Starting Position: Lie on your right side on a mat/floor with your legs extended straight away from your body. Allow your head to rest on the right (lower) arm, which can be bent for support. Stack your hips and shoulders so they align vertically with the floor. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Bend your left (top) knee bringing your left foot towards your left hip. Grasp your foot or ankle with your left hand. Keep your spine in neutral position.
Engage your core and abdominal muscles, keeping the pelvis stabile throughout the stretch. Exhale and use your left hand to gently pull your left foot and lower leg backward and up toward your tailbone. Do not allow the left thigh to lift off of the inside of the right thigh. Keep the left knew pointing straight away from the left hip joint. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds, then straighten the leg and engage the thigh muscles. Repeat the series for 2-5 repetitions; change sides and repeat with the right leg.
Exercise Variation: To increase the intensity of the stretch point your left knee behind your body while continuing to hold on to your left foot. Another option is to hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, push your left foot into your hand (like trying to straighten your leg), hold for 5-7 seconds, then relax and pull your heel closer to your tailbone, repeat for 3-5 repetitions and alternate sides.
Be sure to keep the spine in a straight line and maintain the abdominal bracing to keep the pelvis stable.