Q&A: Neda Soderqvist
Neda is known in Hollywood as one of the Top Fitness Movement Teachers to the Stars. She is the creator of the highly popular JÄM (Juicy Athletic Moves) classes that combine carefully selected fitness exercises and original dance routines – incorporating moves anywhere from hip hop to Bollywood to a tango — to contemporary and international music. We asked Neda about her personal goals for 2015, what music is on her workout playlist and much more.
What do you do to embrace the “new year, new you” mentality?
I’m very fortunate to be a role model to many women and young girls. Each day, I try to grow and be a better person so I’m able to influence others to do the same. Life is a constant process. If we become stagnant, we fall into a rut, and when we enter that state, we tend to develop bad habits. I like to not only embrace the New Year, but each New Day as well.
Are you doing anything special to transition into 2015?
New Years is a time of reflection for me. As the previous year winds down, I contemplate where I came from and where I’m going. I had tremendous struggles with body image issues when I was younger and suffered from anorexia. Before New Years, I like to honor the woman I once was, and take the lessons I learned from her into the upcoming year.
What does the New Year represent to you?
The New Year represents a fresh start filled with endless opportunities. It represents another year of living! The New Year also makes me realize I’m happy to be alive and just how lucky I am. After years of battling with anorexia, represents honoring another year of my battle with body image… I suffered with anorexia I gave birth to my son, who helped me to finally love my body. I love to pass this on to other women, because there are so many out there who are encountering the same struggles. I do this through fitness and dance and by teaching women to love each other instead trying to sabotage one another.
Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions?
I make it a point to never make New Year’s resolutions. It’s a known fact that most resolutions are broken by March, and when I make promises to my family and myself I like to keep them. Instead of making resolutions, I make sure I’m constantly cultivating my personal growth. I’m human, so sometimes I stumble, but I never ever give up. Instead, I persevere, not only on New Years, but all year long.
Do you have any tips for staying present and being in the moment?
For me, the most important tool for staying present and in the moment is my friends. They keep me real. I think it’s so important to surround myself with positive people who love me unconditionally as I love them. Another instrument I use to help me stay in the moment is my dance. Often, when I move my body to music, I enter a meditative state.
What is your number one workout wardrobe essential?
I must have comfortable workout pants that I can feel good in. I workout with my clients for up to eight hours a day, and this produces a lot of sweat. Needless to say, I change my clothes several times throughout an afternoon. When I get home, I’m done for the day, and there’s no better feeling than to get cozy in a comfy pair of sweatpants.
What is your Beyond Yoga must have for 2015?
I’m totally obsessed with all the Beyond Yoga sweatpants, so It’s impossible to pick just one! I own several pairs of the Bamboo Staple, as well as the Quilted Pants and the Practice Pants. The Crystal Mesh Legging is so sexy and a must have for every workout wardrobe. The Bombshell Bomber is perfect to layer over tank tops. It’s both sporty and sexy. Oh… and the Kindred Tank! … I could go on and on!!!
What is your “go-to” uniform that you can wear from day to night?
I live in sweatpants and long sleeved shirts. The women in my classes love to sport the tighter fitting pants and tanks, but I love a more loser fit. Even if I go to lunch or run some errands, you’ll most likely see me around town in my workout clothes.
NAILS: Color? Art? Plain??
I’m a bit of a tomboy, so I like to keep my nails neat with no color. Since I dance in bare feet a lot, I always make sure my toes are painted. My favorite color is a Chanel red.
What do you do for your personal exercise?
I am a fitness/dance teacher and personal trainer. My clients are strong men and women, both emotionally and physically. They consist of athletes, professional dancers and celebrities, so I am constantly moving with them, so the only workout I do is my own.
What music is on your workout playlist right now?
My playlist consists of many different styles of music. I train with professional dancers and I’m lucky to work with many amazing artists, so sometimes I get music suggestions from them. I also love foreign films, especially Bollywood. The music in those movies is very upbeat and inspiring and I always try to include it in my class. I’m always searching for new artists so my class is constantly fresh and exciting. Just today, my music ranged from Enrique Iglesias, to Fergie, to Missy Elliott to an Indian artist called Ajay.
Any hidden gems in Los Angeles that you can share?
My favorite place to go and relax is at one of the Korean spas near downtown. Wii is one of the best. I don’t go often enough, but it’s a great place to just check out and allow my body to recover from a hard week of training. I also love eating at the café there and indulge in the Korean shaved ice.
What is the next “IT” label?
Juicy Athletic Moves, otherwise known as JAM! I have so many exciting things happening this upcoming year, such as live streaming. I already have a huge following and it’s only going to grow!