What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga?

What do you call a person who is doing yoga? There are many confusing terms bandied about, but you will get all the clarity that you need by reading this article.

Whether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for a while, it’s possible that you’re not acquainted with all of the terminology associated with it. 

The name given to the person who instructs you in yoga is one of those things that you may not be aware of. It may be complicated, and you want to be sure that you’re using the correct terminology, so we’re here to assist you in figuring it out.

What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga
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What Do You Call Someone Doing Yoga?

Yoga Instructor

A yoga instructor is simply referred to as such: a yoga teacher. People who teach yoga are frequently referred to as yoga instructors, and the phrases – instructor and teacher – may be used interchangeably; nevertheless, the terms have somewhat distinct connotations in various contexts. 


Yoga instructors are sometimes referred to as yogis. However, this is not a word reserved exclusively for instructors.

A yogi is a person who incorporates yoga into their daily routine and dedicates themselves to the practice in order to maintain a high degree of proficiency in it.

We use the word yogi very casually in a number of places. Often, individuals will use this as a hashtag on their yoga practices accounts, or they will brag about their lifestyle. Early practitioners, having the basic knowledge of yoga, might also proclaim themselves as a yogi.

However, being a yogi is more than simply doing yoga; it is also about being committed to the practice and adopting a healthy lifestyle. We dig deeper into this in the following section.

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What is Yoga Practice?

Yoga practice refers to repeated performance of yoga by a person to achieve or maintain a certain degree of expertise. Yoga should be practiced three to four times a week for approximately an hour, according to my own experience. Doing less than that will still be quite helpful, but it will most likely not be enough to achieve the same level of development and improvement. 

Long-term dedication to the path of yoga is implied by the word “practice.” Generally speaking, although not always, you are a yogi for the rest of your life.

What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga
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What Is the Process of Becoming a Yoga Teacher?

Obtaining your certification as a yoga teacher entails much more than just holding a certificate stating that you have finished a teacher training course.

It’s crucial to understand that if your objective is to teach yoga to others, you do not necessarily need to complete a yoga teacher training certification program. However, it always helps to have a certification as you learn more about technicalities of teaching yoga and its impact on the body. It also increases the confidence of your students on your ability as an instructor.  

You may also enroll in a yoga teacher training program just because you want to learn more about yoga postures you are currently practicing and the philosophy that underpins yoga practice and not necessarily teach it.

What Makes Someone a Yogi?

Stages of Development of a Yogi

Ancient yogis recognized that not everyone could live as a hermit or renunciate worldly affairs and dedicate all their time to practicing yoga. There are four ashramas of yoga, based on the responsibilities or duties towards life that one might have. These ashramas include:

  • Brahmacharya (young student), 
  • Grihastha (householder), 
  • Vanaprastha (hermit), and 
  • Sannyasa (renunciate/monk) 

Majority of us fall into the grihastha category, which includes living in a home or apartment, having a stable job, having relationships, having a family, and so on.

Another level of classification comes from Yoga-Bhashya, which discusses Yoga-Sutras. According to this classification, there are another set of 4 levels of yogis. These are:

  • Prathama-kalpika (beginner)
  • Madhu-bhumika (in the “honeyed level”)
  • Prajna-jyotis (illuminated/advanced practitioner) and
  • Atikranta-bhavaniya (transcended)

Using these two methods of yogi categorization, you could develop an intriguing matrix, with the four ashramas on the Y-axis and 4-levels of yogis from Yoga-Bhashya on the x axis. This will help you understand your present level and determine where you’d want to take your practice in the future. 

Once you’ve decided where you are on the matrix, it’s simple to discern which two routes you should go to and develop your practice and expand your understanding. While it is essential to acknowledge and appreciate your present level, of course, it is also beneficial to create a long-term goal for yourself to go to the next stage of development.

What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga
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When you are transitioning from one level or stage to another, you may find yourself establishing a hybrid route that incorporates a few deeper practices with an introspective lifestyle. This is more so for an intermediate or advanced practitioner like a householder or a hermit. 

While you do not need to appear or behave in any particular manner to be a yogi, there are many essential characteristics that all yogis should have. At its core, a yogi aspires to be the most extraordinary person they can be, amplifying the characteristics of kindness, honesty, compassion, and patience in their interactions with others.

A genuine yogi will practice in an organized, step-by-step manner that is clear and concentrated. A yogi’s goal is to study, purify, and regulate the body, mind, and heart for the soul to be freed from its prison. 

A yogi will be on a profound journey to discover one’s authentic self and develop one’s abilities to their maximum potential.

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What Is the Path to Becoming a Yogi?

If you find yourself attracted to the practice of yoga and intend to pursue a career as a yogi, the following are the first steps to take.

Engage in regular yoga practice

Develop a traditional yoga and meditation practice that includes at least three sessions each week, and incorporate yoga into your daily routine.

Look for a qualified instructor 

Working with a competent and certified yoga instructor can help you develop consistency and depth in your practice. Developing a professional connection with a yoga teacher will also provide you with a source of inspiration and instruction.

Commit to developing your practice further 

Yoga’s practice and philosophy include a wide range of topics and are pretty profound. Spend time viewing films, reading books, and participating in seminars to learn more about yoga’s deeper practices and get a better understanding of yogic philosophy.

What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga
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Accept and practice the Yamas and Niyamas 

Make a promise to yourself to adopt as many yogic ideals and ethics as you can into your everyday life. It is not recommended to exercise all of them simultaneously; instead, strive continuously to investigate and practice each one at a time.

Make healthy lifestyle choices to improve your overall health

Examine your own decisions and make an effort to connect them with a lifestyle of serenity, satisfaction, commitment, and balance.

How Do You Address a Yoga Teacher?

The Sanskrit term, Sri or Shree is used as a formal form of salutation, akin to the English words “Mr” or “Ms.” It is a term of esteem or devotion, which often means “holy one.”

What Do You Call A Person Who Does Yoga
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Answers to More Questions on Yoga

Who was the first yoga master, and when did he live?

Lord Siva is regarded as Adiyogi (Adi = the beginning, Adi Yogi = first yogi), as well as the Adi Guru (First Guru), in the yogic tradition. Several thousand years ago, on the banks of Kanti Sarovar Lake nestled in the beautiful Himalayas, Adiyogi imparted his deep wisdom to the legendary Saptarishis, also known as the “seven sages,” who became known as the Saptarishis.

When it comes to yoga, what is the difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga instructor?

An instructor in yoga, as the name suggests, educates, while a yoga teacher teaches. Majority of yoga teachers utilize the time allotted to them during their lessons to practice themselves. They are frequently seen on their yoga mat throughout the class, participating in the asanas with the students and teaching the students on the proper alignment of the postures.

Can you teach yoga without formal qualifications? Is it legal

Yes, it is possible to teach yoga even if you have not completed a yoga teacher certification program. You won’t get into any trouble with the law for doing so. In truth, there are many yoga instructors who do not have a formal training, but have instead learnt through the Guru-Shishya tradition or through books, DVD’s and online videos. However, it always helps to have a formal certification as it instills confidence of your students in your abilities as a teacher.

Wrap Up

After everything is said and done, yoga is a fascinating and ever-evolving subject to discuss and learn about, whether you are an active yogi or are thinking about taking it out for the very first time.