Make Your Own Meditation Bracelets in 5 Easy Steps!
Meditation bracelets, also known as malas are a wonderful tool for helping children learn to meditate. The purpose of the bracelet is to use the beads on the bracelet as a counting mechanism during a meditation practice known as mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase that you can repeat to help protect your mind from negative thoughts. Mantra meditation helps you to focus, concentrate, and feel more calm.
A traditional mala has 108 beads. For a meditation bracelet with children, I recommend 27 beads, which is a multiple of 108. On the bracelet is a “special” bead, known in sanskrit as the Guru bead. Including the Guru bead, the bracelet will have a total of 28 beads.
To make your own meditation bracelet, you will need:
cut the elastic string to approximately 12 inches. Tie a knot in one end; make sure the knot is large enough that the beads will not fall off.
Pick out 27 beads and string them onto the elastic in any order you’d like.
Tie the two ends of the elastic together and knot 2-3 times. Then put one “special” bead on the end of the elastic (the part that’s already been knotted).
Knot the two parts of the elastic together again, fixing the “special bead” to the bracelet.
Cut off excess elastic off the ends. Voila - your meditation bracelet is ready to use!
Once you have created your meditation bracelet, you can use it to practice mantra meditation. To use the meditation bracelet for meditation practice, start by holding the bracelet in your dominant hand. Lay it over your middle finger, point your index finger out, and use your thumb to push the beads. Always start with the bead next to the Guru bead. Do not touch the Guru bead, it is a placemarker to let you know when you have gotten all the way around the bracelet. When you make it back to the bead on the other side of the Guru bead, start pushing the beads backwards with your thumb to circle back to the original bead. Each time you push a bead with your thumb, you will repeat a mantra either out loud or silently.
Here are some examples of child-friendly mantras:
Om Shanti (peace)
May I be happy
You may pick any word or positive phrase to repeat during meditation. Whatever you pick, repeat it for 27, 54, 96, or 108 times. Your meditation bracelet will help you keep track of the repetitions so you don’t have to count in your head.
The practice of moving the beads with your fingers helps build fine motor skills in children and adults and strengthens the brain/body connection. Mantra meditation has been shown to improve memory, concentration, and reduces stress.
Mantra meditation is a great way of helping children learn how to calm and focus their minds. It can be done at home in the morning or before bed, or any other time a child would like to feel more calm and peaceful. During the day, they can wear the bracelet on their wrist to help remind themselves of the positive, calming energy inside them.
Andrea Creel, MSW, LMSW, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Andrea is the founder of Shining Kids Yoga, which began as an after-school program at her son's elementary school in 2014. She has been teaching yoga to all ages since 2005. Andrea completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training & prenatal yoga training at Tranquil Space Yoga in Washington, D.C. In addition, she received specialized training in children’s yoga from the Radiant Child Yoga program, training in postnatal yoga from Baby OM, and training in therapeutic yoga from The Samarya Center.
Andrea is also a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) through the State of Maryland, having received her MSW degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore.
She has taught yoga for children at yoga studios throughout the DC area, including Tranquil Space, Budding Yogis, Rock Creek Yoga and Warrior One Yoga. She also teaches classes for adults at Yoga Bliss Studios and is part of the teacher training faculty at Extend Yoga.
Andrea is the creator and facilitator of the Shining Kids Yoga Kids Yoga Teacher Training, a 17-hour certification program in kids yoga.
When not teaching or practicing yoga, Andrea enjoys playing board games with her son, Quinn, singing karaoke, and trying out new vegetarian recipes!