After a few weeks (or months) of practice, this pose gets yummy. For me it’s only been a little while, but it hit me today in class.
The yumminess comes when one can balance on the extended leg above the knee instead of on the knee, which takes some opening in the hips to let the legs shift forward. Then you push down the bent leg and extend the knee forward, trying to keep your hips squared.
Then you open up and lift your arms, squeezing your shoulder blades together and pressing your arms near your ears.
The ta-da (and extra yumminess) of this pose is when you reach up, push forward with your bent knee, come further forward onto the top of your knee and open your heart with a slight back bend.
Yum. So much better than those nasty gym lunges. Banarasana.