Meaning Of RYT 200, RYT 300 & RYT 500: Yoga Instructor Levels Explained

If you’ve been contemplating becoming a certified yoga teacher you may have wondered what the difference between 200 hour, 300 hour, and 500 hour yoga teacher certifications are. In this article, we’re going to explore the different certification levels for yoga teachers. If you’ve had a hard time choosing which yoga teacher training certification level to pursue, this guide will help you decide!

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RYT 200, RYT 300, and RYT 500 meaning

Yoga Alliance 200-hr, 300-hr, 500-hr yoga teacher training requirements infographic.

Yoga Alliance is an organizational body that includes or registers yoga teachers and yoga schools in their database if they meet certain qualifications. The titles RYS or RYT indicate an association with Yoga Alliance.

If you see a yoga teacher using the following acronyms, this is what they mean:

RYT 200: Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hours
RYT 300: Registered Yoga Teacher 300 hours
RYT 500: Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours

RYT 200 meaning

A RYT-200 is a Registered Yoga teacher who has completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School.


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RYT 200 yoga teacher training requirements

A 200 hour yoga teacher training is a combined 200 hours of study, practice, and contact hours. If you attend an RYS 200 hour training you are assured that the YTT meets the set criteria and has been approved by Yoga Alliance.

The chart below illustrates Yoga Alliance elevated standards that were created in 2020 for 200-hour yoga teacher training.

Yoga Alliance RYS 200 standards

Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training curriculum requirements infographic. Yoga Alliance requires 200 hours of study covering a range of topics in yoga teacher training.
Yoga Alliance graph of yoga teacher training requirements.
Yoga Alliance 200 hour yoga teacher training

RYT 300 meaning

A RYT-300 is a yoga teacher who has completed 300 hour of yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School.

However, you will never see the title of RYT 300 because those teachers will register with Yoga Alliance as RYT 500. Because in reality, they have completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training. They have completed 200hrs and 500hrs.

You must be a certified yoga teacher at the 200 hour level to enroll in a 300 hour advanced teacher training.

As well as the training requirements outlined above for RYT 200 training, a RYT 300 course includes an additional 100 hours of training in the areas listed below. Discover the best advanced 300 hour online YTT's if you're already certified at the 200 hour level.

Yoga Alliance RYS 300 standards

Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training curriculum requirements infographic for 300 hour yoga teacher training

RYT 500 meaning

A RYT 500 is a yoga teacher who has completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School, and they have logged 100 hours teaching.

Becoming a RYT 500 can be achieved by taking a RYT 200 and RYT 300 course separately (200 hours of training + 300 hours of training = 500 hours of training)., or by enrolling in a 500 hour yoga teacher training course.

Is 200 hours enough to teach yoga?

Yes, 200 hours is enough to get a job as a yoga teacher. Most schools, websites, and studios will require that you hold a 200 hour yoga teaching certificate to teach at their establishment.

If you have successfully completed 200 hour yoga teacher training, it is likely, and assumed, that you possess the basic knowledge to skillfully and effectively teach yoga. 

That said, yoga is not a regulated industry or profession. So although there is no law requiring a yoga teacher to have completed 200 hour TT, it is nearly impossible to become employed without having a 200 hour teaching certificate. Discover the best RYT 200's online here!

How do I become a RYT 200?

You can become a RYT 200 by enrolling in and completing a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification program at a school that is a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance.

You will need to satisfy all contact hours, non-contact hours, practice hours, and finish all exams and submit a teaching practicum, as well as everything else that is required by your school to complete the course.

Once you have successfully completed the course and you have your teaching certificate, you can register with Yoga Alliance. It’s that simple!

Yoga Alliance itself does not certify yoga teachers but rather allows teachers who have completed teacher training at a RYS to register as part of the alliance once they've successfully finished yoga teacher training.

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How long is 200 hour yoga teacher training?

200 hour yoga teacher training typically takes between 3-6 weeks to complete when done in person in a destination/retreat type yoga teacher training format.

Online 200 hour yoga teacher training can be completed at your own pace and worked into your life and your schedule.

Online yoga teacher training completion timeline estimator

How many hours/week
you can dedicate to online YTT
How long it will take you
to complete online YTT
55hrs/week4 weeks
25-30 hrs/week8 weeks
20 hrs/week12 weeks
12-15 hrs/week3-4 months
10-12 hrs/week5 months
9-10 hrs/week6 months
6 hrs/week9 months

Why is yoga certification so expensive?

In the past, yoga teacher training has been a huge investment. But now. it can be very affordable.

The most affordable way to earn your yoga teaching certification is by doing yoga teacher training online.

Virtual yoga teacher training certification courses cost a fraction of what in-person training costs.

You can now have the world's leading yoga teachers at your fingertips, literally!

You can complete YTT  in your living room and on your own time. And by doing this, you’ll save yourself literally thousands of dollars.

Does a yoga certification expire?

No, a yoga certification does not expire. However, to maintain the title of RYT and maintain affiliation with Yoga Alliance, Registered Yoga Teachers are required to complete 45 hours of continuing education hours every 3 years and renew their registry with YA yearly.

Takeaway on yoga instructor levels explained

If you're feeling confused by the lingo in the professional world of yoga, you're not alone! This article may help you better understand Yoga Alliance. The best step to take is the first step! Enroll in teacher training and all of the pieces will come together along your teacher training journey. And feel free to reach out to us if you need further clarification on any of this.

Yoga instructor levels vocabulary:

CYT: Certified Yoga Teacher
RYT 200: Registered Yoga Teacher, 200 hour Certification
RYT 300: Registered Yoga Teacher, 300 hour Certification
RYT 500: Registered Yoga Teacher, 500 hour Certification
RYS: Registered Yoga School
RYT: Registered Yoga Teacher
TTC: Teacher Training Course
YA: Yoga Alliance
YTT: Yoga Teacher Training

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small commission should you decide to make a purchase or signup after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist!


Heather is a Certified Yoga Teacher the visionary behind The Yogatique, her passion project. She created The Yogatique to help yogis & other growth-oriented individuals discover premium high quality trainings and classes in the yoga & wellness space. Heather is a RYT-200 and a practicing yogi of more than 15 years. She is also a global citizen who has been living abroad for 10 years. Her passions include health & fitness, studying healthspan & longevity, exploring the road less traveled, & SEO. Heather can be reached at, or you can connect with Heather on LinkedIn.

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