Julie Hinson, background center,, a Pura Cyclying Studio instructor, leads a spinning class.
The fragrance of eucalyptus in the air and the green, Granny Smith apple-colored walls inside Pura Cycling Studio’s entryway are meant to set visitors at ease.That sense of Zen carries beyond the lobby and back into the studio, equipped with 20 bikes, each strategically angled toward the instructor’s bike up front.“It’s like a friendly, relaxed approach on fitness,” co-owner Stephanie Farquhar said. “Fitness can be so much about metal and weights and intensity and can be very overwhelming, so I wanted to do the complete opposite.“Make it somewhere where people are comfortable, but they know they’re going to get their butt kicked.”Pura Cycling Studio, located inside the Shoppes at New Tampa shopping center, 1822 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., opened in October and celebrated a ribbon-cutting in April with the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce. It is the first independent indoor cycling studio in Wesley Chapel and is open seven days a week.Classes range from a 45-minute spin class that incorporates interval and strength training, to a full body workout that starts with a 30-minute ride followed by resistance band training.This is a joint venture by Farquhar, 25, originally from Palm Harbor and a Florida State University alumna, and her boyfriend Alfio Carroccetto, 28, a Zephyrhills High and University of South Florida graduate.Both are fitness buffs and certified spin instructors. Farquhar, who played soccer at FSU, was introduced to indoor cycling as a way to treat a knee injury. They are two of the seven instructors who teach spinning classes as well as yoga inside the 1,000-square-foot studio.The business has roughly 70 clients.In June, the studio will offer its take on boot camp fitness, called FitPro Camps, which offers a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. The camp is geared toward small groups with upward of 10 people per class.Wesley Chapel became a target for the boutique studio due to the growth in the area.“With all of the chains and corporate entities moving to the area, it is nice to see that small businesses can still thrive through community support and a dedication to a healthier lifestyle,” Carroccetto said in an email.The company’s name has it roots in a 2008 summer trip made by Farquhar to Costa Rica. The trip, in which she did conservation work, lived with a local family and toured the country, made such an impact on Farquhar that she incorporated her experience into the business’ name.The phrase “Pura Vida” has been readily adopted by Costa Ricans. It means ‘pure life,’ but when applied to everyday living, it’s intended to inspire an appreciation of family and friends and not possessions.“These people were so overwhelming. They gave everything they had and didn’t have anything,” Farquhar said of her trip. “That just hit me really hard. I wanted to bring, if anything, something back with me that would stick and would hold a message that it’s not about how much you have, but what you do with what you have.”The studio even has a loyalty club, named the Kapok Club after the kapok tree, which can be found, among other places, in Central America.Prizes are given to those who reach milestones in the number of indoor rides they take inside the studio.“The Pura Vida aspect on fitness, it doesn’t have to be so intimidating to get a good workout,” Farquhar said. “It doesn’t have to be all yelling and screaming and big weights. It can be fun.”For information, call (813) 501-2124 or visit www.puracycling.com.