In comfortable clothing, lay flat on your back with your legs straight across the floor and arms to the sides. Bend your left leg and, using your hands, place your left ankle as high on your right thigh as you can. Ideally, your left ankle should be resting on the upper right thigh at the hip. Continue to hold your ankle with both hands. If this is too difficult, then take a scarf or belt and wrap it around the ankle and gently pull the ankle up toward the hip area. This will give you more leverage and help keep your back and shoulders on the floor.
Now slowly rotate the left leg up, so your knee comes up to face the ceiling, and then lower it back to the floor. You will feel the stretch in the hip. This movement opens the hip joint and increases blood flow to the area. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times. Don't overextend or try to touch your knee to the ground. Keep the range of motion comfortable.
Return your left leg to the floor and switch legs. Place your right ankle on top of your left leg, resting the ankle near the hip joint. Hold your right ankle with both hands and lift the right leg up and back down toward the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Try to work up to three sets of these exercises, alternating your legs. At first you may feel tight and stiff, but the hip cavity will warm up and your flexibility will increase within just two sets. Keep in mind that you should always keep your back, head and shoulders on the floor.