Prayer Beads or Malas are a tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited, breaths while meditating, counting prostrations, or the repetition of Buddha’s name or during prayer. Mālā is a Sanskrit word meaning “garland”. Some people also use the term “mantra beads”, “Buddha beads” “prayer beads”, “meditation beads” and so forth.
In traditional terms, a Mala is a strand of 108, 54, 27 or 21 beads and is usually hand knotted with wood, stone or natural seed beads such as Ruraksha seeds. Mala beads are commonly known to be used in spiritual practice of Japa Meditation.
Traditionally a mala is made up of many parts including: Beads or stones, marker beads, counting beads, knotting cord/knots between beads, Guru bead, tassel and spacer beads. A mala necklace or bracelet can be made of one single type of bead or stone, or a variety of beads and stones.
More recently Mala Beads have become popular and used in a variety of ways and spiritual communities, chakra balance, yoga practice, and meditation & prayer by people of many faiths.
Many people wear Malas for reasons other than spiritual practice + meditation or yoga.
Some people wear their Mala simply for the beauty, the energy they resonate, for intentions and manifesting desires as they walk their sacred path or spiritual journey.
However you choose to wear or use your Mala is always perfect in every way.