Matt Bogusz, RYT200
Jess: Tell me about your experience with The Sunshine Yoga Teacher Training?
Matt: I was part of the SYL TT class of 2015. It was the first year Jess was doing this and it was my first yoga teacher training. I took it to prepare for another yoga teacher training and because I enjoyed taking Jess’s classes. When I went on a second teacher training a year later and it was basically like I already took it. SYL TT 15' gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this goal and make it work while living in NJ and preparing for it.
I met some great friends during SYL TT 15'. We all have this shared experience and can call upon each other anytime when times get rough. There was so much LOVE that was part of this training, with 8 people in it, the same number of students Pattabhi Jois would have in his classes. We formed a special bond together. The program made us stronger individually and as a group.
My favorite part of the class, the one lesson that has really thrilled me, was Jess’s “Finding Your Voice” workshop. This was towards the end of the training after we grew together as a group. I took it to another level that day. I don’t know what the comments were exactly, something akin to, “Where did that come from!?” This is where I’m still going- being a more vocal, better communicator, and saying what I mean and meaning what I say.
Jess: What opportunities have opened since the completion of your teacher training?
Matt: I was able to accept more new opportunities at work because of this training. I went on to lead team meetings. If you can lead a group of students through physical postures, then you can surely lead a team meeting. After gaining the confidence I needed to do that, and after taking in the spiritual discussions, I just didn’t need to worry about ‘nobody’s going to listen’ anymore, and if they didn’t, at least I tried.
Jess had us write a list of goals and I wrote 108, and every 6 months or so I’d come back and revisit the list. Two years later 66% of these goals are complete, another 25% are in progress and around 10% are not going to be completed. It’s funny what putting down goals and voicing to others can do to make them happen.
One goal I’m taking to the next level, “Learn to play the harmonium to say AUM with”. I had bought a repaired harmonium for the “Finding Your Voice” workshop and let me tell you, after training, my interest turned into was full-on bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. I can’t seem to get enough of it. During the training, I’d listen to kirtans on my commutes to The Peace Palace and back home, and I never quit the habit. It’s how I spend most of my leisure time and how I keep the satsang going.
Jess: What life changes have happened since your 200-hr training?
Matt: The biggest thing that’s happened, has been moving across the country. If it wasn’t for Reverend Jaganath’s “Not my will, but thy will be done,” I would’ve made it this far. Moves like that take as much throwing your hands up and asking for God's help as it does one’s own initiative. “God help me” is what all of the mantras in these kirtans come down to (says Jai Uttal). The scariest part of the journey was when my friend driving the car got so lost in the moment she didn’t see the low fuel light on the dashboard and we ran out of gas on the highway. Every other small worry never materialized. They never do. And what’s the worst that can happen, you die? Well, that’s what yoga prepares us for, that’s what we practice every time in corpse pose, and then we wake up out of it and we get to live again, and say what are we going to do? Better make it worth it.
Stay tuned for Matt's Music on YouTube - Coming Soon!