We all hold a lot of emotions in our hips, when you're stressed out, your body responds by tightening, clenching down and storing the stress and over time this can really take a toll. Here is a fifteen minute practice you can do anywhere, anytime to help release tension.
1. Start by sitting in the hip opener, Vajrasana - Thundebolt Pose. If you are unable to sit on your heels then use a bolster or a few blocks between your legs so you can sit comfortably. Take time to reflect to something personal, a goal or self-affirmation to set your intention for the practice.
2. Make Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog Pose and take five breaths. Then take Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana - One Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose by lifting up one of your legs up, making sure to draw the lifted leg top buttocks towards and through the extension of your lifted foot.
3. From Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana - One Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose step your foot to the top of your mat for Kapyasana - Crescent Moon Pose. Press well the instep of your front foot and press down the back shin, top of the foot as well as your toes. Lift up creating more space from your hips to your armpits, draw the lower shoulder blades into the back body and move your back leg top buttocks towards the hamstrings.
4. To bind, take the foot into the inside of your elbow, maintaining the points from the previous pose as well as focusing on maintain your "normal" breathing through the nose. If your lose your breath or the lift you created in Kapyasana you have gone too far. Once you are able to hook your hands together then draw the back leg outer-upper-thigh as well as shoulder blade more forward as you move the hands away from you.
5. Lizard Pose - Utthan Pristhasana bring your hands down inside of your front foot and draw your back leg knee up off the ground. Bring your shoulder blades into the back body, broaden your collarbones and chest either on your forearms (as shown) or with your palms flat and arms straight. Press the back foot toe mounds down and open the back of the leg like in Chaturanga Dandasana - Four Limb Staff Pose.
6. Supta Baddha Konasana - Supine Bound Angle Pose. Release the back with this self supported Supta Baddha Konasana by drawing the soles of your feet together and then reaching from underneath to grasp your ankles. Draw the shoulders from in to out, moving the shoulder blades into the back ribs and broaden through the collar bones. Rest your outer hip on the forearms. You can make Savasana in Supta Baddha Konasana or lie flat and practice stillness for a minimum of one minute, then the practice is complete.