You're flowing through vinyasa class, moving to the rhythm of your breath, and lengthening and strengthening your entire body with each pose. But in the midst of a feel-good flow, it can be all too easy to forget about form cues that make the moves so beneficial.
That's why I created a series of 60-second yoga fixes for Greatist. In less than one minute, I'll give super-simple, step-by-step tips to improve your alignment and body positioning to help you get the most out of each pose. Just remember, no one's perfect and everyone's body is different, so make sure to do what feels best for yours.
This week we'll tackle downward dog, which releases tension in your spine, stretches your hamstrings and calves, and strengthens your upper body. It's the anchoring pose of most classes, so you'll want to get it right. Check out the video below for four quick fixes that'll help you nail it every time.
Fix 1: If your back is rounded or your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees deeply, pressing your torso toward your thighs, to find length in your spine.
Fix 2: Spread your fingertips as wide apart as possible and press firmly through your index finger knuckle.
Fix 3: Imagine your hands are on two dials that you're turning inward toward the center, so your left hand moves clockwise and your right hand moves counterclockwise. Spin your forearms in, then draw your shoulders down and spiral your biceps out.
Fix 4: Only if you can maintain length in your spine will you eventually straighten the legs.
Brett Larkin teaches vinyasa flow yoga at top San Francisco studios and on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 5 million minutes. Find free yoga playlists, yoga teacher training tips, and free dance, yoga, and meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.