What‌ ‌Do‌ ‌You‌ ‌Call‌ ‌A‌ ‌Yoga‌ ‌Instructor?‌

What do you call a yoga instructor on the first day of your yoga class? Know the appropriate terminology before you start the exercises!

Yoga has been ever-evolving and is loved by people all around the world. If this is the first time you are going to a yoga class, you might not know how to address your instructor. Reading this article will help you get a clear idea of What do you call a yoga instructor?

What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor
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What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor? Is A Yoga Instructor Called A Yogi?

No, a yoga instructor can not necessarily be called a yogi. That is because, one, the term yogi, in its traditional form, is used for describing a male who practices yoga, whereas to represent a female practitioner, the term yogini is used.

Second, yogi is someone who is committed to practicing yoga regularly and has achieved an advanced level. Someone doesn’t become a yogi just by knowing about yoga. They must be a regular practitioner and should be committed to achieving certain proficiency levels, both physically and mentally. This involves a long-term commitment to doing yoga.

For someone to become a yogi, along with pranayama and asana, one has to incorporate certain other guidelines like, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, yogic philosophy, tapas, mantra, mudra, and meditation in their lifestyle.

This is the core difference between a yogi/ yogini and a yoga instructor. Many people have also asked us about the distinction between a yoga teacher and yoga instructor. We provide this information below.

You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga Without An Instructor?

What Is A Master Yoga Teacher Called?

A master yoga teacher is called a Guru. It is a very prestigious designation and one earns it only after they have excelled in the field of yoga.

Some may even use Sri when they address their yoga teacher, showing reverence and respect towards the master yoga teacher.

What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor
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Is There A Difference Between A Yoga Teacher And A Yoga Instructor?

Yes, there is a difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga instructor.

Yoga teacher

A yoga teacher is someone who will help you understand or learn yoga by experience or example. A teacher will demonstrate to their students how to perform each pose, they would spend time in observing your performance and would give you tips on how to perfect the pose, if needed.

Rather than only spending time on the yoga mat, a yoga teacher will walk around suggesting modifications so that you perfect your pose and don not injure yourself in the process. Their primary role is to make their students learn yoga perfectly rather than doing yoga themselves.  

A yoga teacher is generally involved in a beginner yoga class. Here the students do not know much about the poses. These students are those who are starting to learn yoga. These students need extra attention while doing a pose and a yoga teacher is of great advantage to them. 

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Yoga instructor

A yoga instructor is someone who tells someone what yoga poses are to be done, officially or formally. They do not explain finer details regarding the pose to the students and only tell what pose are to be done. 

Though they show the pose, they will not walk in the class to make adjustments, but they would interject if someone is doing the pose incorrectly. Throughout the class, yoga instructors will be on their mats and would go with the flow along with their students. 

The maximum class period is spent by the yoga instructors on their mat, along with providing instructions to their students about every pose basic alignment.

But a yoga instructor knows each pose and will convey to the students the benefits of a pose and explain the muscle that is engaged while doing the pose. An instructor does not give individual attention during his yoga class.

Typically, online yoga classes would be led by a yoga instructor. A yoga instructor also guides advanced or intermediate students who have basic knowledge of poses that they perform and are already aware of how to hold the basic poses. For such level of students, the instructor has to make small modifications suiting the student’s needs. In case of complicated and advanced asanas, the instructor will take a teaching role, but the percentage of instructions is more.

Even if a teacher seems better than an instructor or vice versa, you should understand that both will change their roles based on the necessity at that point in time.

What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor
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What Are A Yoga Teacher’s Traits?

  • They have to create the right yoga training sessions which are appropriate for the student’s level. Because once the flow is created, the teacher has to demonstrate and describe the yoga poses that the students perform.
  • They should be able to make the students make the proper adjustments for getting the perfect pose alignments. This will help if anyone is undergoing some treatment or is suffering from pains or injuries.
  • A yoga teacher is also responsible for ensuring the surroundings or the space where yoga is taught feels safe, and distraction-free. This will help them reap maximum benefits from the yoga session. A yoga instructor should ensure that the studio which they chose should not have very brightly painted or distracting walls as it could impact your concentration and meditation.

How Can One Become A Yoga Teacher? 

Becoming a yoga teacher is based on your level of skill and experience. To become a certified yoga teacher you need to have undergone a training program.

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How Can One Become A Yoga Instructor?

Along with a knowledge of asana, and passion for yoga, someone who is looking to become a yoga instructor must also consider the following:

  • Becoming a yoga instructor is not only about perfecting your own stance, but you all need to have the skill to guide your students and help them perfect their poses. You need to be a patient instructor and should be able to explain how to get into an asana or get out of it, to your pupils who might be at different proficiency levels. This trait might not come to many of us naturally and would be taught during your teacher training session.
  • To get a certification you need a minimum of 200 hour teacher training course in yoga. You could also opt for 300-hour or 500-hour training. You should obtain training from an institute accredited with Yoga Alliance USA. A certificate from Yoga Alliance does not expire but it can lapse if you don’t continue to meet their minimum requirements. With competition of this training, you can use the RYT trademark against your name. This is a certification for fitness studios in the US that the instructor has completed minimum education levels.
  • Finally, while going for training, pick a teacher training program that matches your interest the most. Some of the popular teacher training sessions are:
    • Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program
    • Yin Yoga Teacher Training program
    • Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training program
    • Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training program
    • Kids yoga teacher training program

Note that you need to practice yourself before teaching yoga as an instructor. Doing a 200-hour certification is not easy, and it will take time for you to understand all aspects of becoming a yoga instructor, from perfecting yoga asanas to understanding the human anatomy to managing a class.

What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of RYT?

RYT stands for Registered Yoga Teacher. You can become an RYT if your training and teaching experience matches the requirements of Yoga Alliance. They do not certify any teachers, but they maintain a directory.

What is Yoga Alliance?

It is a nonprofit professional and membership trade organization that is US based. They are not a certification program, but they will list the teachers who meet their teaching experience requirements and have completed the training at Registered Yoga School.

How do you greet a yoga teacher?

You can greet your yoga teacher with a ‘Namaste‘. Ideally, for doing a Namaste, you need to fold your hands and bend a little, while saying the word out-loud. Folding the hands for Namaste in a prayer-like position called Anjali Mudra.

When you enter your yoga class, remove your shoes and refrain from making too much noise. Avoid speaking on the phone. The idea is to maintain a calm and quite environment that is conducive for a yoga practice.  

Also, carry your yoga mat. A yoga mat provides you with the required level of cushion while still ensuring that you stay connected to the ground.

Also, after the class ends, greet the instructor of the class with a Namaste again, indicating an end of practice and gratitude for their service.

What is a yoga lover called?

Any person who loves yoga and regularly practices poses can be called a yoga enthusiast or yoga practitioner.

What are female yoga practitioners called?

Female yoga instructors who are masters in their field are known as “Yogini.” It is a formal term of respect used for female instructors or Buddhist Spiritual Teachers. 

What Do You Call A Yoga Instructor
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Wrap Up

A good yoga instructor must show authenticity in the personality, have a true passion and energy for teaching, along with a positive attitude. Reading this article gives a clear idea that there is no standard way a yoga instructor is called or addressed. Common terms like yogi/ yoga instructor/ yoga teacher are used to address them. 

Hoping that our article has helped you understand another facet of yoga. Waiting to hear your reviews through the comment section below.

Happy Yoga!