FEATURED TEACHER OF THE MONTH
Prakash Pamela Wilterdink
Interview by Sarah McElwain
Prakash Pamela Wilterdink came to Integral Yoga Institute as a student in 1999 to take Prenatal Yoga. She completed her initial 200-hour certification in 2002‒03 and then went on to qualify in Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Labor and Delivery, and Intermediate, Therapeutic, and Teen Yoga. She became a staff member and a receptionist at IYI in 2004. Prakash also completed Advanced Vinyasa training at Om with Cyndi Lee and took Reiki initiation with Netri LaLumia. In 2012 she put together the Wellness Spa at Integral and continues to co-manage it with Marilyn Seiler.
What is your definition of Yoga?
Wow. “Define Yoga.” That seems like a big assignment. Yoga means many things to me: unity, love, giving, truth, equanimity in stillness and in action.
What do you love about Yoga?
All the things in the foregoing definition, especially how it helps people find relief, peace in the body and mind, and the recognition that peace is always there for us.
Why do you teach Yoga?
In brief, I’m sharing something I love. Also, I’m a service-oriented person, so the idea of attaining happiness through serving others has always resonated with me.
What are the particular areas of Yoga you are teaching in now or in which you have created your own, special offerings? What attracted you to those areas?
For five years I’ve been teaching teenage boys in East Harlem who would be called “at-risk youth.” It’s the toughest Yoga gig I’ve ever had, and it slays my ego every time. I love them.
A lightness, a playfulness, and a new perspective (upside down!). Acceptance and permission to let go of stuff. As Gurudev says, “Do your best, leave the rest.” When I teach at IYI I look at the altar with gratitude and ask Swami Satchidananda and Swami Sivananda to move through me and give what’s needed.
Do you have a favorite book or Yoga mat or product that you like, something you sincerely enjoy and wish to share with the teacher sangha?
I’m a fan of the eye pillow, for personal use and as gifts. My mom makes mine.
I have read When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron, four times. It really has been a lifesaver in navigating those natural peaks and valleys in life from my own mental perspective.
I love to send cards in the mail. Nadisa (the bookstore manager) picks out the best!
Ongoing classes at IYI: Wednesday, 12 noon, 1-hour multilevel class
Coming workshops at IYI: I have organized many Spa Day for Women all-day workshops over the years but am taking a break from that at the moment. I’m enrolled in the Meditation TT with Kali, Swami Vidyananda, and my first Swami love teacher, Swami Ramananda, and am excited to be a student again.