Malas for Your Mamas

With Mother’s Day approaching Sunday, May 10, create something meaningful for the special mothers in your life.

As part of CIVANA’s personal growth and discovery programs our mala making class allows you to take home a tangible reminder of your transformation and experience. Often, guests will arrive at mala making with the idea that they are going to create something for themselves and end up creating a gift for a loved one.

Mala’s are powerful and symbolic tools for meditation and prayer. The maker is invited to carefully choose their precious gemstones which are imbued with potent energies and sacred meaning to infuse your practice.

The traditional mala is strung with 108 beads. The number 108 has a range of significance across many cultures and disciplines. In some traditions, there is an extra guru bead which is the last item strung and many malas include a tassel as well.

A mala, meaning “garland” in Sanskrit, evokes a circular, continuous form. In practice, a mala is the devoted offering of repeated cycles of mantra. Within a mala, there is always a sense of beginning, continuing, and completion. This three-form quality allows us to embody the rhythmic cycles ever-present in the natural universe: creation, sustaining, and destruction.

Using Your Mala in Meditation or Prayer:
Find Your Mantra
You can focus your mantra on yourself or on others. Your mantra can be anything you choose from a breath, to a single word to a sound or an affirmation. Through your practice, your mala will become infused with the energy of your mantra and prayer.

Feel The Count
Find a comfortable seat and hold your malas in one hand. Start with the guru bead or bead closest to the bottom of the necklace. If you are using a bracelet, you can start anywhere. Hold it between your thumb and middle finger, then start moving your fingers along each bead and repeating your mantra aloud or silently. The index finger represents the ego, so try not to use your index finger as you count. Try closing your eyes, repeating your mantra, and feeling for the guru or final bead, which signifies you have completed the circle. If you so choose, you might reverse the direction for a second round of contemplation.

What You’ll Need:
It’s important to note that malas are personal tools to empower your journey. There is not a wrong or right way to create meaning – only suggestions. If you get stuck, ask your helpers or your heart for the best next step.

  1. Precious gemstones or beads: gather 108 or factors of 108 such as 54 or 27. Typically people prefer 6 or 8mm. This may also include the guru bead which is said to a reminder that we are always a student of life.
  2. String: you can use a super-ion (S-Lon) cord, elastic (we prefer 1 mm stretch magic), cotton, nylon, hemp or silk. The length of string or cord depends on what you are building and the size of the beads, but 5-8 feet is a safe starting point.
  3. Tassel: if you wish to include this at the bottom of your creation, this is cluster of string at the bottom of the mala which can represent connection to spirit.
  4. Tools:
    • Scissors
    • Nail polish or glue
    • Twisted wire needles (nice to have in case a bead hole is smaller, but generally you won’t need one of these)
  5. Peace: a calm environment where you can truly seal your intention into the mala

Choosing Your Beads:
Each stone and bead carry unique qualities. Ultimately, the power in the stone or bead is potential, which means that each of us may relate differently to the same material. Ultimately, you will know best – if you’re gravitating toward a certain stone, trust your instinct. Here are a few ways you can look at selecting your beads.

  1. What am I trying to manifest or what do I need more of in my life?
  2. Physical and spiritual symbolism of color – it is so frequent that guests leave a class saying, “I never would have picked that color!” When we drop into our heart, it always leads the way.
  3. Chakra alignment. What in my subtle energy body is asking to be healed? What do I want to amplify?
    • Root (Muladhara) – survival and sense of security. Healthy expressions included grounded, stable, and healthy
    • Sacral (Svadhisthana) – needs and desires, both sexually and emotionally. Healthy expressions include contentment, emotionally balanced, in touch with divine feminine, and creative.
    • Solar Plexus (Manipura) – personal power, self-esteem, and energy. Healthy expressions include determined, disciplined, ambitious, and confident.
    • Heart (Anahata) – open to love, for self and other. Healthy expressions include kindness, compassion, open-heartedness, and connection.
    • Throat (Vishuddha) – purification and harmonizing. Healthy expressions include open communication, access to truth, and wise speech.
    • Third Eye (Ajna) – intellectual, emotional, and mental intelligence and insight. Healthy expressions include a strong intuition, quick ability to comprehend, clearly seeing intentions, and ability to see patterns.
    • Crown (Sahasrara) – access to source and unity of all things. Healthy qualities include a balanced life and overall sense of wellbeing, resilience amidst uncertainty, wisdom, humility, and gentle self-inquiry.

If you’re looking for a personal recommendation for your mom, email us at with a few notes about what you’re trying to create, and we will promptly send you back a few recommendations!

Additional Resources:
Here are a few of our favorite artisans, creators, and providers and we encourage you to support local.

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