Stories & Testimonials

Dear Peri & Charles,

Thank you for asking me these past years to teach an introduction to anatomy for your students. It has been a most joyful part of my life and a great memory. Words cannot express my sorrow for the conduct of people you held dear in your hearts. God has a story and I am sure the final chapter will be written with understanding and completion. Mukti Ma told me once, that S.R.F. yogis live 5-7 normal lifetimes in one. I think your and Charles’ have far exceeded this quota. Be of good cheer, and know that your service is and was golden.

Blessings & Joy!

Dr. John H.

Yoga like none other

Charles and Peri Ness DeFay have brought their spiritual and loving yoga practice to Point Arena. Everything about the place is unique, inspiring and beautiful. Classes are held in a warm studio, right on Main Street. The flow is scientific and the founders and teachers are committed to bringing the highest level of yogic practice and enabling students of all levels to set intention and grow in their ability, acceptance and power. It is truly a magical and transformative flow, and the Mendonoma region is blessed to have the Yoga Room make its home here.

Eva T. (August 2015)

I started the Synergy yoga flow practice about 4 years ago. When I started I had very little experience with yoga. I found Peri and Charles and the rest of the staff at Synergy yoga to be very loving and helpful. It only took me a couple of weeks practicing to feel confident and find a good flow with my personal practice. We all start at different places. It makes no difference where you start, only that you keep coming.

I am now in the teacher training program. It has taken my practice to a whole new level. I have never felt better about my personal process in life than i have since starting yoga and especially the teacher training. Even if you don't plan to become a regular teacher, the training program deepens your own personal practice. I am so grateful to have found this studio.

Monkey Smiles, Point Arena, CA July, 2013

The space that you have created in Point Arena is a magical place.
Kelly from Encinitas

I recently visited the Synergy Yoga center in Point Arena. It was the same wonderful and powerful energy I experienced over my 10 years doing Synergy in Encinitas. Peri’s flow and the studios she is associated with have a special energy. It is for me the perfect blend of stretching, meditation, strengthening and release to keep me healthy.

Jeannine M, San Francisco

During meditation/visualization when we are going to our favorite place on the planet, I go to the Yoga Room, the big room facing the mirror, two mirrors from the East wall, the front row. That is my favorite place on the planet. That is the spot on the planet that changed my life. I have been to Rome, Athens, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Hawaii, Guam, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and countless other places on this Earth but the big room, 2nd mirror from the East Wall, front row, is where I found me.

E. Austin

My husband and I started the Yoga Teacher Training program together this year. Our first 10 day intensive was April, 2013. What a blessing to witness the beautiful processes that week. I was so impressed with the transformation that took place in myself and my practice. I patiently await our next intensive this coming November!

Entering the Teacher Training as a couple has benefited our relationship, home, family and our personal growth. I feel it is by divine ordinance that we moved here just 4 years ago. Now we have the blessing of Synergy Yoga in our lives. Thank you to Charles and Peri for your dedication, love and constant support at The Synergy Yoga Center.

Sylvia Smiles Point Arena, CA

Any chance you'll come back to Encinitas and open a studio? This community really needs a hot yoga studio that isn't just about robotically citing commands so that people get a good workout. Please bring your energy and teaching back to Encinitas.

Dearest Peri, what a lovely tribute to your dad. What a handsome guy! I still miss you and Synergy Yoga and have not been able to find a replacement. I am semi-retired, caregiving for elderly clients. I considered my time with you divinely inspired and one of the highlights of my life. Hope all is well with you, Charles, and your little dog.

Love, C.

Synergy Teacher Training opened up windows to my heart and soul that had been closed for a very long time. It breathed awareness and feeling into the very depth of my being. The loving guidance and unconditional acceptance of my teachers and classmates created an environment for us to experience the science of yoga and gave us tools to integrate it into our personal lives.

It seemed like the 10 days unfolded like magic, beginning with the first moment we introduced ourselves in circle. During that circle time, one of our teachers, Charles, had prepared beautiful cards for us with a single word hand-scribed on them. He placed them face down in the circle.

After introductions, he asked us to think about what we would like to take away with us from our training. During my meditation, I thought about openness and transformation. We were then told to go to the middle of the circle and pick a card with that thought in mind. The card I picked was beautiful and it said “Yin.” Okay, it made sense, I am female and yin after all – but I wondered how that applied to opening and transforming. The thought lingered and softly simmered during the training.

After the first few days of teacher training, it became clear that eating meals was going to be a problem. We were taking two classes a day (sometimes) and with a posture clinic in between. I don't like to eat 2-3 hours before a class and our schedule didn't allow for otherwise in the afternoons. So I opted for having tea first thing in the morning and lots of water. After my first class, I had a light snack – usually a smoothy and then didn't eat again until the evening. My energy level was always great and I never had any headaches.

About day 3 – 4 into our training, I discovered that food wasn't really a problem any more because all that I wanted any more was asana and breath. My best yoga classes happened around that time. I felt light and centered. During one class after the final pranayama my whole body felt like it was vibrating and I just wanted to stay in the space forever.

Our teacher, Peri, arranged for our class to go to a Puja, special chanting, and potlach on the second night. It was a feast for all of my senses. When we chanted a mantra that was given to me by my first teacher, Swami Vishnudevananda, “Om Namah Sivaya,” I felt like I had come home. At the end of Puja, when we bowed to the alter, I had to think for a moment before prostrating because I didn't really understand all of the sacred symbolism. I bowed anyway for all of the intention that was in the room and at that very moment I felt a shift in the way my heart felt. It felt completely open and at peace.

I began to notice somewhere during the middle of teacher training that our teacher, Peri, kept saying “lead with your heart.” Unconsciously, I started doing my asanas with that intention on a physical level. However, as we started doing emotional release work with Laura and the Sun Sal process, I made a connection about leading with my heart on another level. It was life-transforming.

About three years ago, I started going to therapy to learn how to grieve the loss of my dad. He died when I was a freshman in high school of a “heart” attack. It was overwhelming for the entire family and feelings were buried and not talked about.

My grief resurfaced after my kids were born. I had home births with both of mu children and was able to stay at home with them. When they were young, even though I loved being a mom, there was always an underlying feeling of sadness. I remember feeling like I needed mothering and didn't really understand why.

As the kids got older and closer to the age I was when my dad died, I became depressed and had very low self-esteem. I still didn't really know why I was having these feelings.

I took very good care of my family but pretty much ignored taking care of myself by not getting regular check-ups or exercising. When I finally went in for a check-up, I discovered that I had a lump in my breat and pre-invasive cervical cancer. I was devastated. But fortunately, I finally ended up in therapy. My therapist helped me to intellectually understand my feelings of loss. She gave me an anchor to help me stay afloat.

It was by the grace of God that I was also led to Peri and the Yoga Room at that time by way of a friend who worked at the Yoga Room in exchange for classes. Peri took me in under her wing and I worked in exchange for classes. I started doing Gentle Yoga once a week and then progressed to Synergy after a few months.

It took about a year to be clear of the pre-invasive cancer. The yoga was also helping me to feel better about myself. I didn't think that things could really get much better until I took Synergy Teacher's Training.

Synergy took me to another cognitive level in dealing with the grief about my dad's death. In a traditional therapy setting, I was able to grieve on an intellectual level. Through emotional processing and asanas, I was able to grieve with my heart and body. I have always been afraid to open up my heart entirely to anyone because of fear of loss; I don't feel afraid anymore of anything including my own security.

I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. When I look back on the past, I can see how everything that I have experienced has brought me to the point where I am now. I trust that my life is unfolding according to God's plan and feel blessed with his grace.

I asked for opening and transformation during our first meditation and received more than a glimpse. Synergy Teacher’s Training has given me tools: asanas, meditation, nutritional guidelines, and especially the Bhagavad Gita as a means to further my personal growth on the path. I am optimistic that the practicum will further help me to open doors, integrate what I learned in Teacher's Training, and to become a good yoga teacher.


Synergy yoga means “joy” to me! Joy from the inside – from the internal source – the god within. It is different from the joy I feel which is received from an outside source (the outside source where I receive joy is through my family and friends as I experience the God within them). But through the practice of Synergy yoga – which encompasses body, mind and soul – I have tapped into an inner joy that I have been searching for over many years. I have prayed with determination to God & Guru to feel joy about being in this body, as I have spent the majority of my life struggling through the process. Not just about being in the body, but with accepting the coarseness of this earth plain – this delusion. It has been very distasteful to me for a very long time.

For the past several years I have been receiving chiropractic treatments from Dr. John Harrison, who has been telling me that “The three greatest Blessings are to have the love for God; to have a Guru; and to have a body.” Well! For the longest time I just couldn’t feel the Blessing of being in the body – I didn't get that part at all!

Then slowly my perception began to shift. I began to hear it a little differently – actually I felt that I was being very ungrateful to my Guru. He has given me so much and I have been whining about it! But the words still stuck in my throat...being in the body a Blessing??!!

Then came the 10-Day Intensive at the Yoga Room! Peri, you said it would transform my life and it truly has! I love practicing the asanas! They have become a path of self-discovery and healing for me. I know that in order to really heal and release samskaras, they must be released from the body. Through the practice of yoga I am healing...I am growing...I am peeling my onion of delusion.

And guess what! I couldn't do it without a body! So, with that, I can finally say that being in this body is a Blessing, and, even better – I have all three of the greatest Blessings! The love for God. A Guru. And a body!

So, what does Synergy Yoga mean to me? It means that I finally feel joy about being in my body and on this planet. Right here! Right now! I am forever grateful!



Yogananda quotes
About the Musician/Yogi George Harrison

George Harrison visited the beautiful Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine often. Proceeds from the re-issue of his 1970 song My Sweet Lord went to the Self Realization Fellowship. He loved Yoga, SRF and Yogananda and was deeply inspired by the great Guru. He kept stacks of the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, and constantly gave it out to people.

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