Hello! The ‘we’ of Chant Malas is me, Founder and Creatrix, Helen. I’m a mama of two small humans, woodland dancer and seaside dweller (Hove, UK, to be exact). I began creating mala beads in 2014, around the birth of my first child, when I become more immersed in my own japa mantra meditation practice as I prepared for my first birthing experience.
I live my life by the moon and am inspired by the goddesses of the world. Both of these things heavily influence my work and craft. I love to pass this on via my newsletters and blog posts over on my blog. I am passionate about honouring the roots of mala beads and, for me, the mantra and the mala are inseparable. For this reason, all pieces come with suggested mantras to use along with some ideas for how to start your mantra practice. I also love to share these in my newsletters alongside affirmations to use, in case Sanskrit mantras don't resonate with you.
I am a trained yoga teacher having completed my 200hr TT with Claire Missingham in the Krishnamarcharya lineage. My current studies include training in Vedic chanting with my teacher Sarah Ryan, who trained directly with TVK Desikachar and his son Kausthub, and studying this autumn for my meditation teacher qualification with the wonderful Swami Saradananda. I give thanks to all of my teachers for passing on their wisdom.
As I've outlined below, I am a passionate advocate of working with charities and organisations run by women, supporting women in India and the UK.
THE CHANT MISSION
1. To pass on my love of mantra meditation and mindfulness practices in an accessible way. No faff, no hype, just high quality, consciously-crafted beads made with your meditation practice in mind.
2. To ignite your mantra practice and inspire you to work with the energy of the moon and Goddesses of the world!
3. To cater to all budgets in order to ensure that anyone that would like to own and use these sacred tools, can.
4. To give back. As part of my Seva (selfless service) work, I work closely with two charities and donate to them in different ways. Firstly, I work with Ashadeep, India, who work with women with learning challenges such as Autism and mental health challenges such as depression and bi-polar disorder. The section of the charity that I work with takes the women in, any of whom have been homeless or cast out by their families and provides them with treatment, work and housing. I support the charity by buying products created by the women. I source all of my mala bags from the charity, where the women create them from scratch (the cotton being harvested from local fields, and am working with them to create a collection of meditation tools such as cushions and prayer shawls. These, like the mala bags, will be not-for-profit, ensuring that everything I pay go towards paying the women a living wage. It is such an honour to be working with these women and I am so grateful for all their support.
I also work closely with Ourmala. A London-based charity, who provide free yoga classes, advice and support for women asylum-seekers, refugees and their children. Please click here to find out more.
THE CHANT PROCESS
Chant Malas are created to tell a story, whether that be the story of a Goddess, the story of the moon, the story of a journey, or the story of an individual (as with my bespoke pieces). My design process begins with an intention, which is then used to guide my choice of stones, and then allow the design to emerge from there.
I use only natural stones and/or seeds that have undergone only mechanical treatment, so no dyes and no heating. Created with integrity, all Chant Malas are sustainably- and ethically-sourced, vegan and contain no animal products or residues so that you can be confident that your beads match your values.