So yesterday (Sunday) was a really mixed day... Great morning, great lunch with my boyfriend's parents. But then kind of a crappy afternoon with a lot of anxiety and a racing mind. But then in the evening I went to a really really good yoga class. It was a Vinyasa class but very slow and focused on proper alignment and opening of the chest (just what I needed!). Then I cycled home under a starry sky and right then, right there everything felt just perfect.
Recently I've started to get into japa meditaion using a mala. This is an excellent way to quiet the mind and really concentrate on the meditation. I use a rudraksha mala from Mala Spirit.
Japa meditation is a form of meditation when you recite a mantra in a repetitive manner. Using a mala whilst reciting helps with focus and to keep count of how many times the mantra is repeated. For those of you who don't know a mala is string of beads (similar to a rosary) that usually has 108 beads, which is considered a sacred number. They also usually have a 109th bead with a tassel hanging from it, which is called the guru bead.
Which mantra to use varies and is a personal choice. A mantra can be anything from a single word to a long phrase. I always use Kundalini yoga mantras but you could also use other mantras or even affirmations. For each bead of the mala you recite the entire mantra (so not one word per bead if you're using a longer mantra). The mantra can be repeated quietly in the head, whispered or chanted out loud.
There seems to be many ways to use a mala, but this is how I do it:
Sit up comfortably with a straight spine. Hold the mala in the left hand and use the right hand to rotate the mala. Hold the first bead to the left of the guru bead between the thumb and the middle finger whilst chanting the entire mantra, then move over to the next bead to the left. When you have repeated the mantra on all 108 beads you either finish the meditation or switch direction, ie in the right direction instead. So you actually never pass by the guru bead.
Hope you'll enjoy! And please share your own experiences or tips and tricks in the comments below.
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