A Japamala or mala is a string of prayer beads commonly used in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Shint? and other traditions for the spiritual practice known in Sanskrit as japa. The main body of a mala is usually 108 beads, though other numbers are also used. Malas have been traditionally used by Yogis, Hindus, and Buddhists to perform japa or mantra meditation. Even Gurus or teachers in a specific tradition may have different instructions for japa. In general, mala beads are considered sacred tools that should be used and worn with respect and humility. Rudraksha mala is said to have many healing properties. Rudraksha is said to be rich with shakti and calms the kundalini, thus making it easier to rise. Rudraksha is said to open the heart chakra. They are good for meditation and protection. In the yogic tradition the beads are used in japamala practice to recite mantras in meditation (hence the name). A full cycle of 108 repetitions is counted on the mala so the practitioner can focus on the sounds, vibration and meaning of what is being said.