Just One Arrow

“One arrow. Thousands of arrows.”

As it was explained to me by my teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker- the first arrow is the cause of pain. Thousands of arrows are the thousands of stories that spring from the one arrow which turn the pain into suffering.

Worrying is deeply exhausting. Truly. And worrying is a kind of suffering. Something happens: a mistake, a breakup, an eviction, a death, an accident, or any of the other millions of things that can go wrong on the daily. Let’s say it’s a mistake and you leave the house with the oven on. You get three blocks down the road before realizing it. The doggies, or kids, or cats, or guinea pigs are in the house. You run back to turn the damn thing off.

Pain is the realization you left the oven on. Suffering- the three block walk with all of the ‘what if’ scenarios playing out in your mind; the dramatic reenactment -pointing out that the house could have burned down with the doggies, or the kids, or cats, or guinea pigs not just to your mom, but your partner and your brother; the echoes and echoes of retelling it to yourself the rest of the day and playing out all the gnarly possibilities.

This teaching has been with me all week. Is there something to be done about worrying? And if there were, wouldn’t you want to know the secret? I know I would.

It relates to the area of our energetic bodies in charge of letting go or release- Apana. But letting go is a frustrating concept and annoyingly nebulous thing. How do I let go? It’s not very helpful.

In order to better understand Apana, we must look at its energetic counterpart Prana -our life force, our intake. We must examine where it is going, along with our ability or lack thereof to direct it- dharana. Because Prana will take you where you want to go and also where you don’t want to go. What I mean by that is that it is a forward moving energy, whether you acknowledge it consciously or leave it in the unconscious space. It will get us stuck in the mire just as easily as it will help us fulfill our Dharma, our life’s work. It’s all a matter of direction. If we are moving through the world unconsciously, it is easy to make the one arrow into a thousand. The more we learn about energy, however, we learn that we can refocus it and bring it to where we need it or want it- presence. So you left the oven on, realized it and turned it off. That can be it. End of story. One arrow.

The more stimulus we take in, the more Prana we exhaust because once we see something, we can’t unsee it. Which means that the only way for that thing to move through our systems is to process it. If it stays in our system unprocessed, it sticks in there somewhere. Think of it as gaining energetic weight. If stimulus is good, we need to digest it and secrete it. So think of all the information we are ingesting everyday, constantly, through our senses. Not just in the cities we live in, but television social media, music, images, gossip, conversations…

Imagine how much more energy we would all have if we took better care of what we fed our senses. It can be nourishment, after all. What we are putting in our line of vision, what we are touching, tasting, listening to. Which would in turn affect what and how we are saying things, to ourselves and to others. And most importantly, it would help us wrangle and work with our worry as we’d be able to distinguish one arrow from the thousand arrows. What would life be like if we didn’t worry so much?!?!

Balance is born in and of the natural world. Where samsaras, cycles, play out with ease- unfettered. And yoga, is this wisdom of the natural world handed down directly from nature through time and space. It is in this way also linked to all the teachings of all of the ancient cultures, which is why many mendicants and sadhus surrender their quotidian city lives for caves.

Now, I’m not saying leave everything behind and move to the woods. As the season shifts though, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and overstimulated. If that is the case with you, take a moment to close your eyes and sit or do something sweet that pulls you out of the fray. Go take a walk in the park, or venture into a yoga nidra class. Find some stillness. As winter fades into spring, take a pause to go within. Give whatever you have planted room to blossom. Strip away the unnecessary part of the chaos so that your Prana can remain buoyant and have a clear charge- allowing you to enjoy the beautiful days ahead.

One of you sent me this which puts it into words perfectly,

“I love listening. It is one of the only spaces where you can be still and be moved at the same time.”

~Nayyirah Waheed

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***Wide Awake: Episode 4: Balance, Basic Goodness and What Now?
      with Raghunath 

A Conversation with my teacher, Raghunath, who has taught me the most about bridging the space between my mat and my life:

A Conversation with my teacher, Raghunath, who has taught me the most about bridging the space between my mat and my life:
Meet Raghunath, ex-punk, ex-monk, husband and father of four.

Raghunath born Ray Cappo was a Lower East Side hardcore/punk singer songwriter icon, touring the globe in his teens. In a decadent music scene infested with hard drugs, negativity and intoxication he was an anomaly and a light propounding clean living, positive attitude and vegetarian lifestyle, inspiring tens of thousands of fans internationally.

Since his youth he was fascinated with Eastern thought and took his inspiration from Emerson, Ghandi, Thoreau, The Bhuddhist Sutras, The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita.

He started practicing yoga in NYC in 1987 with the esteemed Sri Dharma Mitra as well as Shivananada Yoga.  The pettiness of the business of music and the untimely death of his father led him to India in 1988 where he dove deeper into the the lifestyle and spirituality of India. He became a celibate monk at a Krishna Bhakti Ashram for 6 years where he intensely studied, meditated and lived the ancient yogic texts. In 1991 in the sacred village of Vrindavan he was awarded the name Raghunath and two years later in that same holy town awarded diksha or the sacred thread, for his study.

Now, 23 years later, Raghunath is an accomplished yogi in many styles. Married with five children he leads retreats, workshops and and yoga teacher trainings especially in Los Angeles and New York City. He is an inspirational force in the community by living yoga and taking the esoterica of yoga philosophy and making it practical and understandable in contemporary life.

check him out at:

***Also, check out new classes on my Vimeo channels


Yoga and Kirtan April 14!!!!
With Miles, and Caroline
Saturday April 14th, 5-7pm
Pure Yoga East
$35 for members/$40 for non-members
All are welcome

This will be the best of all worlds, a hybrid of a led class with time for self practice as the live music plays, which you can choose to sin along to or not.


The Jam (Master Class with music)

All Sunday’s from 12:30 to 2:30
Pure Yoga East
$30 walk in
or to register visit the Pure Yoga Workshops page or just come.


Teacher’s Practice
Brooklyn, NY
Prema Yoga
June 1 from 12:45-1:45
For more information go to

This practice is by a master teacher for teachers. Enjoy having time to practice and continue to hone your skills all within a community of already skilled teachers.


Teacher’s Practice
Brooklyn, NY
Prema Yoga
July 6 from 12:45-1:45
For more information go to

This practice is by a master teacher for teachers. Enjoy having time to practice and continue to hone your skills all within a community of already skilled teachers.


All this plus archives of my blogs along with new online classes and workshops and other resources are on my website: www.milesyoga.com