mostly used for counting the ‘Mantras’ or ‘prayers’ used during meditation. There aren’t specific Mala beads which are used for meditation. However, you can use the ones made out of gemstones that suit you.

While beginning meditation with yoga Mala beads, it is most important to choose the right kind of Mala beads. Always choose the ones which are 7-8mm in size. Due to their smaller size and round shape, they glide easily between your fingers, thus allowing you to concentrate on your prayers and meditation.

Beginning A Mala Yoga Schedule:

1. Sit down on the floor in a cross-legged position.
2. Close your eyes. That’s the first thing to do when you begin any meditation class. Keep them closed until the end of the session.
3. Watch your breath. Concentrate on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly, and deeply as you proceed with your meditation.
4. As your mind and body gets used to your steady breathing, shift your focus to the chanting of prayers or mantras.
5. The major difference between Mala yoga meditation and other types is that one has to chant mantras, concentrate on them and at the same time focus on counting the beads and sliding them smartly through the fingers. It’s certainly multi-tasking!
6. Start chanting prayers loudly and slide each bead ahead with your thumb as and when you finish chanting a deity’s name or a mantra. Hold the Mala in your right hand (preferably). One can practice different mantras or the same, repeatedly. Again, that depends on the purpose of your session.
7. While you hold the Mala in one hand, place your other hand on your knee cap with your palm facing downwards. This pose of the hand is known as ‘drona mudra’. It is an essential part of the meditation process.
8. While chanting mantras, your body tends to generate energy around you, which in turn gets transferred to your body in the form of a positive outcome.
9. Once you finish sliding all the 108 beads, remain steady for some time. Let the energy you’ve created enter your body and make its way through your body.
10. Keep the Mala in your lap. Rub your palms against each other and place them over your eyes. You will feel the heat. Let it get transferred to your body through your eyes – they are the medium! Feel a new positive energy inside you.
11. Slowly open your eyes and end the session.

You will certainly feel good after a good 45 minutes to 1 hour Mala yoga session and experience a new level of energy and high. Feel good, feel rejuvenated! Happy practicing!

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