Review: intenSati (cardio class & warrior challenge) AND yoga AND pilates (Equinox gym)

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was applying for the Warrior Challenge – well, I got in! I get a free 1-month pass to Equinox gyms in Manhattan and I have to dedicate myself to taking 3 intenSati classes each week. What’s intenSati, you ask? I’ll explain.

IntenSati is a super high-energy cardio workout that has elements of kickboxing, aerobics, dance, yoga, martial arts, and strength training. It is ridiculously intense. It’s a 60 minute workout and I bet you burn upwards of 500 calories in one session. It’s not just a high-energy workout though: while you work out you yell positive affirmations that will hopefully spill over into other areas of your life.

It was created by Patricia Moreno, a very strong and inspiring NYC fitness guru. She just wrote a book!

Okay, the positive affirmations thing sounded a little weird to me. I walked into the orientation on Sunday and I was kind of apprehensive. Is this religious? Is it weird and cult-y? It was NOT. Not at all. We started the workout and we were yelling things like, “I am ready to be stronger,” “I am ready to go further,” “No more excuses!”, “I am not afraid!”. I have never been one to believe in that “power of positive thinking” stuff, but I think I might be changing my mind. It’s kind of working 🙂

Anyway, I went to the orientation class on Sunday, and it was a little over an hour. Before class started I met up with Missy so I felt much more at ease knowing I had a blogger friend with me. Patricia Moreno was actually leading us! The class starts out with some dynamic stretching (deep squats, etc…) and you learn 2 poses. 1) Ready (essentially mountain pose); and 2) Warrior (essentially a wide squat with arms outstretched).

mountain warrior

That part took maybe 5-10 minutes. Then we started doing amazingly crazy cardio stuff and yelling for about 45 minutes. Sweat was pouring down my body (I don’t sweat). Then we did yoga-like strength-dancing for about 10-15 minutes, and we ended with more stretching (5-10 minutes). This class was a little bit longer than usual because it was the orientation class.

Yesterday (Monday) I was going to wake up for the early morning class, but I was exhausted. I decided to do a class after work at the Equinox by my apartment (63rd and Lex). This intenSati class was 60 minutes and it was led by Erika Shannon. She led us through the same dynamic stretching, and then we started the cardio craziness. This cardio only lasted about 30 minutes, then we did about 15-20 minutes of strength, and a few minutes of stretching at the end. It was still an amazing workout even though it was slightly shorter than Sunday’s class. After the craziness Erika made us hold “warrior” for about 2 minutes! After the intensity (intenSati?) of the craziness this was really hard – I was sweating so much, but it felt amazing.

Missy and I were a little bit crazy and we decided to stay for Erika’s Hip Hop class (just 45 minutes). It was 30 minutes of dancing and then 15 minutes of strength. I was pretty tired from intenSati, but managed to keep up my energy for the duration of the class. I definitely prefer intenSati because I look like a dork when I try to do hip hop.

Missy has 2 really good reviews on her blog, too:

Today I went to Equinox again to take 2 more classes: Pilates/Bartenieff Fusion with Laura Ward and then Slow Flow Yoga with Maja Sidebaeck. I was about 10 minutes late to pilates and felt bad, but I thought the class was great. Yoga was really nice as well – it was very flowy and exactly how I would lead a class. Definitely going back.

I also LOVE the Equinox showers. I think I’ll just shower there from now on. They have great shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion… and they have razors, q-tips, deodorant, hair products, mouth wash, and probably a bajillion other things I didn’t see. I have this horrible feeling that I’m going to sign up with Equinox after the challenge is over.

I am now going to go do some work and crash into bed. Later, peeps! Go drink some water!

What’s your favorite killer workout?