Hero of the month – Ida May
Today I met Ida May: London-based fitness guru, yogi, dancer, model (and Ginger Orange fitspo)! Over a plate of french toast from the gorgeous East London café CREAM, we chatted about fitness, fashion, the City and talented Ida’s journey so far.
Ida, you’re a fitness icon here in London with a stunning fashion portfolio too, what’s the story behind your success?
I grew up in Finland where I started dancing from a young age, it’s always been a big passion of mine and eventually it lead me to train in musical theatre. I’ve had the pleasure to work as a commercial dancer for some awesome events like London 2012 Olympic Games as well as with an array of musicians including Rizzle Kicks, Bananarama and Scissor Sisters.
Alongside my dance career I’ve also modelled in hair and fashion shows and acted for various commercials too. I’ve always enjoyed an active lifestyle and so, quite naturally, my career developed across the fitness industry. I’m an instructor at 1Rebel in the City and I also teach here in Shoreditch at Frame and Shoreditch House. I’m always eager to find new challenges and explore new things, so it wasn’t long before I fell in love with yoga too! I’ve been practicing yoga intensely over the years and now it’s something I also love to teach.
What’s your favourite exercise?
I need a bit of everything really and I like to mix up my exercise so I don’t really have a set out routine. I need my yoga to keep my flexibility and I love high intense interval training sessions as they’re extremely challenging, fast paced and deliver great results almost instantly. I think I generally prefer dynamic workouts as opposed to routine gym sessions.
What does your usual day look like?
None of my days are really the same, I try and arrange my teaching classes in the morning and evenings so that in the day time I have enough time for castings and dance/choreography work. If I find a spare moment then I’ll usually head to the gym for a workout.
How about your diet, what do you like to eat?
I come to CREAM and they feed me (she laughs). I don’t follow any special diets to be honest, I just try to listen to what my body tells me to eat. Having said that, there are certain foods that I must have like avocado, bananas, lots of nuts and of course smoothies, coffee and coconut water.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I’m slightly obsessed with French toast and adore chocolate. I always opt for dark chocolate though!
What’s your favourite clothing?
I like to feel comfortable and will often try to mix my casual clothing with fitness wear. I actually asked my mum to make me a silk kimono recently, I really wanted one and couldn’t find one that I liked on the high street. You should have seen her face when she realised I was planning on wearing it outside! I think my kimono sort of sums up my wardrobe…if I feel comfortable in something and I like it, then I’ll wear it!
Do you have a favourite book?
Ooh that’s a tricky one – I used to read a lot and really like reading biographies. Unfortunately right now I’ve not got as much free time for reading, although I do like to indulge in magazines, especially fashion mags!
What about your favourite movie?
I like quite arty films and am not really a fan of a ‘chick flicks’. I recently watched ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ by Pedro Almodovar and loved it!
What inspires you?
The people around me. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some very talented people, talented great friends. It’s inspiring to spend time with people who are very passionate about their line of work and who remain true to themselves, being part of that atmosphere is what motivates me to achieve greater things in my own life.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
‘Absorb the good things only and let go the rest’.
And what does the future hold for you, Ida?
I’d love to travel around a world more and explore new places. Career-wise I’d like to get more involved with the creative side of things and more hands-on when it comes to ‘behind the scene’ type of work.
As you’re a fitspo for team Ginger Orange, do you have any tips for us on staying healthy?
My tip would be pretty simple: just do what makes you feel good! I think it is very important not to overstress yourself, especially in a place like London which can get very hectic.
Where’s your favourite spot in London?
I like Hackney and the Shoreditch area as I spend most of my time around here. I love to stroll along Columbia Road flower market on Sundays.
What would you say is the best advice ever given to you?
Believe in yourself and go for it.
Do you have a personal hero?
There are so many people that I admire, I like to absorb the good from lots of places!
If you could choose a superpower, what would you pick?
I’d love to be able to fly! Feel the breeze and get to wherever I want to go in a split second!