June 8, 2011

Totally Devoted to Tiny Devotions: A Mala Review

One month ago I got my hands on a fabulous African Jade mala from Tiny Devotions.  Truth be told I had been coveting these malas for about a year after seeing them on several of my friends and favorite teachers.  What initially attracted me to Tiny Devotions was the cool combination of semiprecious gemstones and sacred Rudraksha seeds.  Unlike the other malas I own which are made of Sandalwood and tassels, my Tiny Devotions mala has a more elegant quality because of the use of gemstones.

Tiny Devotions hand makes each mala. The malas are composed of the Rudraksha seeds, silver connecting beads and a combination of semiprecious gemstones with one large gemstone at the middle.  Each mala is made with a specific intention based up on the energetic qualities of the stones contained within the mala.  I asked Diana Charabin, Tiny Devotion’s founder and main yogini,  for a mala that would have the intention of luck as I am a Scorpio and highly superstious.  She selected the African Jade mala which contains an intention for good luck, and also has black onyx beads for strength, both qualities I had hoped to bring more of into my life.

I wear my mala daily and use it (by chanting while moving up and down the Rudraksha seeds) during my current practice of chanting to Ganesha for the 40 days.  The beads are small enough to easily wrap around my hand or to count while wearing it on my neck.  Following Diana’s suggestion I set an intention every day I wear my mala to find goodness and strength in what comes my way and by chanting to Ganesha I am hoping to remove any obstacles that may inhibit this process.

What is unusual about Tiny Devotions’ malas is that the center stone weighs them down so they feel less like a mala and more like a necklace.  Every time I wear the beads I am stopped by people asking what they are, curious about the center stone and also about the Rudraksha seeds.  The beads have sparked conversation and wonder with most of my yoga students and friends.  The center stone has a very attracting and tactile quality to it and I have found that more often than not I am chanting my Ganesha mantra while rubbing the stone rather than while counting the beads themselves.  Innumerable people have reached out to touch the center stone and it has a mesmerizing softness that belies its gemstone hardness.

While I adore the look and feel of the mala I find sometimes that my wild and crazy mother-who-is-a-yoga-teacher life makes it a little precarious to wear.  The weight of the center stone often bumps into things and I worry often that it will crack.  It is too dangly to wear to practice and with the large stone at the center I do not find it a good “wrap around your wrist” mala either.  My more traditional sandalwood mala can be worn on my wrist or around my neck and even during a yoga practice.  I would love to suggest to Diana to make some wrist malas that incorporate the same stones and intentions but without the heavier center gem that makes such use awkward.  I know for sure I would be the owner of one!

I am totally devoted to my mala and I have worn it daily since I got it.  It is a source of comfort and beauty; a combination of which is rare in yoga jewelry.  I use it with the intention to chant, to bring strength and good fortune and because I believe, it has worked for me in these endeavours.  I love that Diana connects with her customers to create a mala that is perfect for their needs and checks in to find out if it is working.  The details in the mala, the attention to customer service and the beauty of the pieces are extra goodies that accompany  the personal intentions.  Tiny Devotions is a special company that makes extraordinarily special malas that will beautify and lighten up any yogi’s meditation/chanting and life.

Tiny Devotions mala beads can be purchased through their website and you can connect with Diana for tips on mala use or which one is right for you via Facebook or Twitter.

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