A Mala is a set of Buddhist prayer beads that come in different colors and consist of various elements. It is usually used to help focus the mind during meditation and to count mantras.
Making your own Mala can in itself be a form of meditative practice, and you can also create your own personal meaning for each project. There are various elements that you can utilize to make a Mala. These include glass beads, crystal-smoothened stones, wood beads, feather, leather, and strings.
These things will make your Mala unique. However, despite varying meanings and elements, a Mala typically has a total of 108 beads with a focus bead at the head.
The focus bead is called a Guru bead, and it holds all the energy created during your meditation. When reciting your intentions, the Guru bead should not be counted; it should not be passed over as well if you are reciting more than one round (108) of mantras.
The Guru bead could be used as reference for your starting point. When starting your meditation, you can begin from the left or right of the Guru bead. Hold the bead and spin it using your thumb and middle finger, as you state your mantra. Move on to the next bead and repeat this until you reach the Guru bead.
If you wish to do another round of meditation, you can start at the bead you ended with and work your way back to the very first bead that you began with.
Interested to learn more about making your own Mala? Soham Yoga & Wellness has an awesome Mala workshop that you could join. Their class tackles the history and meaning of Mala beads including modern interpretation, and they can teach you how to make your own Mala as well. Sign up for the Mala workshop through this page: bit.ly/2CMvuRK