Peggy Preston is director and owner of both Studio Sangha and Bikram Hot Yoga Queenstown. She started practicing yoga in 1991 at age 23. She attended Bikram’s 10 week, 200 hour, Teacher Training course in 1999. (That tops the list of the hardest physical training I have completed) In 2004, she went to a 9 month, 500 certified hour course in Byron Bay Australia for general Hatha Yoga covering the 8 limbs of yoga. Peggy opened both the studios in Queenstown in 2006. In 2008, she attended another 200 hour course led by well known teacher Donna Farhi. She also re-certified with the Bikram method in Los Angeles with Bikram in 2009. In 2010 Peggy got her certification in Yoga Nidra from Swami Shantimurti out of Auckland. She is passionate about training, learning and what her teachers now, and future teachers have to offer. “There is no price on education” is her motto as continuing education is one of the most powerful ways to recreate and change your life. She is hosting a L1 200 hour TT this October in Queenstown led by Lance Schuler of Inspyayoga. Here is a little more of her journey……
“I attended my first Bikram class in 1999. I had heard of Bikram from my Mom, who had gone to his classes in 1986. She raved about him. I remember how radiant she looked after she had done doubles ( 2 classes a day) for just one week. I went to LA in 1998 wanting to meet Bikram. I loved it. He pointed me out in class and said, “I like you. You’re very still.” Of course, it made me happy and made an immediate connection with myself and my teacher. I felt I had an instant love for the yoga and Bikram. I was hooked. It was a class that was strong and moved like dance through my body from one posture to the next. It was an instant love affair with what made me feel good and what I knew was intrinsically correct for the human body and mind.
Yoga’s basic alignment principles have been very powerful in my own body and the philosophy that defines the practice has been so appreciated and needed for my mind and spirit.
Everything started to make sense with my practice, the cleansing, balancing, strengthening and lengthening of my body. When the body is healthy, the mind can follow. Then our devotion and truth unfolds naturally regardless of the religion. It made so much sense to me.
The Bikram training was an intense 10 week training that started at 6am and often finished well over midnight. Bikram doesn’t sleep and didn’t expect us to as well. It was a seemingly total deconstruction of my body and as I was to find out, my mind. The aches and pains were very intense and the suffering seemed unbearable. We practiced asana over 4 hours a day in a very hot sweaty room and then had classes all day in between. I became stiffer and and every injury I had ever suffered came to the surface and quite honestly, scared me to death. I had one thing that saved me, total faith in the yoga and Bikram.
My journey has included other styles and teachers and they all have added to my understanding. I am an avid sports person. I love to ski, surf, ride horses, bike and run. Any and all of these sports come with potential injuries. I want to be doing them my whole life. So, I do yoga. It’s so simple. Yoga can increase our lifespan and definitely increases quality of life. If you want to be doing what you do now in 3o years, you need to be doing yoga. Yoga is for everyone.”