Job: Owner/instructor, Tough Love Yoga
Relationship status: Engaged
There's something very yin-and-yang about a yoga instructor whose 75-minute sessions wouldn't be complete without a blessing from the likes of metal band Death Heaven. An Atlanta native of Iranian descent, Neda owns Tough Love Yoga, where her metal yoga mashups grew out of a desire to make the discipline she's practiced for 13 years more fun and accessible. When she's not stretching out sacroiliacs in her favorite King Pigeon pose, she likes to indulge in a dairy-free brownie or veg-out on the couch with her new fiancé. The couple recently returned from a friend's wedding in Sayulita, Mexico, where Neda's boyfriend proposed on Playa de los Muertos, a pre-Columbian cemetery which, translated, means Beaches of the Dead. "It was just perfect," she says.
What's the lamest pickup line anyone's used on you?
I used to work at MJQ. So you know when you're the bartender and you're feeding people alcohol — I got lots of them. One of them was like, "My friends and I were talking and you're about an 8." I was like, "Wow, thanks, dude! All right, moving on."
What's the first album you bought with your own money?
This is the embarrassing part. It was the Point Break soundtrack. There was a rap song that I was really into. I was in third grade; it was serious business.
What's your sexy-time soundtrack?
I like melodic metal, like Isis or Wolves in the Throne Room — something like that.
What's your pettiest relationship deal-breaker?
Ohhh, bad taste in music, probably. Like if you liked Maroon 5, that would be a deal-breaker for me.
How much would you charge to murder a stranger?
I would not. There's not a price on that. It's just not gonna happen. I couldn't do it.
With whom would you like to play Truth or Dare?
Probably my friend Garrett. He's my best guy friend. He's hilarious. When I told him I was coming here today, he was like, "Do we need to do your makeup, Beyoncé?" He's very funny, very cute.
What personal attribute are you a sucker for?
Nerdiness is probably my No. 1 attribute that I love. My boyfriend's super nerdy and I think it's really sexy.
What do you like best about your job?
I like it because I get to do whatever I want. I've taught at other people's studios and had to develop my program around their expectations. Now I can say "fuck" in my class if I want to. I can teach metal yoga if I want to.
Are the movements any different?
No, it's just the music. I play all kinds of different metal. We do a different band every week. So it just depends on what I'm in the mood for. It's just nice to not have the boundaries. I think I became a better teacher when I stopped caring about what other people thought.
What's your standard drink?
I love whiskey.
What band were you obsessed with when you were 14?
Oh gosh, when I was 14? Probably something like the Beastie Boys or something. I'm trying to think, 14? What grade was that?
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
My roommate makes these brownies and they're dairy-free. I have a lot of food allergies so I can't eat a lot of stuff like that. But they're dairy-free and grain-free and I've eaten one every single day since October. It's like the best part of my day.
What's your least favorite household chore?
Oh, hanging up my clothes when they're washed. That's the worst. I always have a laundry basket stacked full of clean clothes.
Describe your relationship to exercise.
Oh, constant. I mean, it's my job. It's my love. I don't feel right if I'm not practicing yoga.
What's the last thing that made you cry?
Oh man, talking about my dog that just passed away.
What's the last good book you read?
I'm in the middle of doing my first yoga teacher training. Or leading my first yoga teacher training, so I've been reading a lot of yoga books. But the last non-yoga book I read that was good? Into the Woods. It's [set in] southern Ireland and kind of a murder mystery.
What do you wish someone would hurry up and invent?
What movie would you most like to live in?
Can I pick a TV show? Can I say "No Reservations"? That's what I want to live in. I want to be Anthony Bourdain. Movies are kind of hard for me. Lord of the Rings.
What's the best way for a customer to hit on you?
Oh, don't. Yeah, especially not at the yoga studio. It's just really inappropriate and creepy. My boyfriend was a customer of mine when I bartended and he never hit on me. He was just the nice, quiet guy at the bar. And that worked.