Be Your Own Cheerleader With a Physical and Mental “IntenSati” Workout

Combining Meditation and Aerobics Forces Those Negative Thoughts Out of Your Head


Published: October 8, 2009

Picture being able to drown out all of the annoying thoughts in your head while you work out. “If you don’t do that one last push-up you won’t get any stronger!” “You have to do better!” “You’ll never lose the weight if you don’t shape up!”

Katherine Adamenko teaches an IntenSati class at Equinox, combining aerobics moves and positive meditation. (Courtesy of Katherine Adamenko)

To avoid these negative thoughts, try IntenSati.

“IntenSati is an exhilarating cardio workout that combines simple choreography with positive affirmations spoken out loud,” said Katherine Adamenko, an instructor since 2008.  “Inten” comes from the word “intention” and “sati” is an ancient Indian word that means awareness. According to Adamenko, IntenSati puts intentional awareness into what we do, what we think and how we feel.

What is it?

IntenSati is like a dance class, aerobics class, yoga class and cheer squad practice all rolled into one workout. Students shout positive declarations like, “I am doing my best!” or “I can have what I desire!” that the teachers call out while the students do the choreography.

In the class I took, the room was set up like a traditional aerobics class. There was high-energy music, and all of the students were repeating the movements of the instructor. Some of the moves were typical dance moves like punches in the air and rolling the fists, like in salsa. Some of the choreography incorporated kickboxing techniques like uppercuts and cross-punching.

What made this workout special was that I couldn’t hear my mind chatter after the first 5 minutes of class. Instead of thinking about needing to do better and not being good enough, I was repeating upbeat affirmations in my head and shouting them out loud.

“I can feel my power! I am doing my best! I am playing full out! Persistence is the key to my success!” the students shouted as instructor Katherine Adamenko kept the energy high in front of the room at the 19th Street Equinox.

Ask the expert

Adamenko, who has practiced IntenSati since 2007, swears by the sport.

“I was a bodybuilder and a dancer, and I never would do aerobics,” Adamenko said. “This blew the lid off of what I think is possible for myself.”

Adamenko said that she got into the best shape of her life doing IntenSati.

“IntenSati for me is like being a ballerina warrior,” Adamenko said. “It’s putting into action mentally, physically and spiritually anything you want for your life. For me, because I am a dancer first, physicalizing what I want and declaring it is a great source of power. This really is a practice of personal power.”

Who would enjoy this?

Those people who enjoy cardio workouts without a lot of equipment would like this class. Dancers would do well, since they are used to learning choreography. As a martial artist, I enjoyed this workout because some of the kicks and punches I practice are incorporated in the movements.

If you are used to aerobics classes and are looking to step up your game, IntenSati is a great workout to try out. It’s a powerful way to boost your endurance and cardio training in an empowering context. I enjoy intense cardio classes, so I have taken several traditional aerobics classes and kickboxing classes. IntenSati beats most of the ones I’ve taken. The class helped me step up my game because the affirmation-shouting was a positive challenge for me.

Excited, spirited people would enjoy this workout. It’s a great way to channel energy into self-empowerment. Doing IntenSati is like being your own cheerleader. Being an optimist, I especially enjoyed this workout because I could channel my positivity and my energy into an up-tempo class.

The workout is light and fun with little pressure to do it all right. So, you can relax and do a high-energy workout simultaneously.

“If you haven’t tried it before, it’s the funnest way I’ve ever gotten myself in shape in my life, and it’s the most rewarding,” Adamenko said.

What are the benefits?

Students have praised IntenSati, claiming that their moods have been uplifted, their core strength and flexibility have increased and they’ve gained more concentration. Much like regular aerobics, students increase their stamina. IntenSati students get the added benefit of uplifted mood and concentration from shouting out positive affirmations while they do the workout.

“Speaking out loud boosts your cardio by 25 percent,” said Adamenko. “I am in the most kick-ass shape of my life because of IntenSati.”

Many students leave classes empowered to take on their lives with vigor and excitement. IntenSati is designed to inspire students to take responsibility for the power they have to make things happen in their lives. IntenSati incorporates athletic coaching and life coaching all in one space.