ruby’s tuesday: sweating with patricia moreno

My fitness obsession this year has been Patricia Moreno’s intenSati method, which combines spoken affirmations with a hard core, tightly choreographed cardio set. By the end of class, I am dripping with sweat and feel ready to achieve anything I put my mind to.

Patricia developed the workout based on the philosophy that exercise can be a powerful force for positive change in every area of life, and she is without doubt one of the most inspiring group fitness instructors I have ever trained with.

Last week, Patricia kicked off a four-week Love Your Body telecourse, a combination of nutritional, physical, mental and spiritual counselling designed to shift negative patterns around diet, exercise and body image.

And it’s not too late to join in! A weekly call at 9pm ET will be supplemented with downloadable workouts, as well as recorded guided meditations and spiritual teachings.

So how does the lady herself maintain her A-game? I caught up with Patricia between classes to get the low-down on her personal regime.

How many classes do you teach per week?
Usually eight or nine

Do you feel the need for your own workout also?
Yes, because when I’m teaching my focus is on my students and creating an empowering experience for them. I love SoulCycle for the intense cardio, and because it’s a time for me to just be a student instead of being in charge. I also do yoga, and I have a trainer at Equinox who works me with kettle bells and keeps me up to date on new functional training methods, as well as pushes me to do things I don't like to do on my own - like pull-ups!

Are you a morning or an evening kind of gal?
I like the morning, right before or after I teach because it is easier to fit everything in if I do it all at the same time.

veggie drink
What do you eat in a typical day?
Breakfast is a shake or juice, or whole grain bread with nut butter. Then my morning snack is a green juice and wheat grass shot, and lunch is salad, or veggies and brown rice. Dinner is usually the same as lunch, or another shake.

Do you take any supplements?
I take SAM - e for my joints and I take a USANA multi vitamin. I never used to take supplements, but I started when I was pregnant and felt better for it.

Who is your fitness guru, and what's the most important lesson they taught you?
John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, who I love. He taught me to put heart into my practice, and was a big inspiration in my creating of the intenSati method. I felt that everyone should learn how to put heart into what they do, in every area of their life.

How do you workout when you travel?
I always book a hotel with a gym, and I like to look for local classes to try new things.

How do you get motivated on days when you're just not feeling it?
I listen to music I love, or I book classes ahead of time and make myself go. But I try not to let my feelings determine whether I go or not.

What fitness goal are you currently working towards?
I have let go of consistently weight training, and I’ve lost muscle tone so I’m on a mission to get my arms back in shape!

Was there anything you didn't achieve, and how did you get over it?
Oh certainly. But not reaching goals is sometimes a better lesson. I realized in the long run it didn't matter as much as I thought it did, or in some cases I realized that I wasn't as devoted to it as I needed to be.

What was the most extreme fitness challenge you ever undertook?
I competed in aerobics championships at national level, and the incredible stamina, strength and flexibility it took to compete at that level had me training up to six hours a day.

And the most eye-opening, mind-expanding fitness experience?
Definitely studying to be a yoga instructor. The physiology and spiritual teachings opened my heart and mind. It also led me to begin a meditation practice, which has changed my life.

What's the one thing you wish everybody knew about fitness?
That it’s better than any anti-depressant to lift your spirit and is not simply a tool to lose weight. With regular exercise, especially vigorous exercise, you can have a profound experience that connects you more deeply to your true self.  Exercise is one of my spiritual practices.

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