Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
1. I am grabbing my foot from the outside instead of the inside! This may seem like a small correction but it makes a huge difference! When you grab your foot from the inside you are opening up your chest and rotating your shoulder properly, which is an integral part of the stretch!
Think thumbs up, not thumbs down!
2. My hip and knee are turned out to the side! This is such a common mistake and could cause serious low back and hip pain over time! Dancer pose is meant to be a hip facing forward situation, and the knee should be in line with the ankle - never turned out! If you have more open hips, this may feel better but you have to focus on building strength so that you don't sink into your standing leg hip! Imagine that your hip bones are headlights on a car!
3. My lifted foot and arm are not engaged, defeating the whole purpose of dancer pose! I see many people just lifting their foot up and not focusing on the true "Balance" of the pose. Engage your back foot by actively pressing it into your hand as you reach out energetically through the front arm. This press/pull motion is what allows beautiful stability in dancer pose! Also note that my neck is cranked up - always keep a neutral, natural upper spine and neck in this pose!
PROP MODIFICATION: WALL
Practice with your front hand on a wall. (or a friend!) don't be afraid to fall - it happens to the best of us and all you have to do is try again!