We like unconventional. We also like bending, lunging and flowing through vinyasas to Iron Maiden in that order. And so we thought you'd like to meet Neda and Durgaya, the badass, beautiful and strong female yogis who run Tough Love Yoga. They have inspirational bodies and attitudes, and they'll challenge your body no matter your level, gender, or musical preferences. Hardcore namaste:
SCOUT: Outside of Tough Love, how might people know you?
N & D: Well, we are both yoga teachers who have taught at locations all around Atlanta, including Young Blood Gallery and Boutique, Kashi Atlanta, Dance 411, and The Lovett School. People might recognize Neda from past years of slinging drinks at bars around Atlanta including MJQ, Bookhouse and 97 Estoria. Durgaya was a hairdresser at Lux Studio, when it was located in Poncey-Highland.
SCOUT: Jeez, that's a whole lot of Atlanta. And what was the magical moment where the stars aligned for you two to meet?
N & D: We met at Kashi Atlanta, a yoga studio in Candler Park. How appropriate!
SCOUT: Perfectly meant to be. When and why did y’all decide to start teach together?
N & D: We started Tough Love Yoga in May 2010. We both loved teaching, but we realized that we were stronger teachers when we taught together. We knew that we wanted to introduce more people to yoga by offering it in unconventional places and teaching in an accessible way. Once we saw how strongly our friends and family supported us, we felt empowered to pour our hearts (and blood, sweat and tears) into Tough Love.
SCOUT: What are you both trained in and where did you learn?
N & D: We both have 200 hour certifications in Classical Hatha Yoga from Kashi Atlanta. Neda has completed and Durgaya is working towards a 200 hour certification in Kali Natha Yoga from Kashi Ashram in Sebastian, Fl. We both also just finished our third and final Anusara Immersion with Gina Minyard at Atlanta Yoga and are both working towards Anusara-Inspired status. We are total yoga junkies!
SCOUT: Wow, I just try to clock in an hour or two a week. Got a favorite yoga memory?
NEDA: I have to say mine is one very special occasion when Durgaya and I sat in front of and were taught by our Guru Ma Jaya. It was extraordinary and very personal and I believe it paved the way for us to start Tough Love Yoga together.
SCOUT: Double word. Any groups that inspire you?
N & D: The ladies at Young Blood are phenomenal, and not just because I’m biased. What they have created is so special. They are so dedicated to their craft (pun intended) and have been so encouraging and inspiring throughout the process of developing Tough Love Yoga. And Atlanta as a whole has been so supportive.
SCOUT: Where in Atlanta do you go to get new ideas or find inspiration?
N & D: Gina Minyard and Isvari Verre’s Anusara yoga classes! You’ll also see us in each other’s classes but our true inspiration comes from meeting the challenges and excitement that our students bring to class. Our friends and family are also always offering us ideas for new classes and concepts.
SCOUT: So, when you’re not practicing or teaching, where do you go to just chill?
NEDA: I have been known to make my way down the street to the Righteous Room after class for an adult beverage from time to time. I also really love the Brickstore, Leon’s, and El Myr.
DURGAYA: You’ll find me on a friend’s patio with a cup of ginger tea and a game of
SCOUT: Your favorite “curious find” in Atlanta?
N & D: Besides Young Blood? Jeju Sauna in Duluth! It’s open 24 hours, it’s perfectly acceptable to be naked around strangers, and you feel amazing when you leave.
SCOUT: Okay, random, funny, weird: give me a fact people wouldn’t know about you?
Neda: I am a bacon addict, especially if you combine it with chocolate or whiskey. And I’m a serious feeder. Don’t come to my house unless you want food stuffed in your face.
Durgaya: I like country music. After Jeju, I’ve been known to duck into Wild Bill’s. It’s
right across the street. Neda waits in the car.
SCOUT: I think I might too. Finally, throw out a shameless plug of where people can learn more about you lovely ladies:
SCOUT: Come see us at Young Blood Gallery and Boutique!
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10:30-11:45 a.m. and Monday-Thursday: 8:00-9:15 p.m. And check out Metal Yoga! Monday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. All of our classes are $10. Check out our website at ToughLoveYoga.com, Find us on Facebook and follow
us on Twitter.