Patricia Moreno: Fitness, Spirituality and Self Concept
These days we’re inundated with information about wellness. Between our favorite health and fitness websites, apps, newsletters, instagram and twitter feeds — there’s no shortage of content. However, it’s not always easy to find quality content that resonates, educates and empowers us on a real level. So when someone’s words, class and vibe authentically inspire in a powerful way, it’s only natural we feel the urge to share it with others. This is how I felt when I took my first yogaSati class with founder Patricia Moreno several months ago. And after learning more about her personal journey and how the intenSati method came to be, I’m even more convinced about the importance of Patricia’s role as a force for positive change.
With over 30 years of experience as a trainer, educator and mentor, and as founder of a fitness concept based on mindfulness (or sati), Patricia Moreno has earned a stellar reputation in the wellness industry. The testimonials on her website speak for themselves, and with 620 intenSati instructors around the globe, her impact on the fitness industry has already been outstanding. However, through speaking with her it’s clear there’s much more Patricia aims to (and will) accomplish.
A Tough Beginning in Fitness. Patricia Moreno’s introduction to the fitness world began at a young age and was tragically linked to feelings of shame regarding her body. Growing up in northern California as the 9th of 11 children, Patricia’s family owned Mexican restaurants; she recalls “conversations both in and out of the restaurants were always, always about food.” Fast food was a significant part of her regular diet and every few months the family would go on diets and take diet pills or shots to increase metabolism. These quick-fix methods never lasted and a cycle of deprivation followed by over-indulgence continued.
As an eight year old, Patricia recalls, “I will never forget the sound of my parents gasping when the doctor told them I was 130 pounds. This is the first of many times I remember feeling ashamed and absolutely horrified about my weight and body.”
Patricia Moreno fell in love with group fitness classes as a teenager, lost weight, became fit and began to inspire others to workout. She began teaching aerobics before graduating from high school and quickly became known as a kickass fitness instructor. Sadly though, her body image issues persisted for years to come, even after she had become a renowned fitness instructor with a daily televised workout program.
2 Breakthroughs That Inspired IntenSati: Years later during a particularly rough time in her private struggle, Patricia experienced two major revelations that led her to create IntenSati:
1/ Self-concept. Patricia explains, “You have to live in accordance with your own self-concept. When I was working out – no matter how thin I got, I would still believe I am fat and unlovable. So ultimately, I would keep returning to however I believed I was. The truth is, being fat was never how I am or how I was; I am just a person and my weight is the result of my actions and thoughts. This concept was revolutionary for me because even when I was physically thin – in my mind and in my heart I still believed I was a fat person. This made total sense and was a major revelation.”
2/ Activating a State. The second breakthrough came shortly after during a Tony Robbins retreat, when Patricia was asked to repeat the words, ‘All I need is within me now.’ She was suddenly struck with the desire to create a workout that would change people’s self-concept by activating a state of being.
“Your state of being determines your results. You can activate a state of courage, love, acceptance or gratitude – and you can turn this on within yourself. I wanted to design a workout that would activate joy for no reason except that if it could be done during class, it could be done in life. And I wanted people to turn up the volume of gratitude. I decided to marry this information with my expertise in exercise. I didn’t want to use exercise as a way to fix, punish and force — but as a way to change how we move and how we speak to ourselves. We have the ability to use the body to change our inner conversations. This eventually became IntenSati.”
IntenSati beautifully uses fitness as a spiritual practice. It reminds us to live consciously and with intention, and provides a solid workout for the mind, body and spirit. Check out the Sati schedule for more information on its range of classes, schedules and leadership courses. (If you’re in New York, intenSati leader Natalia Petrzela is also an exceptional instructor.)
Choosing Gratitude. “I’m not teaching something that people don’t know. We all know it’s better to be positive than negative. But how do you become positive? Through gratitude. It all begins with gratitude. This is a conscious choice. You need to constantly remind yourself that you need to create greatness from a state of consciousness.”
Living Your Vision. “The most important part of class is the end, when we visualize our final goal and sit in it as though it’s already done. It can be hard to let yourself dream however big you want to dream; we naturally downscale and worry. But the game is to really immerse yourself in your final vision — to breathe it and to feel it. This is the creative process. You need to have the vision to get there and life reveals itself based on your vision.”
Believing It In. Ask yourself, ‘What do I really want? If there was a magic wand and someone said you can have it, and that whatever you pick is going to be a huge success – what would it be? ‘ Stay in that vision and believe it in.
Stay up-to-date and inspired by Patricia Moreno here.
* Song For This Moment: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”