A mala originally is a hinduistic and buddhist tool for prayer and meditation. It is used to count mantras during meditation. A mantra is a collection of words, often from Sanskrit, which is repeated several - traditionally 108 times. While repeating, you focus on the meaning and vibration of the words, possibly combined with the accompanying visualisation. By training in a meditation practice like this, your thoughts come to rest and your body relaxes. Nowadays, a mala is also worn as a fashion accessory.