My second most-used phrase in class has to be… ‘suck your stomach in!’ or a variation thereof. Like ‘lock the knee’ this is crucial to so many poses, as it protects your back in padahastasana (hands to feet) and dandayamana janushirasana (standing head to knee) and provides essential stability in poses like utkatasana (awkward pose).
Unfortunately, what I see in class is students who tune out this vital instruction because they’re in a hurry to get their head to their knee, or whatever. If you’re tempted to rush and let it all hang out, remember, it isn’t about how far you go in a posture, it’s about doing it correctly. That is the only way to improve your practice and to gain benefits. Bad form can lead to injuries, which is the opposite of what you want in your practice. So pay attention and when I say ‘follow the dialogue word by word’ do it!
Not only will your poses get stronger and your practice improve, you’ll find that the more you suck your stomach in during class the less there will be sagging over your waistband outside the studio!