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wrist mala

All About Wrist Mala Beads: What, Where, How, Why

Your hand is undoubtedly one of the crucial organs of our body. While it is not a vital organ by any means, having one does make our life a lot easier. Our hands can be divided into many smaller chunks/ parts, but among all of them, our wrist is one of the most vulnerable ones. It has thin skin and beneath this thin skin runs the radio artery. This is one of the reasons why the wrist is among the few body parts considered important globally and perfect for wearing religious and spiritual accessories. 

Among these, one of the most common ones is Wrist Mala. This simple cultural and spiritual accessory can be seen globally, but it’s more prevalent in the eastern culture. While you may have seen wrist mala and wrist mala beads, you may not know that the accessory was called wrist mala. 


What is wrist mala?

A wrist mala is a collection of beads strung together to form a bracelet. This is the standard definition of what a wrist mala is. However, when we talk about the eastern wrist mala, they are traditionally beaded Malas with a specific number of beads made from specific material used in meditation and prayers. While just about everybody can use wrist mala in modern times, this was reserved for saints and sadhus back in the day. 

They understood and saw the healing and supportive properties of the mala that normal people couldn’t see. This said, most people have a general knowledge of what a wrist mala is. However, very few know the number of beads in the wrist mala or how many are supposed to be. 

This brings us to our next question  – 

How many beads are there in a wrist mala?

wrist mala on wrist

The answer is somewhat complicated as the number of beads depends entirely on how you choose your mala. Traditionally, there are two forms of mala meditation, 21 mantra practice, and 108 beaded mala meditation. 

You can divide wrist mala into two types depending on the meditation. 

21 beads wrist mala

Twenty-one beads wrist mala is used for 21 mantra practice. As the name suggests, this is wrist mala with 21 beads, and there are no variations for this type of wrist mala. 

108 beads wrist mala

Technically there are wrist mala of 108 beads. While there are hand mala with this number of beads, one must understand that wrist mala are not hand mala. But keeping this aside for a while, it is easy to understand the purpose of 108 beads mala is used for 108 beaded Japa mala meditation. 

Now, you can perform this guided meditation practice using wrist mala as well. For this, there are wrist mala of 27 beads and a wrist mala of 18 beads. The logic here is simple if you cannot use normal 108 beaded mala for some reason, why not divide the 108 beads into equal parts and use them to perform the guided meditation practices instead? All you need to do is go a few extra rounds. 

So, to answer the question of “how many beads on a Buddhist mala have” or “how many beads in a wrist mala,” the answer is 18, 21, or 27. On rare occasions, you can even find wrist mala with 54 beads too. 

How to use wrist mala beads?

how to wear wrist mala

So, now you know the number of beads in a wrist mala. The next question you have is probably how to use them, right? If you do not believe in spirituality and/ or religion, you can use it however you want. As long as you do not disrespect the craft, you can treat wrist mala as just another piece of jewelry or accessory. This is a valid option for wrist mala as they are quite attractive. 

However, if you believe in spirituality and/ or can feel the influence of the metaphysical energy around you, there are a few specific guidelines for your question of “How to use Wrist mala Beads?”

Follow the below steps on how to use wrist mala beads:

  • Step 1: Hold your mala in your right hand
  • Step 2: Let the beads run loose across your fingers
  • Step 3: Use your index finger and thumb to move the beads at the rate of one bead per one deep breath
  • Step 4: Start at the guru bead and end at the guru bead. In the case of using 27 and 18 beads for 108 Japa meditation, you will need to go a few rounds as required.
  • step 5: While using multiple rounds, you move the beads in the opposite direction on every even round. 

This five-step guide answers all the frequently asked questions: “how to wrap mala beads on your wrist,” “how to wear mala beads on your wrist,” and so on. 

That said, there is still one more type of question-related to wearing or using wrist mala that we still have not covered.

Which wrist to wear mala beads on the left or right wrist?

where to wear wrist mala

Technically speaking, there are no steadfast rules regarding which hand to wear wrist mala bracelet left or right wrist. This is because a wrist mala is still just a tool regardless of its magical properties. 

In many eastern cultures, wearing wrist mala on the right hand is considered the proper way of wearing the wrist mala if you are wondering why; it is because, in many eastern cultures, the left hand is used for washing the anus after defecation. 

So to answer the question of which wrist to wear mala beads and this broken question of mala beads bracelet on the left or right wrist, wear it on the right. Although you can wear it on your left wrist, wearing it on your right wrist just feels right. 

What are the benefits of wrist mala?

By now, you should already be aware that Wrist Mala is just a miniature version of a beaded mala necklace. Therefore it has all the benefits that come with wearing a beaded mala necklace, just with more options to choose from. The general summary of the benefits of Wrist Mala are:

  • It aids you in different forms of religious and spiritual meditations
  • You can use wrist mala for breathing practices
  • You can use wrist mala as a fashion statement
  • Depending on the beads, you can gain additional mental, spiritual and physical aid
  • You have more options to choose from when compared to 108 beaded Mala

That said, we have gone into greater depth about this in our article about a quick guide for guided mala. Be sure to check it out. 

Where to buy authentic wrist mala beads bracelets?

There are a lot of places to buy authentic wrist mala beads all across northern Asia. The only issue with this is that to do this; you will need to travel to Nepal, Tibet, or other similar places. This is even more so if you want the beads rather than the wrist mala. 

The good news here is that Nirvana Mala is here for you. Nirvana Mala is among Nepal’s best wrist mala and Tibetan mala beads wholesalers; exporting mala beads and many ritual accessories to different countries. Along with the Tibetan wrist mala beads bracelet, we also have Buddhist wrist mala beads and meditation beads for wrist mala. 

If you are already here in Nepal, more specifically Kathmandu, all you need to do is take a quick tour around buddha stupa, and you can find plenty of authentic wrist mala bead vendors. 


Wrist Mala, in essence, is a mini version of the bead mala necklace. However, unlike the Beaded Mala necklace, which has a fixed number of beads and only one place to wear i.e. neck, whereas, beaded wrist mala bracelets can be worn either on the left or right wrist along with a different number of beads i.e. 21, 27, 108. 

Like the benefits of beaded mala, these wrist mala beads have their own religious beliefs that help you in healing, yoga, and meditation.

In the end, we hope this was helpful to you. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.

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