Nama-stay in a straight line in chaturanga.
And while yoga is all about what you feel comfortable doing in your own body, making these tiny tweaks can definitely help you maximize your practice. Instructors say they see these two moves done incorrectly all the time. Prove them wrong.
The problem: Lowering too far. It puts unnecessary strain on your rotator cuffs, says Turner, which can lead to an overuse injury.
The fix: Keep your body in a straight line, from shoulders to hips and knees, as you lower to the mat. If your upper-body strength is sagging, drop to your knees on the way down and focus on hugging all of your muscles into your midline, engaging your core and thighs.
The problem: Keeping your legs straight while letting your spine bend. "Forward fold is meant to open up the muscles in the back of the legs, but it can take weeks to build the flexibility," says Turner. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women's Health's Look Better Naked DVD.)
The fix: Until you're limber enough, try this variation: Stand in mountain pose, hinge from the hips on an exhale, and fold forward, keeping your spine as straight as possible and bending knees as necessary. Let your head hang and relax your jaw.