intenSati: Fitness for the Mind and Body
Patricia Moreno is a teacher who truly embodies transformation.
She remembers a desire to change starting from a young age, when she began teaching group fitness as a high schooler.
“I found exercise and started to really get active, and I felt great. I was strong and I got popular and my classes were packed,” she says. Moreno gained a steady following, she even landed her own daytime television show.
Breaking into the fitness industry wasn’t as easy as it looked from the outside, however. The physical stamina it took to exercise wasn’t the challenge for her, she says, but the results were inconsistent, frustrating and confusing. She recalls constantly “white knuckling” her way back to her goal weight, convinced that inside her was an overweight little girl, overrun with anxiety about what her viewers would think about her if she gained weight.
When it all started to feel like a losing fight, Moreno realized that her students and millions of people trying to lose weight across the country had to feel the same way.
“If I’m a professional and getting basically paid for this and I can’t win, there’s something here that, as an industry, we’re not talking about,” she says.
So she gave herself a mission to transform the way and the “why” behind working out.
“How do we create lasting, sustainable, positive change in our lives on purpose—not just this constant struggle of forcing ourselves to diet and forcing ourselves to do these things to kind of fix from the outside?” Moreno asks.
Moreno found a way to transform her fitness practice by putting her workout where her mouth is. She sought answers and inspiration by delving into the work of many of the most prominent teachers of our time.
“Deepak Chopra was talking about the words you say after the words ‘I am’. Whatever you say after the words ‘I am’ become your self-concept, your identity.” She describes her lightbulb moment, a decision to create a practice where people can change their self-concept.
Patricia Moreno believes long-lasting physical, mental and spiritual change is
a combination of walking the walk and talking the talk. That’s the key to her intenSati method.
intenSati is a fitness format that goes beyond movement by combining movement with language, Moreno explains. She replaced the mental script she had spent years reciting to herself about how she was somehow meant to be an overweight person, with an empowering incantation said out loud and set to music and movement.
For example, students strike a pose with their arms high in the air while at the same time saying, “I am enough. I have enough” to activate empowerment and gratitude. Moreno says the combination of speaking and moving brings people into a fully conscious state, with no room for that internal script.
Student and intenSati teacher Amy Fox said taking an Intensati class began to free her from her constant cycle of self-doubt.
“To not have the little voice in the back of my head that’s like, ‘You’re not good enough. You can’t do it—to have an hour without that was priceless,” says Fox.
“You’re really breaking down not just the barriers of what your body is physically able to do, because talking and moving is a very challenging thing, but you’re breaking down the barriers in your mind,” she says.
Moreno has seen intenSati grow across the country and the globe. She now has about 1,000 trained teachers, like Fox, spreading the method to students in their communities.
“Even to say that it’s been life changing is an understatement. The greatest thing that she’s done as both a mentor and a teacher is her living this practice,” Fox says about intenSati and Moreno.
Patricia Moreno keeps adapting her vision to meet the needs of people seeking long-lasting change.
Her current project is The Practice, an online guided program combined with in-person events and group classes. Students who enroll in The Practice receive short, daily messages from Moreno. She says it’s a change to activate the state of mind of gratitude, love or success. Taking an intenSati class activates those states of mind through movement and incantations.
Rather than envisioning the later fruits of your effort, Moreno stresses the importance of the present moment, explaining, “We’re really talking about the power of priming, and priming yourself to bring your best self to each day versus just this long-term, out-there, results-oriented living,” she says. “Focusing on making a great life in the future is a result of making a great life today.”
She says approaching change from an attitude of self-love, self-worth and gratitude is what truly transforms people’s minds, spirits and bodies.
“To practice deliberate effort, conscious effort, we can really develop ourselves into being who we want to be. And it’s such a privilege as a human being to be able to make those decisions.”