The use of prayer beads is common to many religious and spiritual traditions.  Known as Malas to the practitioners of Hinduism and Buddhism, we also see them in Christian practice as the Rosaries used for repetitions of the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary, a prayer of intercession to the mother of Christ.

Malas are symbols of the never-ending cycle of eternity.  They are often used to aid in the practice of japa meditation, which involves the repetition of a mantra or mantras.    A mantra may be a series of words or syllables, or a single word or syllable, such as ‘Om’, which is considered to be the source of all mantras, chanted aloud or silently to invoke spiritual processes and qualities.  By focusing on a certain formula very deeply, the practitioner can become detached from his/her thinking process and become submerged into a highly relaxed state.  Mantra is a Sanskrit word which consists of two syllables, ‘man’, meaning mind and ‘tra’, meaning tool.  Mantra can be translated as ‘instrument of thought.  ‘Tra’ also comes from ‘trayoti’, which means liberation; another translation then is ‘an instrument which liberates one from the mind’.

Malas can be made from various sacred woods and stones, each of which has particular qualities:

Rosewood

Rosewood is a very rare wood that is prized in India.  It is considered holy and is an important part of ritual malas.  It aids in relaxation and the reduction of excessive thoughts and nervous energy.  Rosewood has a nourishing, feminine energy, assisting one in developing compassionate and loving heart qualities, intuition and spiritual health.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is used for purification, for protection, and for uplifting the mind, body, and spirit.   It brings clarity, tranquility and positive energy into our lives. The scent of Sandalwood is said to be the closest in nature to the scent that arises from within when one is in a deep state of meditation.  The scent of it reminds us of the depths of peace within our own being, thus having a calming effect when we smell it.  It assists the immune system in preventing illness.

Rudraksha

The Rudraksha seed is one of the most prized gifts of nature in all of India for the spiritual seeker.  The Hindu myths and legends of the god Shiva, the Great Yogi, tell of the tears he cries for the suffering of the world.  The name ‘Rudraksha’ translates as ‘Tears of Lord Shiva’.  The outer covering of the seed is bright blue – the color of Shiva’s tears. They are traditionally worn by the sadhus (holy men) and yogis of India, and are said to have been created from Divine compassion for the relief of human suffering.

Rudrakshas have multiple faces on them, from 1-21, but most malas are made with 5 face Rudraksha seeds, this being the most common (95% of all Rudraksha seeds have 5 faces).  The 5-face Rudrakshas are considered to be all-purpose for spiritual enhancement and attunement.  They have many transformative, auspicious and healing qualities, according to ancient Hindu scriptures.  They are said to bring peace of mind and to provide protection.  They were worn by the Buddha, and Gandhi, and are still worn today by many Indian Saints.  The Rudrakshas with a different number of faces have their own individual, uplifting qualities: some are said to enhance mental power and improve physical strength and well-being, while others are said to remove obstacles, assist in healing diseases, and yet others bring wealth and prosperity.

Researchers have found that Rudraksha seeds have electro-magnetic properties and like magnets, work on the principle of Dynamic Polarity. For instance, you can stabilize your heart beat by placing a singular bead over your heart.

Tulsi

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is esteemed as the most sacred wood used in Indian worship.  The plant itself is believed to be an incarnation of the Divine – a goddess in her own right.  It is said that wherever Tulsi is planted, that place becomes sanctified and a place of pilgrimage.  The leaves of the plant are highly medicinal and are an extremely effective adaptogenic herb.

The malas made of Tulsi wood are considered very suitable for meditation.  It can help to increase love, devotion and spiritual growth in the wearer, thus making it an aid in the pursuit of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion.  Tulsi clears the aura and is reputed to possess many physical and spiritual healing properties.

Amethyst

Amethyst offers us calm, balance, patience, and peace.  It can bring happiness and contentment, emotional stability and inner strength.  A highly spiritual stone, it increases our awareness of spirituality and aids us in meditation.  It can enhance intuition and psychic abilities.
Amethyst is of great assistance in the healing of grief and loss, and can also be used to help with transforming addictive behaviors.  Amethyst is associated with the third eye and crown chakras and can open the heart chakra.

Aventurine

Aventurine is a stone of prosperity, assisting one in developing leadership qualities and decisiveness.  It defuses negative situations, and opens us to compassion and empathy.  Aventurine offers perseverance.  It stabilizes the mind and stimulates perception.  It enhances creativity and opens one to alternatives and possibilities.  Aventurine unites intellect and emotion, calms anger and irritation and helps one to live within one’s heart.  It also protects the heart chakra.

Carnelian

Carnelian has long been revered for its healing, spiritual and creative properties.  It brings out one’s decisiveness and activates one’s personal power, assisting one in focusing and in self-actualization.  It can be used to help one discover one’s hidden talents by awakening curiosity about one’s nature.  It can remind one to focus one’s attention in the here and now.  Carnelian provides protection from all negative emotions:  rage, resentment, bad tempers, and anger in oneself and from others.  It helps banish sorrow or depression.   Carnelian increases physical energy, assertiveness, awareness of feelings, emotional warmth, confidence, motivation, concentration, boldness, initiative, sociability, creativity, compassion, individuality and past life recall.   Carnelian is associated with the Solar Plexus, Sacral Chakra and the Root Chakra.

Garnet

Garnet is a stone of harmony, positive manifestation and confident energy.  It is a stone which brings one’s being into balance, instilling calmness or passion depending on what is needed.  It is connected with the sacral chakra but also cleanses and revitalizes the whole chakra system and expels and refracts negative energy.    Garnet may give rise to feelings of devotion, loyalty and commitment, making it an ideal stone to assist in harmonizing one’s relationships.  It helps one to improve one’s perception skills, helping one to understand more deeply oneself and others.  It is a stone of purification.

Howlite

Howlite is named after the geologist who discovered it – Henry How.  It is called the “attunement stone” because it is capable of linking the user to a higher spiritual consciousness, and it can open and prepare the mind to receive the energies and wisdom of attunements.  Howlite can reduce stress in the workplace by absorbing anger and negative energy.  It assists one to recognize the impact of one’s own actions and behaviors and to remember the importance of tactfulness in dealing with others. Howlite also brings mental awareness, both to current and past-life issues, and facilitates calm communication.  Howlite is associated with the Third-Eye Chakra.

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a “stone of total awareness”, helping to bring conscious attunement to the intuitive and psychic aspects of one’s nature, as well as expand awareness and intellectual capacity.

Lapis Lazuli brings truthfulness, openness, inner power, intuition, creativity, virility and manifestation. It strengthens the mind and body as well as increasing awareness and spiritual connection/evolution. It helps to stimulate emotional, mental, and physical purity and clarity, supporting ones courage in activities culminating in the advancement toward universal wisdom.

Lapis is also used to contact guardian spirits, and is a “stone of royalty”. Lapis brings spiritual love and is also known for enhancing love and fidelity within marriage. It is associated with the throat and brow chakras and can help one say just the right thing, as if by magic.

Lapis is also a stone that protects from both physical danger and psychic attacks. Physically, Lapis is helpful in disorders of the throat, bone marrow, thymus and immune system. It can help to relieve insomnia, vertigo, sinus ailments, headaches, nervous system, speech problems, pituitary gland and is effective in pain relief. It can be used to stimulate cellular re-structuring with respect to both hearing loss and the Eustachian tube.

Moonstone

Moonstones are a member of the monoclinic family of healing crystals. Like the ebb and flow of the oceans and the rhythm of our own heartbeats, the energetic properties of monoclinic crystals encourage life, action, growth, and transformation. Moonstone crystals promote new, more intuitive beginnings. Connected with the moon, the unconscious, and dreams awaken psychic abilities and empathy.

Wearing moonstone mala beads will have an overall calming effect, stabilizing emotions and cooling enraged and over-reactive thoughts. It helps to create a state of balance where emotions can be controlled, which is the foundation for overcoming psychological problems, as well as physical ailments.

Quartz

Crystal Quartz is known as the “master healer” and will amplify energy and thought, as well as the effect of other crystals.  Quartz absorbs, stores, releases and regulates energy.  It draws off negative energy of all kinds and neutralizes background radiation, including electromagnetic smog and petrochemical emanations.   It balances and revitalizes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes.  It cleanses and enhances the organs and subtle bodies and acts as a deep soul cleanser.  Quartz enhances psychic abilities and aids concentration.  Clear Quartz harmonizes all the chakras and aligns the subtle bodies.   Quartz can assist one in recalling forgotten memories, in solving problems, dispelling negativity and in finding capabilities thought to be lost.  This stone amplifies prayers, wishes and positive visualizations.   Quartz keeps one connected with one’s spirituality and brings the awareness of the knowledge that one is a spiritual being, having a human experience.   All spiritual pursuits can be stimulated and amplified using this stone’s energy.  Crystal Quartz is associated with all the chakras.

Pearl

Pearl carries the energy of the Divine Feminine, assisting one in accessing that energy within oneself. It signifies and promotes faith, innocence, loyalty, truth, charity and purity.  Pearl enhances personal integrity, and brings calmness and centeredness.  It is known as a stone of sincerity and can foster motherly love.  It helps one to focus one’s attention, and gives the ability to reflect on how one appears to others.

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz is a stone of unconditional love and infinite peace.  It teaches us the essence of true love and is the most important stone for the heart chakra.  This stone purifies and opens the heart, bringing deep inner healing and self-love.  It is extremely useful in trauma and crisis, as it is calming and reassuring.  It brings love into one’s life and in relationships brings trust, harmony, and unconditional love.  It draws negative energy away from us and replaces that energy with love.  Rose Quartz strengthens empathy and sensitivity and our receptivity to beauty.  It releases unexpressed emotions and open’s one’s heart to love, for self and others.  It brings to us the qualities of self-love, self-acceptance, self-forgiveness self-trust, and self-worth.  Rose Quartz truly teaches us how to love ourselves completely and unconditionally.  This is the foundation for being able to truly love and accept others unconditionally.

Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye is quartz that contains oriented fibers of crocidolite that have been replaced by silica. Tiger Eye offers protection and grounding.  It encourages a passion for life and enhances  willpower. It promotes clarity of intention, boosts self-esteem, and gives courage, determination, and strength.  Tiger Eye is associated with the Root Chakra.

Turquoise

Turquoise is a healing stone, bringing comfort to spirit and body.  It is a protective stone, which aids spiritual attunement and enhances communication .  It can be used on the third eye to develop intuition and meditation, on the throat chakra to release old vows and free the soul to express itself fully, and on all chakras for balance and alignment.  Turquoise is a purification stone that dispels negative energy and clears electromagnetic smog.  It unites the male and female energies, represented as earth and sky.  It a stone which brings strength, instills inner calm and aids creative expression.  It is a master healing stone which fosters healthy relationships, attracts good fortune, prosperity, happiness, and releases shame and guilt.

Yellow Jade

Jade is a stone of purity and serenity, and of wisdom gathered in tranquility.  It increases love and nurturing when placed on the heart chakra.  It is a protective stone which brings harmony.  It can stabilize the personality and bring self-sufficiency, while releasing negative thoughts and soothing the mind.  Jade can stimulate ideas and awaken hidden knowledge.  It encourages you to become who you really are – recognizing yourself as a spiritual being on human journey.  Yellow jade, in particular, is energetic and stimulating and can bring joy and happiness, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.

View malas here.

One of the goals of Inner Path Lifestyle! is to help you better understand the products within the Inner Path Store. Choice is nice, but sometimes too many choices bring a sense of confusion. In this section our goal is to help provide you with a sense of clarity about your options, allowing you to be an informed shopper, confident that the choice you make is the best one possible.

Some examples of what we’re working on include more detailed information about such products as Ayurvedic remedies, harmoniums, incense, malas and meditation timers. In fact, pretty much any time there are more than just a few choices you should assume that we will seek to bring clarity to your selection.

To help do this we’re also redesigning the Inner Path Store and reviewing each of the product descriptions. In each case, clarity and ease of understanding are the underlying purpose. As you see the upgrade, your feedback and comments would be appreciated.

At Inner Path, God is the Doer and the Receiver. Each of you is held in the highest regard. Consequently, we make every effort to provide the best products available and to give 100% to each person who orders or writes with questions or other concerns. At Inner Path, you’re not just a customer and an order number. Who you are as a Divine Soul is of immediate importance to us.

Thankfully, the many comments we receive back confirm the positive effort we put forth. For your review and inspiration, we share some of them here:

COMMENTS ABOUT OUR SERVICE

“Wow. Placed an order yesterday and it is already here today! Thank you.”
KD, Sonora, California

“I recently placed an order with you and just wanted to tell you what a happy first-time customer I am! 🙂  The products are of the highest quality and the packaging was meticulously secure. At first I was nervous about ordering a large mirror and greeting cards, having never ordered from you before and not knowing what to expect. I was afraid they might arrive damaged. But the items were wrapped with such care, everything arrived in perfect condition – all the way from CA to NJ!  I was also quite pleased with your prices, especially considering the superb quality of the merchandise. It enabled me to fill my shopping cart without breaking the bank! 🙂  Thank you so much! I will be ordering again some day. 🙂  Namaste.”
TC, Medford Lakes, New Jersey

“I would like to thank you very much for the parcels that I have received and the excellent service that you continue to provide. God Bless.”
SP, Leicester, United Kingdom

“Just letting you know that the book arrived safely today in perfect condition thanks to your excellent protective packing.”
SS, Springvale, Australia

“It has been a great pleasure to shop at Inner path. Thank you and all the team for your outstanding patience and efficiency!”
LB, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Thanks so much. You give wonderful customer service!”
CS, Chicago, Illinois

“I have placed several orders with Inner Path and each was an uplifting experience.  [Your staff have] taken the time to help guide me to other [products] that can help me along the Path.  [They] take the time to get to know me and make suggestions for books, etc. and I have never been disappointed.”
RS, Las Vegas, Nevada

“Thanks for being such a great resource to us freelance yogis!”
FF, Encinitas, California

“Your service is impressive. I will order more products from you in the future.”
TO, Los Gatos, California

“I received the package yesterday and very happy to have gotten it in time for the meditation class tonight.  I always like to send [my students] home with something.  Thank you so very much for the great customer service on this matter.  It would be great if more businesses would be so on top of things and helpful to their customers.  I will definitely be shopping with you again and refer my friends as well.  Have a wonderful day!”
RP, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

“You are all awesome!  Thank you so much!!  It looks like I’ll receive [my order] in time for Guru Purnima.  What an even greater blessing.  Joy to All of You.”
KC, Chappaqua, New York

“Thank you for the informative response to my questions.  Your great customer service really makes shopping with Inner Path a pleasure.”
HP, Jefferson City, Missouri

“Thank you so much!  I did receive [the meditation bench] in time, and I really enjoy it!  You were truly kind to me – thank you!”
GL, Brentwood, Tennessee

“Thank you so much!  Your customer service is stellar!  I’ve been telling my yoga friends about your shop!”
TC, Medford Lakes, New Jersey

“Just wanted to let you know that I have just received both the OM mirror and Ganesha.  Both arrived in excellent condition.  Thank you so much for your exceptional customer service & also for your note!  Much blessings to you.”
PR, Homestead, Florida

“Thank you so much.  It is wonderful to be given such wise advice.  So happy to have found you all.”
RW, Clovelly, Australia

“Thank you so much for the kind words.  I feel blessed by Master with [my friend]… AND the great people of Ananda!  Also, every time I have an encounter with Inner Path it is grand!  Thank YOU very much for that!!!”
HP, Mountain View, Missouri

“The photos arrived!  Thank you so much again for all of your help.  This is the best customer service I have ever received.  Thank you.”
KK, Fairfield, Iowa

“Thank you for your personalized and prompt service.  I received the Crystal Bowl CD today.  Thank you for the lovely note.  It’s good to know that I’m not just a “customer” with an ID number, and that you truly care about the services you provide and the people who receive them.  God Bless you all.”
VM-B, Whitestone, New York

“Just me letting you know that the statue arrived over the weekend. Sorry for any trouble I gave you and thanks again for all of your attentive help! It’s a beautiful statue!”
AF, Cutler Bay, Florida

“I appreciate how easy it is to shop through Inner Path.  I am impressed with your service and how everything about Inner path is not only easy to use, but it’s just beautiful and well thought out.  A very wonderful vibration and high consciousness.”
JF, Nevada City, California

“I thank you for your honesty in description of items so that I could make decisions that mattered to me.”
WL, Glendale, California

“Thank you for your wonderful service!”
AV, Houston, Texas

“Wow – my custom mala arrived overnight! The USPS must have known I was heading out of town tomorrow morning and would be surprised yet thrilled to have it before then. It’s lovely. Wonderful service all around, from helping specify what I want, to keeping me updated on the progress, to quick turnaround times, even to lovely wrapping in the final package. Thank you all so much!”
GW, Mountain View, California

“Very grateful for your excellent customer service.”
MM, Austin, Texas

“Thank you very much for all of your assistance. A new day is dawning for me, and I wanted you to know how much your help meant to me today. May your day be as blessed as you have made mine. Much gratitude.”
LR, Pittsboro, North Carolina

“I was so excited to find a new book about our Dear Beloved Yogi, and you sent it so quickly I am amazed. I think Yogi flew it here. Thank you so much. Many Blessings to you too.”
MW, Oceanside, California

“Thank you very much for all the care and attention.”
BL, Wellington, New Zealand

“THANK YOU! The green meditation cushion I ordered from yourselves has winged its way eastwards and northwards to the far tip of the Isle of Skye, off nor-west Scotland, so speedily!”
SP, Isle of Skye, UK

“Thank you so much for sending me another [oil[. I really appreciate your help and generosity. I am loving the oil so far. Thanks again!”
CF, Tucson, Arizona

COMMENTS ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS

General:

“I just received my package, thank you. I Love everything! Namaste.”
CA, Oceanside, California

“MY PACKAGE CAME – (everything is BEAUTIFUL!!) – packaging handled so carefully and tight – I FELT the love put into the packing as I opened everything.  I’M VERY HAPPY AND THRILLED WITH THE QUALITY OF EVERYTHING!! Your store has become my main source for my spiritual needs – thank you so much!!  BLESS – (continue the greatness!) BLESSED BE AND PEACE FOREVER MORE – Faithful and loyal customer.”
MLW, Freeport, New York

“You have an amazing shop!”
TC, Medford Lakes, New Jersey

“Just wanted to let you know I regularly tell people about your wonderful site. ”
JW, Cincinnati, Ohio

“You have such beautiful products. It is so nice that the world “became so small” that I can buy from your site.”
AB, Osjek, Croatia

Aum Board:

“I am enjoying using the Aum Board so much. Thank you for making them available for us.”
CB, Los Angeles, California

Buckwheat Yoga Blocks:

“I bought one of the yoga blocks when at Ananda and like it so much I’m buying another.  Great product!  Thanks!”
DC, Cold Spring, Minnesota

 Chakraman Tote Bag:

“I just received my Chakraman tote, and it far exceeded my expectations.  The fabric is fabulous, much like a tapestry, with vibrant colors.  This is great value for $$$ spent.  I recommend it to all yoga teachers as a tote for all of their goodies for class.  My students are all quite impressed with it, too!”
RL-M, Jackson, Mississippi

Chimes:

Referring to Woodstock Chimes of King David – Black:  “Wow, they’re so awesome! Thanks again.”
CT, Fort McMurray, Canada

Harmoniums:

“Thank you so much!! My harmonium came in wonderfully, sounds beautiful, and undamaged. Looking forward to singing praise! Namaste.”
PB, Lebanon, Ohio

“We were excited to receive our harmonium yesterday in good condition and we unpacked last night. It was packaged well with no apparent damage to the box. It all looks good and seems to have travelled fine. Even though smaller than others and very light, as far as we can tell, it still has a good, full, rich sound that we are very happy with.  Thanking you for your prompt and helpful service.”
GT, New Zealand

Malas:

“Just a quick note to inform you that the Sandalwood Mala arrived today in the post! It is GORGEOUS!! Thank you for wrapping it up so carefully.”
NW, Pori, Finland

“What JOY indeed!!!!! I received the mala today and it is Exquisite. I love it already and will use it today. Thank you so very much for taking the time to make this special mala. It will be cherished for many years to come. I will be sure to say a prayer for you before using it.”
MS, Independence, Kentucky

“The beads are beautiful.  I am so happy with [them].  I rarely wear jewelry or necklaces and the [Rudraksha] Mala feels so natural.”
RW, Clovelly, Australia

“I picked up the custom Navaratna necklace at my PO box yesterday. Put it on immediately after taking it out of the package.  It’s totally beautiful, even seems to have a shiny, pure aura.  I didn’t expect that.  Please give my thanks for [the jeweler].  It’s more than I could have dreamed of.”
PW, Sacramento, California

“It’s been several months since I purchased my mala and I can’t be any more pleased. It is absolutely beautiful. The Tiger Eye stones have a beautiful luster, almost translucent in the bright sun. I use it often and keep on me always and it has made a huge difference in my spiritual pursuits. Thank you for having this made for me.”
DS, Utah

“Thank you so much for the beautiful mala! It radiates bliss. Thanks much for the speedy delivery as well. Namaste.”
JW, Albuquerque, NM

Meditation and Yoga Blankets:

“I really like the wool meditation blanket I recently purchased. And the personal thank you note was enough to bring me back for more supplies. You’re one of the few sites I’ve found that carries Kriya-specific items. Thanks!”
RF, Alpharetta, Georgia

“I recently purchased some candles and a wool blanket. The candles are great and the blanket is awesome. So I am getting a few more as gifts. Peace and Joy. Thank you very much!”
PT, Burbank, California

Singing Bowls:

“I received my Japanese singing bowl. It was shipped and received very quickly. The sound is just absolutely beautiful! The striker and pillow/cushion are delicate and lovely. I highly recommend these bowls.”
V.M-B., Whitestone, New York

Yoga Mats:

“Rather than shopping around here in Canada, I shall go with my friend’s recommendation, and she says this Deluxe Extra Thick Yoga Mat is excellent.”
KJ, Canada