Q & A with Patricia Moreno of intenSati: Mind, Body & Affirmations
If "No Pain, No Gain" was the fitness slogan of the 1990’s, the popular mantra of this era is "No Mind, No Body." Staples of our modern fitness routine, yoga and Pilates, reinforce that to transform your body, you must evolve your mind. Patricia Moreno’s intenSati, takes it one step farther, cultivating a practice for your mind, body and heart. IntenSati challenges the physical muscles through high-energy aerobics, martial arts, dance and yoga, while honing the mental muscles through positive affirmations ("I am the master my my fate" and "I lift myself up to a higher state") infused into the workout. For years, women across Manhattan have been stealthily leaving the office early to land a coveted spot in one of Patricia’s wildly popular classes. Patricia is bringing the power of intenSati beyond Gotham through her best-selling book, The intenSati Method: 7 Secrets to Thinner Peace and through the development of the IntenSati leaders program.
Patricia talks to MindBodyGreen about her first experience with the power of positive affirmation at age 13, what to know before your first intenSati class, and how her intenSati routine has evolved during her pregnancy.
MindBodyGreen: How and when did you get inspired to develop intenSati?
Patricia Moreno: I was inspired to develop intenSati in 2001. After many years of struggling with my weight and eating disorders I felt exercise and diet were not the only factors in achieving success. I had been a avid student of yoga, meditation and personal empowerment education and felt there was a way to combine the world of fitness and spiritual transformation. I wanted to bring yoga to those who would not normally take a yoga class or who wanted a more physical spiritual workout.
MBG: IntenSati fuses dance, yoga, martial arts, and strength training: what role do these play in promoting our physical health?
PM: Sati means mindfulness and part of the intenSati practice revolves around challenging your body in new ways so that you stay mentally engaged. Another part of the intenSati method is about moving your body in different ways so that you embody different states of mind. The martial arts moves like punches and kicks help people connect to the warrior within, courage, confidence, strength, discipline etc. The dance moves help people connect to joy, playfulness, grace and sensuality. The yoga moves help to develop help to become more centered, flexible and focused. How you move your body influences how you feel. We literally practice courage, confidence, love, joy, strength, etc..
MBG: When did you first realize the power of positive affirmations? How are they incorporated into the workout?
PM: When I was 12 my father took me to Silva mind control class to learn how to meditate and get my self into a state of mind where you could influence your subconscious mind. A year or so after that I was diagnosed with a bone marrow infection in my left arm that was threatening my life. My father took me through a powerful visualization meditation and had me envision an army of men marching into my arm and cleaning out the infection. The following day the infection was gone. That time in my life opened my mind to the power of the mind and affirmations are powerful mind influencers.
MBG: Do you have a favorite affirmation?
PM: "All I need is within me now!" I love this affirmation because it affirms that nothing is missing, nothing is wrong or needs fixing but by a shift of perspective or attention any situation can improve.
MBG: What should someone know before their first intenSati class?
PM: That is is different than anything they have every done before. Some people feel resistant or awkward shouting affirmations out loud in a room full of people but if you can call up the courage to just give it a try you will feel a powerful shift happen in just one class. Some people are moved to tears after their first intenSati workout because they are saying things to themselves they may have never said before and they feel such a relief from the harsh, criticizing voice they usually speak to themselves in. It is also a cardio workout which means you will sweat!
MBG: What is the advice you would give someone looking to make a change in their physical and spiritual life but not sure where to start?
PM: A great way to start is by making a list of the changes you want to make and why you want to make them. The "Why" is important. Make the "Why" big enough and the "how" will reveal itself. Then keep focusing on who you want to be and start taking action, any action. When you catch yourself complaining or criticizing yourself, remind yourself that you can never criticize yourself happy or successful. You will have to change your way of speaking and being with yourself if you want to change. It takes practice and self love to stay with it. That is why the intenSati method is so helpful. It is the repetition of the affirmations with the endorphin producing exercise that is a powerful combination.
MBG: How has your training schedule evolved since you've become pregnant?
PM: I am more aware of how important exercise is than ever. My focus has changed, I don't push myself in the way I did before but I do cardio 5 days a week and light weight training 2-3 days. I have had a great pregnancy so far. I am 8 months pregnant and I have a lot of energy and have kept my weight in a good range. I think intenSati is a perfect workout for pregnant women.
MBG: What does mind body wellness mean to you?
PM: There is no separation between the mind and the body and that a healthy mind influences a healthy body and vice versa. It is about looking at ourselves from the perspective that we cannot separate the two and to live a truly happy life we need both.
MBG: Who or what inspires you?
PM: My students often inspire me as they continue to show up to class and tell me about the great breakthroughs they have daily. I am inspired by great authors like Marianne Williamson, Wayner Dyer, and Geneen Roth.
MBG: Favorite book or last great book you read?
MBG: Favorite healthy food?
MBG: What's next for you and intenSati?
PM: The next thing and the biggest thing is becoming a mom! It is what I am most excited about in my life right now.
For more on Patricia and intenSati: