Tips to Consider for the first part of Awkward Pose:
1. Especially with newer students, the shoulders tend to lift and shrug upwards in the pose. Make sure your shoulders are DOWN away from your ears with your arms stretching forward.
2. Oftentimes students will lift their chin up when the teacher says to do backward bending. So rather than lifting your chin up, keep your chin level and think "Upper body up". You want to use your back muscles instead of your neck muscles.
3. Keep your stomach sucked in with the abs engaged the entire time!
4. Sit down until your hips touch the invisible chair. Most beginners don’t sit down low enough because they feel funny sticking their buttocks out behind them. It will feel very strange the first time you sit down all the way but it will help to increase flexibility in your hips. Sit too low, and you cannot lift your chest up and bring your upper body back, so that your total spine is backward bending. You basically want your upper legs to be parallel with the floor.
5. To go deeper in the posture you aren’t trying to sit lower. You are trying to lean back and fall down backwards.
Click "here" for more information on the first part of Awkward Pose.