POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

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Two weeks ago I was in New York for medical reasons. Elated at better-than-expected test results, I made a point to go to church and give thanks. But the minister had gone to a church convention and was replaced by guest speaker Patricia Moreno.

I had never heard of her, nor had most of the congregation but by the end of the service she had inspired a good many of us to at least try a new way. She didn't preach about God, in fact she didn't do the churchy-type preaching at all.

She talked about her life and the path that brought her to an entirely new way to exercise IntenSati.

  • <b>A positive approach:</b> Natalia Petrzela teaches an IntenSati class

    A positive approach: Natalia Petrzela teaches an IntenSati class

  • <b>You can do it:</b> Natalia Petrzela with her IntenSati students in New York

    You can do it: Natalia Petrzela with her IntenSati students in New York


Two weeks ago I was in New York for medical reasons. Elated at better-than-expected test results, I made a point to go to church and give thanks. But the minister had gone to a church convention and was replaced by guest speaker Patricia Moreno.

I had never heard of her, nor had most of the congregation but by the end of the service she had inspired a good many of us to at least try a new way. She didn't preach about God, in fact she didn't do the churchy-type preaching at all.

She talked about her life and the path that brought her to an entirely new way to exercise IntenSati.

Ms Moreno created the exercise routines that incorporate yoga, with an aerobic workout and, positive affirmations, and named them IntenSati. Intens, she said comes from the word intention and "sati' from the Buddhist meaning mindfulness.

"It is the practice of training your mind to keep focused on your intention and exactly what you want to achieve in your life," she said.

It was the first time I had ever come across the concept of such a direct mind body relationship in exercise. Most of the leading self-help and motivational proponents write books, devise seminars and give lectures on the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and not dwelling on problems.

Eckhart Tolle, author of 'The Power of Now', promises a life of maximum fulfillment for those of us who are best able to live in the present moment. Others like Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Don Miguel Ruiz, Debbie Ford, Donna Eden and even Oprah Winfrey, stress the importance of believing in yourself and claiming that which you want in your life, to already be true.

According to Ms Moreno, being able to do this is extremely difficult, but actually works. She said she spent years reading books and attending seminars but admitted she found it difficult to retrain her mind to not whine and complain but rather to believe that, that which she wanted for herself would come true.

She said many of her favourite authors suggested positive affirmations and gave examples of how you could talk to yourself, but she sought to make these affirmations a part of her everyday life.

A fitness instructor for many years, Ms Moreno said she decided that combining the positive affirmations within the exercise programs would offer people a real benefit. It would be a practical way for them to actually say their affirmations every day.

Saying these affirmations really helps to focus the mind on what you want to believe and have manifest. It is good for your mental health, which helps ensure you achieve balance in your life.

During her presentation at the Unity church in New York, she had a stage full of students demonstrate the technique. Congregants could also take part, but I wasn't suitably dressed, so I turned out instead to the first free class in Bryant Park a few days later.

I rushed down for the 10 a.m. start and despite being a few minutes late was easily able to figure out what to do and join in. Natalia Petrzela was the instructor. Not only was she energised she was also joyous.

In 2005 she started taking IntenSati classes and discovered it changing her life. As a child she said she steered clear of exercise and focused on her books. In the 1990's she took a step aerobics class and found she enjoyed exercising in a group.

"My love of group fitness grew over the years, and as I pursued doctoral work in history and education, I often joked that 'in another life, I would be an aerobics instructor'," she said.

"Then I found IntenSati, and as I practiced punches, kicks, and lunges while calling out empowering affirmations, I realized that the phrase "in another life..." no longer belonged in my vocabulary. If I really wanted to become an instructor, there was no excuse not to go for it right now!

"I loved my chosen career as a scholar and educator, and knew that teaching IntenSati would only enhance my professional performance, rather than detract from it. This realization propelled me to seek certification in the very practice which had inspired it — IntenSati — and teaching IntenSati has made me better in all that I do: as a mother, a wife, a friend, a college professor... all these aspects of my life are decisively shaped by my practice," she added.

Although I only took one class I do believe that doing it regularly would bring positive change to my life.

Not in top physical shape I was often winded doing the routine. It was fun for me only because I was saying the positive affirmations as I lifted my arms overhead, rolled my hands as I bent over, or did the jumping and kickboxing-like moves.

Natalia would call out over the music: "Are you disciplined?" and keeping time with the music and not missing our moves, we would respond: "Yes! I am disciplined, I am incredible, I am powerful!"

Shouting the words helped pull me through the exercises where I would long have given up were it a traditional aerobics class. But there was also something very powerful taking place in the constant repetition. For hours after the class I still heard those affirmations in my head, in my own voice.

This was the very beginning I believe of that fundamental change that all the pundits say happens when you truly take charge of your mind.

Maybe I need to move to New York.

If you are interested in learning more about IntenSati Ms Moreno has a written a book 'The Inten.Sati Method - Seven Principles to Thinner Peace' or visit her website www.satilife.com

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