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What is the difference between Yoga Teacher and Yoga Instructor?

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Most often you will read Yoga Teacher Training Courses and how to become a Yoga Teacher while often you will also see Yoga Instructors.

What is the difference between a Yoga Teacher and a Yoga Instructor?

Is there any difference? Let’s look at it. 

Who is a Yoga Instructor? 

A Yoga Instructor is the one who instructs his/her students as the name defines. During his Yoga Instructor’s course, he must have learnt the ways to practice the asanas and will teach the same.

But a Yoga Teacher will adapt his teaching to his student’s abilities and limitations. 

Yoga Instructor gives a class based on what he knows. A Yoga Teacher teaches what is needed for the student in front of him. 

A Yoga instructor teaches each individual class. Therefore, if you have missed a class today, no worries as you can attend another class tomorrow. Each of his classes is different from one another. 

Yoga Instructor’s knowledge is limited. It is based on what he has learnt from his Yoga Teacher. 

Who is a Yoga Teacher? 

A Yoga Teacher designs this class keeping multiple classes in mind. What he is teaching today has a connection to what he is teaching tomorrow or next week.

As each asana in a particular class is connected to each other, each class is connected with each other and you will realise how he could prepare you before you attempt some complicated asanas. 

Therefore, a Yoga teacher does not just teach you, he prepares you to receive what he tries to share. A Yoga instructor won’t be capable of these skills. 

If you are becoming a Yoga Teacher, one of the main skills you should have is adaptability.

You should not be teaching the techniques, rather teaching the student in front with the techniques you have. 

You are able to analyze the abilities and limitations of the student and adapt your knowledge to help the student. In this case, you are a Yoga Teacher. 

Is Yoga Teacher a Guru? 

A Yoga Teacher, of course, is wise, knowledgeable as well as a good human being, do not confuse him to be a Guru.

From the level of Yoga Instructor to a Yoga Teacher and then to a Guru, each of these phases is a long journey. 

A guru is one who doesn’t teach. He knows that nothing can be taught. You can only be prepared for the reception.

Guru is a guide. He exists. He is beyond the teacher-student relationship. His existence is enough to make you realise what can’t be learned.

This is beyond learning. You realise that there is nothing to learn. You do not add more knowledge, but you can become the knowledge.

This path is shown by the Guru. He is different, beyond Yoga Teachers and Yoga Instructors’ dimension.  

What is RYT then?

RYT is a trademark of Yoga Teachers registered with Yoga Alliance. It simply means “Registered Yoga Teacher” and offers you a place in the directory of Yoga Teachers registered with Yoga Alliance. 

To be a Registered Yoga Teacher, you must have studied in a Yoga School that is registered with Yoga Alliance as RYS (Registered Yoga School). 

Yoga is not a mass practice. It is an individual practice guided by the Guru.

As it has spread across the world, we have started creating new structures and new presentation methods which led to the creation of Yoga Alliance. 

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