a boutique fitness phenomenon that took New York City by storm in 2006, is opening its inaugural South Bay studio in Los Gatos.

A woman-owned business, SoulCycle is transforming the relationship people have with exercise. Rather than simply a room filled with people on stationary bikes pumping away, every SoulCycle studio is uniquely inspiring, each instructor uplifting and every class involves both the body and the mind to achieve the ideal workout. SoulCycle is about creating a community environment where people come together to enjoy an “efficient, joyful experience.”

An alternative to a typical spin “workout,” SoulCycle begins in the calming, candlelit studio space. Each class is 45 minutes in length and is a full body experience, incorporating core exercises and hand weights to build upper body strength. Riders of all ages and fitness levels move in choreographed union to energizing music, creating a meditative-like atmosphere that is designed to clear the mind and enable participants to “connect with their best selves.” According to their website, “SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives. With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves with strength that lasts beyond the studio walls.”

SoulCycle has a cult-like following that began with its initial Manhattan studio. The boutique studio expanded to the Bay Area in 2013 including a location in Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center. The SoulGATO studio is their first in the South Bay. Located at 212 Santa Cruz Avenue, the facility will include 58 bikes and classes will cost about $30 apiece. Because the SoulCycle experience is an immersive one, the mood of the studio is paramount and the SoulGATO studio promises to be a “community cardio party” that will invigorative as well as provide meditative benefits. For those new to the SoulCycle experience, here are some guidelines to prepare for your first soul experience.

The largest indoor cycling company in the country, SoulCycle currently has 62 studios nationwide in New York, Miami, Boston, Dallas, Washington DC, Southern California and the Bay Area, with plans to expand to 250 locations. Cyclebar is their largest competitor and they, too, have designs on opening in Los Gatos in the not too distant future.