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Dare to Do: Try This at Work!*
If your back feels strained... Stand up, clasp your hands behind you, squeeze your shoulders together, and arch backward. The bending action opens your chest muscles, which can loosen your back as well.
If your posture needs improvement... Perch on a fitness ball instead of a chair while sitting in front of your computer. Your muscles will stay engaged, preventing you from slouching.
If your energy is flagging... Run stairs in your home or office building for an instant cardio boost that will engage and awaken your senses.
If you're short on bright ideas... Consider what you know to be true of a situation while performing the following exercise: Scrunch your face while tensing your fists, arms, legs, and toes; then release with a big exhale. Repeat for a total of 10 times, then sit still for one minute. Doing this will help you achieve what Patricia calls your “genius state,” in which you can more easily solve problems.
*If you experience chronic pain, consult a medical professional before undertaking any of these exercises.
In her early days as a fitness instructor, Patricia Moreno would often find herself looking out into a sea of blank stares. “I would hear people complain about their bodies and the fact that they weren't losing weight," she explains. "It was obvious - at least to me - that you can’t lose weight or make a change if your attitude isn’t committed.” While Patricia herself struggled with weight at an early age, peaking at 215 pounds, she’s the now the fittest she’s ever been—and her success has motivated her to support others in making lifelong changes to their personal fitness levels. But how could she help people who didn't seem willing to help themselves?
The answer came to Patricia during a course she attended with renowned life coach Anthony Robbins. Anthony had instructed the class to march on a beach while repeating affirmations aloud. “I thought, Oh my God, that’s it!" Patricia recalls of her breakthrough moment. "Affirmations work best when you’re doing them, not just saying them. I could combine affirmations with exercise to create a new type of workout.” The result was IntenSati, a fitness program that combines dance, martial arts, yoga, aerobics and body sculpting with spoken affirmations such as, “I now unleash excellence from within me,” “I am done complaining,” and “I am the master of my own fate.”
Strong emotional reactions are common in those attending Patricia's classes for the first time. "Some people will come up to me and say, 'I cried! I can’t believe I cried!'" Patricia confides. "It’s because they’re finally being good to themselves. People think they’re not doing enough, or that who they are won’t ever be enough, or that they’ll never be able to lose the weight. We do this to ourselves all the time. And to not do it for an hour is a huge relief.” Patricia is constantly exploring new avenues and reinventing her classes to reflect her own challenges. “I’m always looking for something eye-opening,” she says. “I’m immersed in spiritual texts that give me a deeper perspective of myself—and of life itself.”
Patricia was raised in Northern California by Mexican-American parents. As the ninth of eleven children (she has seven sisters and three brothers), she believes that her large family contributed toward her willingness to take risks. “If something ever goes wrong, I have so many people I can call who I know would be there in a second,” she proclaims. Patricia now has a family of her own, and she claims that juggling the dual demands of life as a business owner and mother to baby daughter Olivia has made her even more organized and focused. “When I realized I wanted to create this business, I knew I was the only one who could do it," she discloses. "Finding something you really care about is always number one—something that’s worth taking time away from your family for."
That time was well spent. Patricia is now recognized within the fitness industry as an elite instructor, frequently honored for her accomplishments and asked to share her techniques with other professionals worldwide. She has been featured in Allure, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, and has made appearances on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, and ABC News. Patricia stresses, however, that the road hasn't always been easy, and a little pain has gone a long way toward helping her craft a career she loves. "My journey has had ups and downs, difficulties and breakthroughs," she divulges. "I'm most grateful for the difficulties, because in looking back, I can see that those challenges were the foundation for what I teach today.”