If tight hips and/or a shallow squat is holding you up, squat. Squat, squat, squat! Hold the bottom of your squat for 30 seconds. Then a minute, then two, etc. Get a rock solid squat. I know we beat this into your head, but MOBILIZE. All of those exercises we have for you to do before class- guess what? You can do most of them at home too! Squatting and using your elbows to push your knees apart while you rock back and forth to open up a bit, the couch stretch (see picture below), and externally rotating your knees on a hip-high surface will all help with hip mobility.
As you breathe out, fold your body forward, and bring hands up and over head as much as possible. Slightly bending your knees will take the stretch out of your hamstrings and make it a bit easier. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Both arms reach back behind you- one arm reaches down, one arm reaches up, with the goal being to clasp hands. If that is not a possiblity, use a belt to bridge the gap and as your shoulders allow, gradually walk your hands closer together. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds on each side.
As you lift your knees, lengthen your tailbone, keeping your back straight. If your back starts to round, keep a bend in your knees. The entire time you are in this transition from floor to finish, actively press through your forearms. Press your shoulder blades down toward your tailbone. Head should be between your upper arms- not hanging or resting on the floor. Maintain a long, straight spine and keep chest lifted away from the floor as you hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Ideally, feet should be pressed flat on the floor. If you are not feeling this in your shoulders, you need to adjust your position.