108 beads.


From an early age I was always drawn to prayer beads. I found them beautiful, and comforting. However, the rosary was the type I was most familiar with. I grew up attending Catholic school, with a rosary always wrapped around my wrist.

My first encounter of Mala beads was in 2008, when I was traveling through, Greece and Turkey, but at the time I had no idea that these strands of beads were Mala beads. However, along with the evil eye and pashminas, the Mala beads were at every street vendor cart.

A year or two later, I began to read the ever so popular book, Eat Pray Love. The author Elizabeth Gilbert, wrote this book in order to find balance and discover her ultimate identity. She wrote the book in the creative form of a strand of Mala beads.

In her introduction she explains everything. The traditional Malas has 108 beads. 108 is the perfect three digit number multiple by three. Adding up to nine, which 3 x 3 = 9. And for anyone who ever studied the Holy Trinity, three is the number representing balance. So therefore, Elizabeth Gilbert told 108 tales divided into 3 sections, Italy, India, and Indonesia. (I highly recommend this book.)

The point of the beads is to keep the attention of the person during prayer. One bead is touched for each Mantra. It helps one stay focussed during meditation. Mala beads have been used for centuries and actually helped inspire the creation of of the Holy Rosary.

Although, I am Catholic, and still have a passion for praying the Rosary, I also love practicing Yoga. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for four years now. Bikram yoga is hatha yoga practiced in a room that is 105 degrees. Yoga for me started out as an intense detoxifying workout.  However, now I also enjoy the restorative spiritual side of yoga as well.

Being Catholic, I have always found the Holy Rosary beautiful, but it is for prayer and not a fashion statement. It actually is sacrilegious to wear around the neck. However, Elizabeth Gilbert, says in her book, that when she traveled through India especially through holy sites or Ashrams she saw a lot of people wearing Mala beads around their necks.  I like the idea of wearing these beads around my neck. I also like the idea of protection and the energy each strand of beads can give, depending on their color or what they are made out of.

With that said, I pray on my Rosary, but I wear my Mala. And I wanted to share with you this company I fell in love with. Last year I discovered, Tiny Devotions, and they make the most beautiful Mala beads.

The founder of Tiny Devotions, Diana Charabin, has an interesting story. She was introduced to Mala beads at her first yoga class. ¬†Soon after she too read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat Pray Love. ¬†After finishing Law School, she had this deep desire to be in Bali, so that is where she went, leaving behind everything in Australia. When she arrived to Bali she participated in yoga teacher training. After she completed her training she found herself longing to be creative. She began to collect the rudraksha seeds of Bali and began to make Mala beads.

Later she headed back to Canada to continue her career in Law. But still wanting to follow her calling to inspire others she decided to yet again leave Law, and start Tiny Devotions, her company where she can make and sell her Mala beads and other yoga inspired jewelry.

One of my favorite parts about Diana’s beautiful Mala beads from Tiny Devotions, is that along with the sacred rudraksha seeds she also includes a crystal stone, or semi precious gems of some sort. This gives each strand of beads a unique personality and an energetic quality. ¬†Watch Diana Charabin tell her Story¬†here.

I own three different strands of Mala beads from Tiny Devotions. Today I wore my Marathon Mala to work.

At work.

Marathon Mala, by Tiny Devotions.

Even some celebrities like Megan Fox, are wearing these beautiful Mala’s.

Photo found on Capricious Yogi.

Bottom line- Tiny Devotions has the most beautiful Mala beads. This company is awesome, beautiful, creative, and inspiring.

© 2012