The Core Pillars of Ignatian Yoga
These values guide who we are as an organization:
- Community: Unifying Jesuits, Jesuit educators, spiritual directors, pastoral workers, parishioners, and spiritual seekers to build a community of mutual support toward an intentional lifestyle.
- Spirituality: Combining practices of the spirituality of St. Ignatius and of yoga to more deeply connect with God, others, and ourselves. These practices help us to recenter in order to more deeply hear the call of Christ in our life.
- Embodiment: Integrating the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional body to more wholly embody the joy of the Gospel.
- Social Justice: Linking “the service of faith” and “the promotion of justice” through advocacy, education, and solidarity. As children of God across all racial, economic and social divides, we strive for an ever more mutual and inclusive practice.
A Note on the Roots of Yoga
Yoga has its roots in Vedic India. 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 search for union—union of body, mind and spirit, as well as unity with the divine. In the search for union a person is 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 century.
In the U.S. today, yoga tends to be taught by Westerners and tends to emphasize the physical poses, which only represent one aspect of the traditional practice. It has also attracted a mainly affluent and white community of practitioners. Ignatian Yoga is committed to building a diverse community of teachers and practitioners and committed to honoring the history of yoga by incorporating all eight limbs and learning from the many respected gurus of the yoga tradition.