What are Yoga Malas?

By Suzanne Sabourin RYT 200 Forward by Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500

This week, we are going to take a break from our Cancer: a Survival Story  Mini Series by Marcia Dorris (which, if you haven’t read yet, you HAVE to start here with the Part 1 and work your way through.  This mini-series is equal parts informative, inspirational, and every bit a good read since the “C” word is so prevalent in today’s society.)  Instead of that story, I wanted to tell you about a pretty cool event that is coming up in the studio on December 2nd.

The Making of Yoga Malas

Every Semester of our 200 Hr Certified Yoga Teacher Training , one of the most popular weekend modules is when we cover Mala Beads.  Usually, this is done towards the end of the semester and it acts sort of like a celebration of all of our hard work, but also as an opportunity to learn a little more about the history and philosophy of the yoga practice (a requirement for the certification.)  

Have you ever been to a yoga class or yoga studio and noticed the string of beads that folks are wearing?  Some of them may just be pretty beaded necklaces, but some of them may actually have a deeper meaning behind them.

(We have examples of Malas and pretty necklaces now in stock for you to come check out!)

It is during this weekend training that we get to actually experience making our own Mala or necklace, while we learn what the purpose behind the necklace actually is.  Yes, they are pretty necklaces (or bracelets), but they are also wonderful tools.

Coming up December 2, 2018, Suzanne Sabourin RYT 200 is going to be leading the most recent group of soon-to-be teachers through this now regular event, The Mala Making Workshop, and if you would like to join the fun, we invite you to do so today!  Your enrollment gets you access to this incredible workshop where you get to let your creative juices flow creating your very own unique mala masterpiece (Just in time for the holidays!) and learn a little more about your favorite practice.

Taking a Glimpse into Malas by Suzanne Sabourin RYT 200

Mantra means “instrument of thought” and is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word, or group of words in Sanskrit. For example, at its simplest, the word Om serves as a mantra. The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic Sanskrit by Hindus in India, and are at least 3000 years old.

Malas are the prayer beads used to count the number of times a mantra is recited. Kirtan is a musical form of chanting mantras. It is non-denominational, based on ancient chants, and has the ability to quiet the mind if listened to with intention. Because kirtan has roots in India, most of the songs are sung in Sanskrit so that you can be completely immersed in the sound, with no words to distract the mind.

The magic of the chants can then carry you within. In this style of music, the harmonium, a type of reed organ that generates sound with foot- or hand-pumped bellows, is often played as the lead instrument as the leader sings the mantra and the audience sings it back. As you sing with each other you experience a deep connection with the musicians, the other audience members and yourself. And when the music stops, your mind is quiet.

Join us in our Mala Bead Workshop where we will dive into a deeper understanding of mantra and meditation and their benefits as well as learn how to make a mala and the significance behind them. The workshop is from 3 pm – 5:30 pm.  All supplies are furnished for you, so just come prepared to learn and have fun! We do ask that you pre-register (by 11/25/18) so we can be sure to have enough creative supplies.