Just as in the "real world," the yoga world has ways of acknowledging the highest levels of leadership. We are fortunate to have many teachers who have been honored with such titles, which are explained below. Individually and together, they make up a stellar faculty, not merely yoga-stars, but shining with light, all placed in service to others.
A term of respect as well as devotion, it means "Divine Teacher." On the practical level, it names what she teaches, the knowledge of your inherent Dinivty. On the mystical level, "Guru" means spiritual teacher and "Devi" means Goddess. Thus the title names one who knows her own Self, as promised by yoga.
Variously spelled as "Satguru" or "Sadhguru," this title names a spiritual teacher at the highest level. Especially a Shaktipat Guru, who is a Kundalini Master, is qualified for this title. In addition, the Brahmin priests of Ganeshpuri India are the ones who conferred this title on our own Swami Nirmalananda.
One who has taken formal vows of sannyas (renunciation) is called "Swami." "Sva" means the Self, your Divine Essence, as in "svaroopa." The ceremony empowers a pure dedication to the spiritual path, to the goal of becoming Self-Realized in this lifetime. Our swamis are members of the Saraswati order, which is a teaching order,. They bring their dedication as well as their deep knowledge and practice to everything they do.
One who has taken vows of celibacy is honored with this title, acknowledging their dedication to the yogic path of inward mystical development. Their practice is done in the midst of life, with real relationships and responsibilities, providing a field of practice and inquiry that moves them through their process quickly. Some of our brahmacharins are teachers, while some are not. All are sort-of "junior swamis," particularly in the way they practice and their understanding of life.