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FAQs

Mala Bead FAQ's

What are mala beads?

Traditionally made with 108 beads plus a large guru stone that represents the intentions and purpose of your mala. Mala beads are meditation necklaces used to recite an affirmation or mantra that can also be worn as jewellery that offers a tangible (and beautiful) reminder of your intentions.

Why are there 108 beads on a mala?

Each mala is made up of 108 +1 beads since it is said that our bodies contain 108 major physical and subtle energy channels that reach the heart chakra. By chanting or listening to  a mantra 108 times the energy from the mantra permeates both the physical and energetic body. The 109th bead, also called the ‘guru’ bead, signifies the beginning and end of your meditation practice.

Although they are referred to as 108 mala beads, each Mama Mala actually contains 108 Sandalwood or Rudraksha beads plus a gemstone guru stone and gemstone markers that divide the mala into two sections of 27 and one of 54 to allow for a shorter, but still balanced, meditation.

Why are your malas made with sandalwood and rudraksha?

Sandalwood has been used to make mala and prayer beads for hundreds of years due to it’s calming and soothing properties. We love it because of its distinctive scent that instantly calms your mind and brings you into a meditative state. Rudraksha beads are the dried and drilled seeds of the Rudraksha Tree. We love that a tree is contained within each tiny seed, representing unlimited growth, possibilities and an open heart.  

How do I choose the right set of mala beads for me?

The best advice we can give for choosing the perfect Mama Mala for you is to go with your initial gut instinct. Oftentimes your heart knows what you need before your brain catches up, so even if the intention doesn’t make logical sense, if you are drawn to a particular mala it’s for a reason.

Go a little more in-depth about finding your perfect mala here. Or take a peek here to see which one calls to your heart.

 Should I meditate with my Mama Malas?

 Absolutely! While mala beads are beautiful accessories on their own we highly recommend giving mala meditation a try because we believe that meditation is the best way to stay present, intentional and calm during the ups and downs of motherhood. We have also found that mala beads offer the perfect distraction from the “monkey mind” that can make starting a meditation practice intimidating or challenging.

How do I meditate with mala beads?

To meditate with your Mama Malas, begin by setting an intention for what you want to cultivate in your life.  Starting with the first sandalwood or rudraksha bead to the right of your guru bead, repeat your chosen mantra once for each sandalwood or rudraksha bead on your mala until you come back around to your guru bead.  End the meditation at the guru bead by giving thanks to the teachers that have helped you along your path, and setting or reaffirming your intentions. You can also hold your mala during a silent meditation and let it absorb the peace of the practice.

I've heard about mala breakthroughs, what are they?

A mala breaking is considered a sign of karmic progression and is something to be fully celebrated. Gemstones have a way of releasing you when they are no longer useful, and a broken mala can symbolise lessons learned and new beginnings. It has done its work. After having a mala breakthrough it is recommended to sit and meditate on the original description and intentions of the mala and process any breakthroughs or progression. Learn more about mala breakthroughs here.

How do I cleanse my mala beads?

Because gemstones absorb and emit energy, it is important to cleanse them if they feel heavy or "off". How often you cleanse your mala will depend on how often you wear them, and the situations you encounter.

If you encounter a lot of negative energy, many people touch or wear your mala, or you deal with a lot of stress, it is a good idea to cleanse your mala. Think of cleansing your mala as hitting the reset button on the healing properties of your stones. You can cleanse your mala with moonlight, or by burning white sage, palo santo or sweet grass.

To cleanse your mala by moonlight  leave place them outside or in a windowsill to absorb the cleansing energy of the moon (full moons work best for recharging crystals). 

To cleanse with sage or palo santo place your sage or palo santo onto a fireproof plate and light it. Blow gently on the flame to allow it to smoulder. Take your hand and waft the smoke around your mala beads with the intention of clearing any negative energy.

No matter which way you choose to cleanse your malas be sure to take the time to sit with them and set your intentions after cleansing. 

Shop FAQ's

How much does shipping cost?

All orders over $100 in the US receive free tracked standard shipping, and all Canadian and International orders receive free standard shipping. All orders under $100 ship for a flat rate of $6 to the US for standard tracked shipping and $5 Internationally and in Canada for standard shipping. For expedited options and more details about our shipping policy and timelines, take a peek over here.

How long will it take for my order to ship?

Since all Mama Malas are lovingly handmade, please allow three to five business days for your order to be processed and shipped. If you need your order ASAP give us a shout at hello@mamamalas.com and we will do our best to help you out.

Can I return or exchange if something isn't right for me?

Absolutely! We want you to adore your Mama Mala and if you receive it and think you may have chosen the wrong one, just send us an email and we will work out an exchange or refund for you.

Due to the energetic nature of our malas and gemstone bracelets, we are only able to accept unworn malas and bracelets with the tags still attached in the same condition they were received for refunds or exchange.

Learn more about our refund and exchange policy here.

What do I do if my item breaks?

All Mama Malas are guaranteed against breakage for six months from the date of purchase. If your Mama Mala breaks within six months of purchase, send it back to us and it will be restrung and sent back to you free of charge. After six months your Mama Malas can be restrung for a restringing fee of $25 which includes return shipping and the replacement of any missing beads.

Mala beads are delicate by nature, and although your Mama Malas are made to withstand up to 20lbs of pressure, much loved Mama Malas may need to be restrung as the beads wear against the cord over time. Whether you choose to wear your restrung mala beads will depend on the reason for the break and your intentions.  To learn more about mala breakthroughs click here.

 How do you wrap everything for shipping?

Each Mama Mala and Gemstone Intention bracelet arrives in a soft logo pouch with a description card and additional information about why each stone was used. The pouch is then wrapped in tissue paper and secured with gold and white twine ready for gift giving.

We also include a care card with additional information about our warranty and how your purchase supports the distribution of a Clean Delivery Kit to a mother in need through our partnership with UNFPA

 There was a mala/bracelet on your site that I loved and is now gone. Any chance it will come back?

Unfortunately once a product has been discontinued it is usually gone for good. Since we deal with smaller and unique stonecutters, when they stop producing a particular stone used in a design we may not be able to source it elsewhere. Some products do make their way back, though, so we always recommend giving us a shout at hello@mamamalas.com to double check.

General FAQ's

When should I wear my mala beads?

Every day and everywhere! The greatest thing about Mama Malas is that they are a tangible reminder of your intentions, goals and desires. When you keep them close, you are constantly reminded of where you want to go, and are able to act intentionally from a place of clarity.  They are also a great compliment to your yoga practice, so be sure to keep them at the foot of your mat to soak up the energy of your practice. That being said, due to their nature, we don't recommend wearing them during strenuous physical activity or when you are sleeping.

How large are the beads you use?

With the exception of the Mama Mala Kits (which have 8mm sandalwood and gemstones) each set of Mama Malas is constructed with 6mm sandalwood or rudraksha beads and 6mm gemstone beads with a guru stone that will vary in size for each mala. At the bottom of each mala description, you will be able to find the estimated length of the mala as well as the dimensions of the guru stone.

Our bracelets are strung with 8mm or 6mm  gemstone beads. Each description will contain the measurements of the stones used.

I'm not a Mother, can I still wear Mama Malas?

Yes! Although Mama Malas are designed with the needs of Mama’s in mind, they are for anyone who wants to add more intention, presence or mindfulness into their life.

How do I care for my mala beads?

When you are not using your Mama Malas they should be stored in the pouch they arrived in. Avoid tugging at your Mama Malas , wrapping it around your wrist, or hanging your Mama Malas when not in use as it may weaken the cord. Your Mama Malas are a great compliment to your yoga practice, be sure to keep them at the foot of your mat to soak up the energy of your practice, but avoid wearing them during yoga or any physical exercise. Sandalwood Mama Malas and bracelets will develop a beautiful darker colour over time as you use and wear it, that is a completely normal and expected reaction to your natural oils.

To learn more about how to care for your Mama Malas and Gemstone Intention Bracelets click here.

How do I restore the scent of my sandalwood beads?

Over time due to perfumes, natural oils, lotions and body washes you might notice that the sandalwood in your mala or bracelet isn’t smelling as strongly as it did when you received it.

To restore the scent, you can polish the beads with a tiny bit of sandalwood oil, lightly rub the surface with a very fine grit sandpaper or store it in an air proof container or bag for a few days.

Your mala will retain its beautiful scent longer if it is kept in its storage pouch between uses.

Are you looking for brand ambassadors? Can I submit my own Mala Story?

Although we aren’t currently looking for brand ambassadors we absolutely LOVE seeing photos of you using your Mama Malas. It makes us so happy to see how you are incorporating your Mama Malas into your life and seeing how much they are loved (seriously, it’s the best).

Be sure to tag us in your photos or use the hashtag #mymamamalas for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts and be entered into our monthly draw for a $108 store credit.

We would also love to hear from you if you would like to submit your own Mala Story. Please contact us at hello@mamamalas.com with the subject line Mala Stories Submission. 

How are you associated with United Nations Population Fund? 

We are so excited that we are in an official partnership with UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund, to provide a Clean Delivery Kit to a Mother in need for every Mama Mala sold. Every single one. That means that with every Mama Mala you buy a Clean Delivery Kit will be purchased and delivered to a woman in a crisis or disaster setting.

We believe so strongly that the last thing a woman needs to be worried about is a safe place to give birth, which is why we are so excited about the tangible benefits that this partnership provides.

Learn more about our partnership with UNFPA and how your purchase can save a life here.


 Have a question we didn't answer here? Send us a message at hello@mamamalas.com  we would love to help!