This week's asana is Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). Look's easy enough right? Well, first ask yourself- what is the purpose of this pose? What is the intention behind it? Am I strengthening, stretching or both? What exactly am I stretching?
Trikonasana is pretty awesome because it is not only stretching your front leg hamstrings but it provides a secondary stretch to your back leg hamstrings and calf muscles.
Pressing through your hand wherever it is placed (floor, foot, ankle, shin) forces you to activate the rhomboids (cute little muscles in your back that connects the scapulae with your spine) which retracts the scapulae (aka shoulder blades), giving you that awesome open-feeling in the chest.
Your muscles on the lower side of your stomach are activated to help turn your torso slightly upwards- Not only are you getting a lower oblique workout but you are simultaneously stretching and lengthening the upper obliques.
So basically, this asana is pretty bad ass.
Ps. if you're hyper-extending your front leg, make sure you have a slight bend in the knee.