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Connect. Transform. Act.

ISY supports individuals who desire a deeper connection with the Divine Mystery, transformation towards interior freedom, and commitment to compassionate action in the world.

Ignatian Spirituality & Yoga grew out of our lived experience of engaging both the Ignatian and yoga traditions.

We work to maintain the integrity of both of these rich traditions while also exploring ways in which the integration of the two can deepen and inspire our spiritual journey.

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Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House


Ignatian Spirituality fosters greater awareness of God in the world and how one is called to live. Rooted in St. Ignatius’ relationship with Jesus, Ignatian Spirituality inspires people to seek interior freedom in order to more fully respond to their unique call and the needs of the world. 

Some key components of Ignatian Spirituality are:

Principle and Foundation

  • We are created to be in relationship with God 
  • Indifference to earthly materials and ambitions
  • Trust that God works within all situations
  • Choose what leads to a deepening of relationship with God 

Freedom and Detachment

  • Freedom from whatever keeps us from fullness of life
  • Freedom for service, love, relationship with God & all creation

 Discernment of Spirits 

  • Awareness of interior movements and identification of their source
  • Choosing the greater good between two or more “goods” 
  • Which option leads to greater hope, love, freedom, connection, life?

Finding God in All Things 

  • Nothing is outside the purview of the spiritual life 
  • God works through your passions, desires, gifts, joys
  •  Find deep meaning in the everyday world around you

Contemplative in Action 

  • Reflection for active people engaged in world 
  • Seeks restful places of peace and challenging work of reconciliation & justice

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG) (For the Greater Glory of God)

  • Strive for the Magis = the more, greater good, greater depth
  • Embrace a new way of being, loving, living
  • Longing and yearning for what is beyond you  

The classical definition of yoga from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah (Yoga Sutra 1.2) meaning “Yoga is the restraint of movements in the mind.” (translation by Francis X. Clooney, SJ.) 

Yoga can also be translated as “to yoke” or “to unite.” This can manifest as:

  • Oneness, integration, connection of that which is separate
  • Uniting our mind (consciousness) with the mind of God 
  • Aims to unite all aspects of our being: our inner, spiritual life and relationships with others 

Yoga has its roots in Vedic India, and is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. It’s a tradition that predates but has deep connections to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The classic text of traditional yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, describes the eight limbs of yoga. Yoga means the path to union or oneness. It is the uniting of that which is perceived to be separate, including Creator and creation. In ancient India, a person would be guided by a guru. Many different gurus and schools of yoga flourished in South Asia over the centuries. Gurus brought yoga to the West in the 19th & 20th centuries.

We believe so.  We think it is important to be educated about both traditions and practice Yoga with respect and prudence.  We believe that we should neither reject everything that it not traditionally Christian nor accept everything.  We encourage you to practice discernment, and we hope the following resources support you in that process.

  • Interreligious dialogue and the dialogue of spiritual practice (such as the one between  Yoga philosophy and Ignatian spirituality) has an established history in Catholic Christianity,  especially since Vatican II. In the Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate), specifically in the section on Hinduism and Buddhism, it  states:  
  • The Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She  regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those  precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from  the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that  Truth which enlightens all [people]…The Church, therefore, exhorts her [children], that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found  among these [people]. (2)  
  • Within the Society of Jesus, there is also a rich tradition of interreligious dialogue. This was  eloquently described during the 34th General Congregation held in Rome in 1995:  The Jesuit legacy of creative response to the call of the Spirit in concrete life situations is a motive for the development of a culture  of dialogue in our encounters with believers from other religions. This  culture must become a specific mark of our Society, which is sent forth to the whole world to work for the greater glory of God and to help human beings. (442) 

We hope anyone who is open to experiencing Ignatian spirituality and Yoga will deepen their spiritual life and find renewal in Ignatian Yoga spaces.  If you are not Christian, we hope Ignatian Yoga will support you to deepen in your own tradition. If you are not religious, our intention is for this space to be nurturing for you as well.  On retreats, all are welcome to take part in as much or little of the weekend as you are comfortable. 

An ISY retreat is a beautiful opportunity to deepen your contemplative practice in a community of friends.  A typical retreat weekend includes five ISY sessions integrating themes of the Spiritual Exercises and Yoga. There is also time for spiritual conversation with the retreat directors, silent reflection, small group sharing, and morning and evening meditations.

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