I've been making mala beads for some time now; actually, ever since I did my yoga teacher training in 2003..I had a beautiful teacher who makes mala beads too...This necklace has vintage crystal beads from an old necklace I bought at the Columbus Ave flea market.
Here's a little more about malas from my teacher, Rachel Zinman:
"Shakti Malas are designed to enhance your personal energy. Unique and beautiful each Shakti Mala is composed of sandalwood beads, semiprecious stones, pearls, bone, Czech glass, rudraksha beads, and strung on a silk thread. Traditionally a mala is made up of 108 beads, these 108 beads are said to represent the cosmos, the 12 astrological signs multiplied by the nine planets in our solar system. You can use your Shakti Malas to chant a chosen mantra or just wear one for its beauty and
I've made one for many people in my life, including my grandmother. She's gone now, but I still have her mala that I made for her and it's filled with her energy.