Mala means “garland” in Sanskrit. A mala is a strand of prayer beads, much like a rosary, used to count repetitions of mantras and prostrations. A traditional mala is made of 108 beads because each mantra recitation is said to purify one of the 108 levels of mind. A hand mala is made with 18-27 beads, usually a multiple of 108.
Behind The "Mala"
Mala means “garland” in Sanskrit. Stretchy wrist malas are often worn as a reminder to practice mantra at all times. Stretchy wrist malas may vary in the number of beads but may still be used for mantra practice. Wearing a stretchy mala is especially convenient for a person who is ill and would like to recite mantra in bed; the stretchy wrist mala is always right there on their wrist. Many people wear stretchy malas as a reminder to be mindful.