Beyonce “Before I Let Go” Dance Challenge

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Well, if you didn’t know… Beyonce released her latest “Homecoming: The Live Album” two weeks ago, and with it, a new song titled, “Before I Let Go.”  Then, she created a  DANCE CHALLENGE to that song.  Beyonce invited her fans to come up with their own dance moves to match the lyrics in her song, specifically the lyrics near the end.  For us dancers, I broke it down to 8 – 8 counts:

1st 1234     Ooh (To the left)

1st 5678     I just wanna have a good time (Turn around)

2nd 1234   Turn around, kick, then slide

2nd 5678   And twirl that ass to the right, now

3rd 1234   Ooh 

3rd 5678   Bunny hop, bunny hop, drop, pop

4th 1234   Cross your legs, turn around and clap

4th 5678   Shuffle to the left, let’s glide now

5th 1234   Ooh

5th 5678   Drop it down, drop it down low, low

6th 1234   Low, low, low to the floor, floor

6th 5678   Bring it up, clap, then roll, roll

7th 1234   Step on ’em, step on ’em, step on ’em, step

7th 5678   Step on ’em, kick on ’em, stomp, then you step

8th 1234   Swag the right, surf the left

8th 5678   Work the middle ’til it hurt a little

OF COURSE I had to choreograph a #StopDropAndDance routine to this song, but the challenge was how to simplify the choreography so that I could still match the lyrics and make it easy enough to learn in the 4 minute full length song.  For those of you not familiar with my #StopDropAndDance class, basically my intention is to make the choreography friendly enough that I can play songs back to back and never have to stop the music to break down counts and choreography (visit my YouTube page for other videos).

Alright, so check it out.  I made a few mistakes myself, but whatever.  It’s about having fun, staying healthy, and making dance accessible for EVERYONE!

 

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#StopDropAndDance With Grace Ling Yu

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Can’t Stop the Feeling with Justin Timberlake #StopDropAndDance with Grace Ling Yu!

So you know when a catchy song comes on the radio, and your body just wants to MOVE? Well, that’s exactly how I feel, pretty much on a daily basis.  Justin Timberlake’s latest song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” is no joke.  When I first heard that song, it was around 10pm.  And I stayed up another 2 hours dancing.  By myself.  This was the video I ended up recording because I had to document my ridiculousness.

Of course that dance is very choreographed and if I were to teach it to you, I would have to break down all the steps and counts.

I’ve decided to start posting EASY TO PICK UP dance videos that require absolutely no breakdown of steps.  You can literally turn on the video and start dancing with me!!!  And it is such a good cardio workout, not to mention the obvious… it is SO MUCH FUN.  I even got a bunch of “backup dancers” from Marin Power Yoga to show you how much we love this!

I’m officially using the hashtag #StopDropAndDance with Grace Ling Yu.  If you like my videos, there are more videos posted on the #StopDropAndDance tab on this blog, or you can do one of the following to stay up to date:

  1. Press LIKE on my Facebook Page to receive the latest updates: www.facebook.com/PowerWithGrace
  2. SHARE my #StopDropAndDance Videos and TAG your friends to dance too!
  3. Press SUBSCRIBE on my YouTube page: www.youtube.com/gracelingyu
  4. FOLLOW me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/gracelingyu
  5. Optional: Post a video of you doing part or all of one of my dances and TAG @Power With Grace as well as the hashtag #StopDropAndDance to spread the LOVE!!!

My ultimate goal is that a particular song could come on the radio, and you would start dancing the #StopDropAndDance moves simply because you remember them and you just CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!!!

Enjoy!!!

 

 

Prenatal Yoga Dance to “How Long Will I Love You,” By Ellie Goulding

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Mother’s Day just passed two days ago, and at times I am still in disbelief that Mother’s Day is now a celebration for me too!  How much changes in 5 years… from never sleeping in anymore, to taking 1 hour to get out of the house in the mornings versus 15 minutes, to having stuff… just stuff… all over the house.   And now… to having endless kisses and snuggles, to having a helper put away dishes or laundry, to knowing a love that is so deep and so great that my heart actually hurts thinking about my kids.

Motherhood has been a wild ride, starting with being bedridden for 3 months in my first pregnancy!  Fortunately, my second pregnancy was smooth sailing and I was able to teach my fitness and yoga classes literally until the morning of my labor.

18 months ago, I shot this impromptu yoga dance video with Jamie Ginsberg at Marin Power Yoga when I was pregnant with my second child.  I am so grateful I have this footage.  My heart is full.

Some other yoga dances I’ve made:

Yoga Dance – “Make You Feel My Love”

Yoga Dance – “Amazing Grace”

 

Other pregnancy posts I wrote:

Prenatal Yoga For Experienced Yogis

I Am Going to Miss Being Pregnant!

Happy Valentine’s Day Playlist

 

 This week I was splurging on one of my favorite bars, the Chocolate Peppermint Luna Bar, when I realized that they have quotes written on the wrapper!  Most of you know I LOVE quotes, but this quote was just perfect.  Perfect because Valentine’s Day was approaching over the weekend and I was having trouble deciding whether or not to do a Valentine’s theme for my Rock and Flow Power Yoga Class at Marin Power Yoga.   This was my answer.

YES!!!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be romantic as it is often thought to be.  Self-love.  Make yourself happy.  Isn’t that more important?

So I shared this quote with my class, then continued with an awesome playlist that had the word “love” in the title (that wasn’t hard… Probably could make 5 different playlists!!!).  Enjoy!

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Valentine’s 75 minute Playlist:

How Deep is Your Love – Beegees

That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players

The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis

Baby Love – The Supremes

Best of My Love – The Emotions

Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family

I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

All You Need is Love – The Beatles

It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey

Endless Love – Diana Ross

Because I Love You – Stevie B

How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

The Greatest Love Of All – Whitney Houston

Learning to love yourself.  It is the greatest love of all.  ~Whitney Houston

Best TRX Core Exercises Choreographed to Me and My Girls by Selena Gomez

trx core exercises plank to pike

TRX was absolutely foreign to me in the beginning of this year.  I had no idea what it was, not to mention what you do with it.  Well, well, well.  My studio, Marin Power Yoga, made the BEST decision about 9 months ago to invest in TRX and add this amazing workout into our class schedule.  It is a perfect complement to yoga because all the TRX exercises work on strengthening your core for poses like side planks or planks, plus strengthening your upper body and arms for chaturangas, inversions and arm balances, and of course your lower body and feet get stronger for warriors and balances.  Total body workout!!!  I completely credit my press handstand improvements to my dedicated TRX practice!

If you want to know more about TRX, here’s an old post I wrote when we first tried out Suspension Based Training using some test-run straps.

Of course with my dance and choreography background, I had to create a TRX routine set to music.  Of course.  This routine is NO JOKE.  My arms and abs were burning and I really could not go any lower on those push ups… I had this grand idea of getting all my “girls” at the studio to learn the routine and do it with me.  It worked out ok for the first half, but as you’ll see in the videos below… it is NOT EASY.  We were dropping like flies.  Haha!!!  But nothing wrong with that – it’s all about the progress, the determination, the effort!

Ready to learn it?   If you do memorize it and attempt the routine, please tag me @gracelingyu on Instagram or give credit to my website in your description.  Thank you!  Here are my choreography notes using the You Tube video times:

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Me and My Girls by Selena Gomez – TRX Core Routine

32cts, 4×8, 0:00-0:14: Intro – Feet into the straps.  GET PUMPED UP!!!

RIGHT SIDE LEADS

16cts, 2×8, 0:14-0:22: Down Down Up Up lowering to forearms and back up to hands, 4x.  On the last one, keep the L forearm down, and R hand down (funky plank).

16cts, 2×8, 0:22-0:29: Funky Knee Tucks Both knees tuck to the R elbow, 4x.

8cts, 1×8, 0:29-0:33: Set up Forearm Side Plank by moving R foot behind L foot and lift up R hand behind head.

16cts, 2×8, 0:33-0:42: Forearm Side Plank Oblique Crunch R elbow crunches down to meet bent L knee, 4x.

8cts, 1×8, 0:42-0:46: Transition to Knees to Floor, 5x Quick Claps and hit the floor for the Chorus.

32cts, 4×8, 0:46-1:01: 8x Mountain Climbers, 4x Alternating Pendulum Tucks, 2 sets

32cts, 4×8, 1:01-1:17: 4x Atomic Push Ups, 3x Atomic Pike, Hold Plank to Reset

REPEAT ALL ON LEFT SIDE 1:17-2:20

32cts, 4×8, 2:20-2:36: 4x Frog Tucks In and Out, 4x Frog Tucks Out and In

32cts, 4×8, 2:36-2:51: Locust Pose 4 Pulses Each: Arms Back, Arms Side, Arms Front, Push back to Plank

32cts, 4×8, 2:51-3:07: Spiderman Push Ups 8x Alternating

32cts, 4×8, 3:07-3:24: 4x Plank Jumping Jacks, 2x Wide Knee Tucks to Triceps, 2 sets

End in Crow Pose, releasing the straps from your feet!!!

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Below are 2 videos for you to learn the routine.  The first one is my initial attempt at testing out the routine and to see if it was difficult (YES.), and the second one is when I got together with some of my girls, Wendy, Araceli, and Laine!  #thestruggleisreal!!! Alright, leave a comment below if you try it out!!!

Power Yoga Playlist – “Earth”

Earth-Day-CraftOn April 22nd each year, we celebrate Earth Day.  It is a great reminder to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!  A perfect example is observing the habits of my 3 year old daughter and realizing I have plenty of teachable moments to show her how we can be much kinder to the environment!

Example #1) After school while I cook dinner, she plays on her own and sometimes draws.  This week, I noticed that she had taken literally 5 sheets of white paper and scribbled a tiny bit on each page.  What a great lesson to teach her to REDUCE the number of pages and just use 1 paper until it is all filled up!

Example #2) My daughter’s school had a special Earth Day Celebration that included a petting zoo, music performance, face painting, art projects, and of course snacks.  They provided mini paper cups of lemonade for the kids to take.  My daughter finished her first cup and then threw it away, only to return to the snack table and grab a new cup.  No no, let’s REUSE our cup and ask the teacher to refill it with some more lemonade, right?

Example #3) Everyday after school, it is part of our daily routine when we arrive home to check the mail before entering the house.  Normally, my daughter takes everything out of the mailbox and gives it to me.  I decided to let her help me sort through “junk” mail and “important” mail this week, and she helped me RECYCLE the “junk” mail into our recycling bin.  Good job!

Earth Day is everyday!  But if anything, having a special day designated for Earth Day each year forces people like myself to take extra notice on how wasteful or hurtful we may be to the environment!  Every little bit matters…

For my Power Class this week, I made an Earth playlist.  To be honest, it was pretty hard finding upbeat songs about taking care of the Earth, but I came up with a decent list.  For my sequence this week, I am adding in as many standing balancing poses as I can.  We will be using our feet, our roots, to symbolize our connection with the ground and Earth below us just like the roots of a tree.  Enjoy!

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Power Yoga Playlist – “Earth” (75 minutes)

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

1) “Earth Song,” by Michael Jackson, 6:46

Sun Salutations A & B:

2) “We Are Here,” by Alicia Keys, 4:44

3) “One Tribe,” by The Black Eyed Peas, 4:41

Standing Work Series:

4) “Give Love,” by MC Yogi, 3:40

5) “Paradise (On Earth),” by Cris Cab, 3:46

6) “On Top Of The World,” by Imagine Dragons, 3:10

7) “Earth From Outer Space,” by Michael Franti, 3:51

8) “Hall of Fame,” by The Script, 3:23

9) “Wavin’ Flag,” by K-Naan, 3:33

10) “We Will Shine,” by MC Yogi, 4:06

11) “One Day,” by Matisyahu, 3:28

Backbending / Core Work:

12) “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas, 4:33

13) “Everything Is Everything,” by Lauryn Hill, 4:53

14) “If You’re Out There,” by John Legend, 4:20

Hips / Deep Stretching:

15) “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, 5:08

16) “Gone,” by Jack Johnson, 2:08

17) “Imagine,” by John Lennon, 3:04

18) “What a Wonderful World,” by Celine Dion, 3:47

Savasana:

19) “So Much Magnificence,” by Deva Premal

*****

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves.”

~ John Muir

Power Yoga Playlist – “Cinco De Mayo”

Mexico-Musicians

What is the meaning behind Cinco De Mayo?  Many people (including myself), have wrongly thought that it is to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day.  However that holiday is really on September 16th.  Cinco De Mayo is actually a celebration of the Mexican army defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, even though they were outnumbered and were unlikely to win.  It is therefore a celebration about believing in the impossible and beating the odds.

Today I taught a Power Yoga class and wanted to do something different to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.   As much as I would have loved to turn my yoga class into a party with margaritas and tacos and dancing, I knew that wasn’t a possibility.  So I decided that at least the music for the class could be a party!  I compiled an upbeat playlist that includes various Hispanic or Latino musicians, and taught a faster vinyasa flow with a little bit more cardio elements such as donkey kicks.  After all, we were having a party right?  Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do!

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Power Yoga Playlist – “Cinco De Mayo”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

1) Oye Como Va,” by Santana, 4:18

2) “Escape,” by Enrique Iglesias, 3:28

Sun Salutations A & B:

3) “We Are One (Ole Ola),” by Pitbull, 3:42

4) “The Cup of Life,” by Ricky Martin, 4:37

Standing Work Series:

5) “Danza Kuduro,” by Don Omar and Lucenzo, 3:19

6) “Hips Don’t Lie,” by Shakira and Wyclef Jean, 3:38

7) “Gasolina – DJ Buddah Remix,” by Daddy Yankee, Lil Jon, and Pitbull, 4:43

8) “Guajira (I Love U 2 Much),” by Yerba Buena, 4:10

9) “Vivir Mi Vida,” by Marc Anthony, 4:11

10) “Whenever, Wherever,” by Shakira, 3:16

Backbending / Core Work:

11) “Bailando,” by Enrique Iglesias, 4:03

12) “Alejandro,” by Lady Gaga, 4:34

Hips / Deep Stretching:

13) “Senorita,” by Justin Timberlake, 4:55

14) “Sway,” by Michael Buble, 3:08

Savasana:

15) “Spanish Lullaby,” by Chill Out Music Academy, 4:11

*****

“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.”

~ M. Scott Peck

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“We can help unite our communities and inspire them to be excited about the goal of building a culture of peace by celebrating together.”

~ Robert Alan Silverstein

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“While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life everyday, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.”

~ Mattie Stepanek