Peggy Preston is owner of not just one, but two yoga studios – she’s one busy woman.
Dedicated to the healing power of Bikram yoga, she’s also passionate about the benefits of Hatha yoga. Not willing to compromise on what she taught and what she offered her students, Peggy managed to open both studios, side-by-side in Queenstown, within 18 months of each other.
It’s testament to her passion and zest for both yoga and life. She simply loves yoga, and wants as many people to be able to experience it as possible, in whatever form works for them.
I’ll always have a soft spot for Peggy, as she was the first studio owner to hire me as a teacher and she has always been supportive and encouraging of both my teaching and my practice.
It’s an honour to finally be able to feature her on The Yoga Lunchbox.
2. How did you come to yoga?
I found yoga in a town hall in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was Ashtanga. I loved it.
I had heard about yoga, Bikram Yoga, when I was 16 from my Mom. She came home looking great after a few weeks intensive with him. I noticed how good she looked and it made an impression on me.
3. When did the yoga bug really get you?
4. How has yoga transformed your life?
In every way, mental, physical emotional and spiritual.
I think the most profound way though has been the inward study, self inquiry. Looking at, and seeing, the ego and different sides of the subconscious and conscious as they play out in this realm of samsara, the dream/ reality world.
Pretty interesting stuff to say the least and I think one of the most needed areas in society today.
5. What is your home practice like?
Everything, a mixture, whatever I need at the moment. I try not to have too many restrictions or ideals about what I do at home. I used to, but that was before I practiced all the time in my studios.
At home, I start the day with “bed yoga”… yes, lounging and stretching in bed with postures like child’s pose and twists. I set my alarm early to give myself time to wake up slowly and get some good stretches in before I start the day. It’s brilliant.
Pranayama is a staple for me as well as playing around with my music, putting mixes together, and flow vinyasa sequences. I also try to meditate regularly.
6. When people ask you, “What is Yoga?”, what do you say?
Yoga is life, Yoga is a world view, a world view that offers a way of living that teaches the practitioner contentment, healthy thinking patterns, breathing patterns, and healthy range of movement.
When a person is in total control of themselves, he/she loses the fear and the grasping, the tension, the stress. Yoga is a way to live happily and in each moment.
7. What can people expect from one of your yoga classes?
My Bikram classes are dialogue-driven, fun, challenging classes. I get excited and love the group energy of a Bikram class.
My Dynamic Hatha classes are a variety. I teach higher level vinyasa flow to have fun and move and L1 and L1-2 technique and alignment classes to newer students. I’ll use props to help if needed. As well, I lots of core strength and stability and do heaps of abs, side and back work. I am very alignment driven, but like to move in to flow when a student is ready. More inversions and more backbends!
8. What do you love most about teaching yoga?
The students, my practice, the lifestyle, travel and potential to evolve. I love the hours, crazy long sometimes, and easily changeable. I can go to a training in the tropics for 2 months and it is school, a real necessity to building a career and knowledge, and it’s a business expense.
As well, my students love it! They learn as much as I do!
9. What do you wish everybody knew about yoga?
Yoga is not about religion and Bikram is not too hot. It’s just the mind playing tricks!
10. What role do see yoga playing in our world?
World Peace…seriously. If our body and minds are healthy, the spirit is happy. If we are happy we treat our children, friends, parents, animals with respect and love.
Yoga is a path to self enlightenment, essentially, contentment.
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s taken me 2 years to get this interview to you KL, I did it!! Thank you!
Or give me a call, 03 442 YOGA.