By Chris Quintana The Santa Fe New Mexican.
At first blush, Mira Rubiano is the last person most would expect to start a yoga/indoor-cycling studio.
Rubiano has what she calls a schizophrenic résumé that includes a Fulbright scholarship, a stint at the World Bank and a journalism career that included working for National Geographic in Brazil. She speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese and has spent a good portion of her adult life living abroad.
In comparison, running a yoga studio, especially one in Santa Fe, seems mundane. Rubiano is well aware of the dissonance, which she has struggled to address in her head for the past decade.
"I didn't want to identify as a yoga teacher," she said. "Through yoga I was able to accept that being a Fulbright and being a yoga teacher aren't mutually exclusive."
She and her husband settled in Santa Fe in 2013 after living in Europe, Brazil and the West and East Coast. She has been researching and planning Thrive since April 2014.
She's preparing to launch Santa Fe Thrive in the Solana Center within the next two months. Right now the space is skeletal, drafty and dusty, but Rubiano said the construction is all cosmetic. The business will be a family affair that she'll run with her husband and with aid from her parents.
Last week she gave a guided tour, pointing out spaces for showers, a yoga floor and the indoor-cycling room. As she discussed the nuances of anti-microbial floors and other minutia, it was clear Rubiano has channeled the same energy into this project as her past endeavors.
Rubiano has a decade's worth of experience teaching yoga -- she has spent thousands of hours teaching -- and spent much of her life cycling indoors. She will offer a variety of classes, including a style of heated yoga called Vinyasa. She is also certified as a Mad Dogg cycling instructor.
Thrive is taking over the space of the Stag Tobacconist shop, which moved to a new location on Cerrillos Road. Rubiano joked that the smoky odor just barely dissipated in the past weeks. The studio likely will benefit from the health-conscious crowd that frequents the nearby La Montanita Co-op grocery store, and possibly from the adjacent dance studio, Dance Station. Generally, the Solana Center receives a frequent stream of visitors, the majority of whom are locals, Rubiano said.
Like most studios, Rubiano will offer drop-in rates, class packages and unlimited yoga sessions for a monthly fee. She said she looked at the rates for every other studio and indoor-cycling venue in town and set her prices at the median.
Like other yoga studios, patrons will be able to take advantage of free showers and changing rooms and a complimentary towel service. Rubiano also bought 20 Schwinn AC Performance Plus exercise bikes for the cycling classes.
Rubiano said she will employ about a half-dozen yoga instructors for the sessions and a handful of cycling teachers. She also said she would like to partner with the local cold-pressed juice company, Verde, and sell its products. She added that she would like to partner with more local businesses as the studio grows.
Tentatively, Rubiano said the studio will offer from three to four cycling classes and four to five yoga sessions during the week. They will be scheduled throughout the day. She likely will offer fewer classes during the weekend.
And despite her previous globe-hopping, Rubiano said Thrive will likely serve as a Santa Fe anchor.
"It's a wonderful place to come home," she said. "We immediately felt inspired here. We knew it was going to happen."