Featured Designer | Anna Kimm

Anna Kimm
Erin: You specialize in malas, how'd that come to be your focus?
Anna: The idea for The Polished Gem Malas came from my own conscious intention (sankalpa) to be present, to live creatively, and to share my best self with the world. As a lifelong artist and a yoga teacher of over a decade, designing and making malas was a natural evolution for me. Creation of each mala is a form of meditation and is part of my yoga practice. I love it.

E: I have to confess I know very little about the history of malas. Sure, I know what they look like, and that there's something to do with meditation in there, but what am I missing?
A: Malas are traditionally used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name of a deity. They are said to be sacred objects; tools for cultivating steadiness of the heart/mind and the evolution of consciousness. I highly recommend having a consistent Mantra Japa practice before deciding to make malas. It's important to be in the right state of mind while making this kind of tool for someone's practice.

Mala designs by Anna Kimm

That being said, if it's just for you personally and you're in the creative mood, just go ahead and do it! See how it feels! Take your time and do your best to be mindful as you work. Breathe and relax. The way you feel as you're making the mala is more important than the final product. Beauty will come with time, patience, and persistence.

E: I've got some mala and mala-inspired designs in mind. Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
A: I use the best supplies I can find. I love high-grade gemstones! My opinion is that the higher quality the material, the more effective it is in healing. I use 100% silk beading cord, high grade DS stones, organic cottons and raw seeds and woods from India. I enjoy having a relationship with the folks who supply my stones and I recommend you get to know your suppliers, too. As far as tools, I use a beading tray to keep things in order and see my designs before I begin stringing the stones. I keep it pretty simple. I know that some people use a special tool for tying knots, but I just use my thumb nail to hold the knot in place. Do what works best for you. Choose what you're naturally drawn to and don't over think it. Creativity comes from the heart.

Anna's Must-Haves for Malas:
- Beading Tray
- Silk (Griffin) Beading Cord #8 
- 108 beads plus 1 Guru Bead (per mala) from Dakota Stones
- Embroidery Floss for Making a Tassel (you tube "making a tassel" for instructions) 
- Bead Organizer
- Small Scissors 
- Calm environment

Anna Kimm is an Artist (BFA fine art, 2006), yoga teacher of nearly a decade, and mother of two. She studies Classical yoga as well as Hatha, Ayurveda and Tantra. She is forever grateful to her teachers Rea Mingeva, Ben Vincent and Pandit Tigunait.
You can find Anna on:
ETSY (ThePolishedGem)
or email her at:  
[email protected]

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