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Daily Inspiration: Meet Neda Soderqvist

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neda Soderqvist.

Neda is one of the top fitness instructors in the country, winning the title of Top Fitness Trainer by Exercise TV. She is known in Hollywood as one of the Top Fitness Movement Teachers to the Stars- She is the creator of the highly popular JAM Malibu (Juicy Athletic Moves) classes that combines carefully Selected fitness exercises and original dance routines – incorporating moves anywhere from hip hop to Bollywood to a tango — to contemporary and international music. JAM is one of the few disciplines that work every muscle group featuring weight training and cardio dance moves in a single workout. Students often remark that Neda’s classes are so addicting, they find themselves rearranging their lives around the classes. Known for her dynamic, exuberant personality, Neda has an intense passion for inspiring people to achieve their goals, motivating students and clients to feel better, both inside and out. Neda loves seeing the excitement of her students and clients as they see results and their mutual dedication to her. An all-around athlete with a master’s degree in physiology, fitness has always been a part of Neda’s life. For over 20 years, she has been teaching/participating in just about every sport imaginable. She has competed in triathlon’s, marathons (qualifying for the Boston Marathon twice), adventure races, 220- mile bike races overseas – just about anything that challenges the mind and body. Neda’s devotion to fitness dates to her school days where she excelled in swimming, track & field, volleyball…even captaining the cheerleading squad. Blending her skills as a gifted athlete and her studies in physiology, Neda realized the importance of cross-training, carefully developing her own unique style of workouts — which takes the best from many sports and practices.

JAM focuses on maximizing cardio training, strength building, and toning by combining dance and fitness –all in a supercharged, fun atmosphere. Neda makes it a point to learn every student’s name, whether it’s a group of eight or eighty. If there are any physical limitations, she offers modifications to keep each person safe from injury. It’s been said that her classes are like personal training in a group setting. As an instructor who has built a large following, Neda have been teaching JAM at some of the top L.A. fitness clubs. Her clientele range from stay-at-home moms to the professional athlete — back up dancers, marathon and triathletes, bodybuilders including a former Mr. California as well as Hollywood’s top artists, actors and actresses… She has also taught JAM classes as well as other fitness programs to children. Neda is actively working as a healer and Physical Therapist. Doctor’s at Cedars-Sinai refer patients to her for therapeutic treatments that have helped fully heal patients with sometimes grim diagnosis and outlook for future healing. She have helped patients bound to wheelchairs back to a normal life. In addition to fitness coaching and physical therapy, Neda has also worked as a professional photo model for over 15 years. Her work has been featured in a national magazine, in billboard ads, as well as countless runway shows, which she still does as a hobby.

Hi Neda, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I created JÄM Malibu (Juicy Athletic Moves) because I couldn’t find any workout that gave me the intense sweat of a hard run. I knew there had to be a way to take group fitness and dance to a higher level, and that’s where JÄM Malibu was born. Inspired by Zumba, belly dancing, plyometrics, strength training, and more, JÄM Malibu keeps the heart rate up and sweat pouring throughout the class. It’s this extreme burn (and awesome group dynamic) that draws many of my loyal students – including celebs – who are looking for a hardcore workout. I know I have a gift to heal and I choose to heal thru fitness… I want my students to look at themselves and feel empowered, the feeling of not being judged and mindfulness… All stresses are released, and we have major ENDORPHIN rushes through connecting with the music and our bodies in a fun and non-judgmental environment. No matter what age, size, or shape, celebrity or not, JÄM is a welcoming FAMILY of wonderful people joined together through their love of movement! Most dance classes teach one choreography through the whole class. JÄM is VARIETY! Each song has its own existence… My background gave me the perfect opportunity to meld the beauty and variety of different classes and methods. As an athlete (professional swimmer and runner) with years of education and training, as well as experience taking hundreds of exercise classes and teaching almost all of them, I realized there needed to be a way to teach a dance class that could cater to the Professional Athlete (I train many) JÄM is that one stop shop to fitness… JÄM is a fitness driven class ~ not like a typical dance or Zumba class. Your heart rate is HIGH most of the class and the moves are powerful and BIG with many squats, plyometrics, stretching, heart and lung training, basically all in ONE! I put certain movements together in one song and choreograph it -to feel like a Bollywood music video or being on stage or in a Broadway show. Classes are PACKED, 80 students at a time and the best part is you could have three or four celebrities in the class too… Last week I had Pink, Minnie Driver and Mira Sorvino in a single class. It’s become very well known with the Hollywood celebrities and many of my students are wives of big stars… Although stars have the budget for private training, group classes are pumping with energy and the feel in JÄM is as if we’re out at a night club partying instead of toiling through a boring workout.

Minnie Driver is an absolute doll and has been with JAM for almost two years, attending classes consistently 2-3 times a week! She has an amazingly gorgeous, long, lean body and JÄM has further strengthened her core while developing and shaping her silhouette. She looks better than ever, and I’ve helped her build endurance strength, flexibility, and she can DANCE now!!!! WOOOHOOO, you should see her do one of JÄMs Bollywood routines! As a mother, she needs to have the best workout in her hour! Check out Minnie’s testimonial here:

Pink mixes JÄM in between regular training sessions with her one-on-one trainer, Jillian. JÄM allows her a fun outlet for burning major calories with high-intensity dance and plyometric-inspired moves. Since returning to JÄM post-baby, she’s been such a pleasure to watch and work with! Her #1 goal has been staying healthy and strong as a woman and mother. I love to see how she embraces her body and spirit lovingly. Even though she’s getting a killer workout dancing, it’s always all about having a great time and taking care of herself mentally and physically!

Shannen Doherty started training with Neda during medical treatment for her cancer. The doctors have confirmed that the training designed specifically for someone going through aggressive cancer treatment clearly helped her to recover faster and also help her keep positive and mentally stronger. Shannen keeps training with Neda long after being cancer-free and says she never been in better shape physically. Check out some press coverage here:

Delilah Bell is a recent addition to the JÄM fam, and we’re stoked to have her. She has an incredible shape already, but quickly discovered that JÄM is no joke!! She’s now burning through the classes, following all the moves, and inspiring the rest of us. As she’s learned how intense a dance class can be from me. She was finding the added heat and structure increase my core engagement and amp up the burn! And as an A-list Photo model, she knows and appreciates how many calories dancing can burn.

Mindy Cohn is another cancer survivor who worked through her treatment with Neda and continues to do so several times a week, long after being in remission.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Believe it or not besides hard work, things have been falling into place by the grace of God.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Being an intuitive healer is what has helped me the most. My ability to feel people’s injuries and aches. I am very grateful to the strengths I have received.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Photography by Ulf Soderqvist

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