One of my best friends, whose name is also Michelle, has recently joined a cult. Well no, it’s not actually a cult. But you might think so too if you hung out with her as often as I did. After a tough breakup, Michelle has more than just weathered the storm – she’s discovered a workout that has allowed her to take her life on a 180. I’ve never seen her happier.

It’s called intenSati, a motivational workout class created by Patricia Moreno. I cannot wait to try it myself, but I wanted to first invite Michelle here to share with you this fast-growing workout trend, along with her very personal transformational experience. And without further adieu, intenSati:

By Michelle Goldblum

Have you ever looked away from your reflection when passing a store window? Have you ever walked by a person on the sidewalk that was smiling or laughing to themselves, and felt a rush of jealousy, or curiosity, or bitterness? Have you ever wanted something but accepted that it just wasn’t your time? You just weren’t young enough? Old enough?  Good enough? Strong enough? Brave enough? Thin enough? Fill in the blank enough?  Imagine if you suddenly changed the tone of that Mad Libs game. If the words that filled those blanks were empowering, and inspiring, and you actually believed them. Imagine if you became one of those people smiling to themselves on the sidewalk.

Six weeks ago, my live-in boyfriend (introduced by my mom as my “soon-to-be fiancée”) of 3 years and I decided upon the day that he would be moving out. I left my apartment each morning with wet, slicked back hair (“the Gorden Gecko”), arriving late to work and straight to Facebook. I had an impressive bookcase full of self-help type spirituality books, yet had to keep clearing my cache of UsWeekly.com. Six weeks ago, my workout regime consisted of plugging myself in to Bravo, and running on the treadmill until the “calories burned” equaled whatever I thought was enough for that given day. I knew of people who bought Lululemon gym clothes and had titanium water bottles and knew the class schedule at their gym by heart; those people were not me, nor were they my friends. I was surviving through life – surviving with a smile on my face, but really, only surviving.

On June 17-19, the weekend that my boyfriend moved out, my best friend and I escaped the city and attended a 2-day “intenSati” retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. My only intention was to get as far away from the moving van outside of my building as possible. Little did I know that soon I was about to pack the girl I once was into my own moving van, and begin a brand new life in a completely different mindset.

intenSati is a high-energy workout that combines the power of positive thinking with physical exercise to build physical, mental and spiritual muscle. “Inten” derives from “intention” and “Sati” is a Pali word that means “mindfulness”. What makes intenSati different from any other workout is that it incorporates the use of spoken affirmations, and has its very own language. Instead of saying “punch,” the motion is called “strong.”  Instead of saying “jump,” the motion is called “enthusiasm.” Before each intenSati workout, the instructor invites the students to think in a new way.  For example, the teacher might ask the students to think of something they want in their life.  This might be love, a new job, courage, power—it can be anything.  The intention for the student during that class is to remember this one thing, and imagine that it has already been achieved, or is in the process of being achieved.  This is encouraged by the instructor with the use of affirmations such as “All I need is within me now,” or “Everything I want is coming to me now.”

Every intenSati class begins with the statement, “Every day, in a very true way, I co-create my reality.  As above so is below.  This is what I know.” The workout consists of three parts: upper body, lower body, and meditation.  The upper body segment consists of simple martial arts style moves that go along with uplifting affirmations such as, “I am strong now,” or “I believe I will succeed!”  The upper body affirmations are usually screamed or spoken very loudly.  The lower body workout typically consists of lunges and yoga moves.  Affirmations in this section are spoken quietly or just thought.  The final portion of the workout is meditation guided by the instructor with the goal of manifesting the intention set at the beginning of class.  All classes end with a bow forward, which seals in the practice, and one final manta, “And so it is”.

I wish I could fully explain through text what changed in me during this retreat.  I wish I could explain how the affirmations we yelled out in class became my inner voice outside of class. How I started to truly believe that I AM strong now, that all I need IS within me now! I left Omega a stronger, happier, and more alive person, and I have remained that person. I love her!  Since I returned from the retreat, I joined an improv troupe. I dropped a full pants size. I cancelled my cable (and with it, all of the Bravo reality series!). I joined Equinox and attend intenSati classes multiple times per week. I walk down the street with a smile on my face, a titanium water bottle in my hand, lululemon gear on my body, and my hair blown dry.

I am so grateful to Michelle and Spa Week Daily for allowing me to spread the word about this amazing, life-changing practice. Patricia Moreno, the (incredible, motivational, radiating light and love) founder of intenSati talks about the practice and community in this video:

You can find a class near you via: HERE. If you are not a member of the gym where the class is being offered, email the instructor noted and request a guest pass. If you live in the NYC area, you can actually take part in the intenSati LOVE flash mob THIS Friday morning! More details are below:

Join the intenSati FLASH MOB!

Date: Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Time: 8:30 AM  ET

Location: Washington Square Park @ the Fountain

New instructional YouTube videos are available on PatriciaMorenoLive. Here is a new LINK to a video breaking down the series that we will be doing. Memorize it and send an email to rsvp@satilife.com to receive more details on how to participate – or just come to witness the energy. Here’s the intenSati Facebook page and the flash mob event too.

Group shot via nypost.