This pose is tough. I mean even after major hip opening it's a serious, serious effort for me. In fact, this pose was taken after I filmed a custom yoga dvd for a hockey goalie the other day. Goalies need major hip work, so pretty much the only reason I was able to pop right up into this is because I had spent over an hour doing hip stuff.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is making sure the hips are open enough because if the body's not warmed up, the core and low back are at risk for injury. If you're looking to switch it up a bit, you can play with keeping that one leg bent just for fun.
Tip: It's important to watch out for the wrists, and make sure the arms are just wider than shoulder distance for a nice, strong base. Press down into the arm with the foot, but think about lifting up. In your head, let your mantra be lift, lift, lift.
Let's talk What pose would you like to see broken down?
Related A yoga video for tight hips.