The use of Mala in practicing Yoga has been around for centuries. It is particularly relevant when it comes to the Sixth and Seventh Limbs of Yoga: dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation).
Holding a counter bead between your fingers brings mindfulness, dharana (single awareness) into a mantra repetition. The beads help keep your mind clear of distractions, so you can focus on what's happening in the present moment. Through practice, dharana lasts for two beads, then three, then the whole Mala.
The mind then becomes still, and a continual flow of concentration is generated. It's termed dhyana when the attention remains steady and continuous. This results in a steady, continuous flow of attention known as dhyana.
At this point, dhyana enables the mind to become absolutely quiet and still.
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