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!

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

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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!!!

Lolasana (Pendant) Yoga Pose Drills Choreographed to The Chordettes “Lollipop”

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The full Lolasana (Pendant) yoga pose should have knees lifted about armpit height… HA!!!

What is my current least favorite yoga pose?  HANDS DOWN: Lolasana, or Pendant pose.  It’s just one of those poses that “looks” like something I should be able to do, but then when I go to try it, I press down on my hands and oh, it is SO heavy… why do my legs NOT lift off the floor???  FAIL.  I only recently discovered this pose on Instagram 7 weeks ago, and after several attempts, I was able to lift up probably a milimeter off the floor for just about a second.  It was tough!!!  So after that Instagram post, I went back to pretending Lolasana pose did not exist.

Well, if you have been working on Press Handstands like me, then at one point or another, you will need to face Lolasana pose because it is completely related to learning how to control floating up and down in presses.  ARGH.  So here I am now… ready to commit to working on Lolasana everyday.  What better way to practice then to create a silly choreographed routine that works on Lolasana drills???  Lolasana, Lollipop…yeah, sounds similar enough.

Some tips before you get started:

  1. Invest in some good sturdy blocks (NOT the cheap, flimsy, thin, terrible 2.5 inch width foamy ones I’m using – as you’ll soon see why!!!).  I literally just purchased these Clever Yoga Blocks on Amazon after I made the video because they were the highest rated!  I’ll let you know how they are!
  2. If you’re just starting out, place the blocks on the highest height, and then work to the middle height, lowest height, and eventually hands on the floor the whole time!
  3. Don’t forget to stretch out your wrists before and after.
  4. Yes, the toes are supposed to be pointed back and you are on the tops of your feet.  This automatically forces you to focus on putting LESS weight on the feet (ouch ankles!) and MORE weight into your arms and deep CORE!  Oh yeah!
  5. Enjoy!  This routine BURNS.  Do you feel it???

Joining the fitmob Team and My New Fall Schedule!

Meet your newest fitmob leader... me!

Meet your newest Mob Leader… me!

Last September, I had just moved to Marin County from Pasadena and gratefully began my Fall teaching schedule with only 2 classes for Bay Club Marin and Mill Valley Community Center.  Four months later in January, that number went up to 8 classes when I joined Marin Power Yoga, and now exactly one year later, I am ecstatic that I will be teaching a total of 13 classes and joining the fitmob team!!!

Fitmob (www.fitmob.com) launched in San Francisco less than a year ago and brought a variety of fitness classes to the community, meeting in both indoor and outdoor locations such as parks or even clubs.  The idea is that students can look for classes they want through their fitmob app and pay as they go, instead of committing to something like a gym membership.  In fact, the more classes students take per week, the cheaper it is per class!

Fitmob was so successful they decided to branch out to Marin and see if the same business model will be just as popular somewhere other than the city.  They are doing a full Marin launch starting this week and I am thrilled to be joining the fitmob team as a Mob Leader!  I will be teaching:

* A barefoot cardio and dance conditioning workout called “BodyFIT 360” created by my mentor, Michelle Dozois, Fridays at 8:30am in the Mill Valley Aquatics & Fitness Center.

* A Gentle Vinyasa Yoga class every Wednesday at 12:15pm in the Mill Valley Aquatics & Fitness Center.

In addition to my new fitmob classes, I will be adding on 4 more classes at Marin Power Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays:

* 9:30am – BodyFIT 360 by Michelle Dozois

* 10:45am – Yin Yang Yoga that uses the wall and lots of yummy props!

Grateful doesn’t even sum it up… Since I began teaching fitness in 2005, I took whatever opportunities I got and found myself saying “Yes!” to classes I wasn’t comfortable leading or saying “Yes!” to classes way early in the morning or way late in the night.  During the worst schedule line-up, I would leave the house at 6am and get home at 10pm teaching a scattered 4 classes in between those 16 hours, and that was also with a 6-month old!!!

Since moving to Marin a year ago, I decided to prioritize my family first and learn to say “No,” which is very challenging for me to do.  I decided only to take opportunities that fall within my daughter’s preschool schedule after I drop her off and before I pick her up.  Somehow, some way, over this past year everything has fallen right into place and I am truly humbled.  Please check out: “Classes” to see my full teaching schedule starting this week.

If any of you would like to try fitmob out, click here to get a free 7-day trial where you can take as many classes as you like for free!  Stop by and say hello!!!