In this Yoga Tune Up® Half Happy Baby Minivini pose, the sartorius is highlighted as both the agonist (the worker) and the antagonist (the stretcher).  The happy baby leg is dynamically activating the sartorius when the hip is externally rotated, abducted and both the hip and knee are flexed. The leg that is extended on the floor stretches the sartorius passively.  Try this Half Happy Baby Minivini exercise for the sartorius:

This pose can be done on its own, or can be a warm up for other Yoga Tune Up® poses where the sartorius is highlighted. In Splat Frog with Internal Rotation, simply being in frog highlights the sartorius, and internally rotating the flexed knee further activates this muscle. Another pose, Setu Bandha (Bridge) creates a yummy release for the sartorius by posteriorly tilting the pelvis and contracting the buttocks.

This hip extension is such a lovely treat for the heavy flexing sartorius! For a more detailed sequence, try the Quick Fix for Hips Video.

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Macala Shon

Macala started teaching movement classes over 25 years working at an all women's spa teaching aerobics. She found yoga in 1996 and has been in love ever since! She has been a practitioner in the styles of Bikram, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Baptiste Power Vinyasa. She believes yoga is for everybody and not just the fit and athletic so she decided to study with Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up® to help ALL people find their blind spots and eradicate pain. She is certified with Yoga Alliance and Yoga Tune Up® and is currently working on the Whole Body Alignment course under Katy Bowman.

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Julia R Bledsoe

I love the introduction to the sartorius and the well-deserved attention given to it! This is the seemingly silent partner in so many yoga postures. I can think of several poses where students, as well as myself, experience discomfort at the distal attachment point and over the joint (especially in knee replacements). very useful blog. 🙂

Sigrún Haraldsdóttir

Happy baby is a great alternative also for those who cant put strain or load on the knees in hip openers. Combining the half happy and minivini puts a whole new twist in it. Great pose and loosening up exercise.

Karla Knight

Love this pose as a warm-up. Being able to passively stretch and work a muscle is the best.
Thank you!


Really nice to identify the sartorius as being both agonist and antagonist depending which leg is in happy baby. This minivini feels so great in the hips!

Louise Legouis

Thanks for highlighting Setu Bandha, a geat sitting antidote pose which will surely please Sartorius!

Jolie Mosser

Love half happy baby minivini pose as it’s beneficial for opening my tight hips. Also enjoy sharing it with my clients who sit a lot or have desk jobs. Thanks for insight!


What a great hip opener! I have many clients with irritated sartorius muscles that cause knee pain so this is a helpful post to pass along to them.


I suffer from tight hips. So any pose that opens up the hip every conceivable angle is a winner for me. This posture also increases heat and blood circulation into the hips. LOVE THIS POSE.


I like to include this minivini in class – great info!


This is yummy! I have new knee pain in cross legged or 1/2 lotus and this is starting to give me some relief. Between Prasarita Lunges and this, I think I can clear a whole bunch of crabbiness in my knees up.


I liked doing this minivin in class. I will keep trying it to stretch the sartorius. 😀

Kimberlee Ott

I really enjoy the 1/2 happy baby minivini, it feels amazing!!


I think a lot of times we forget about the fact the sartorius muscle is a powerful muscle in the body that needs its own attention, just as the psoas or hamstrings. This is such a great sequence to increase ROM in the hips and pelvis. Thank you for sharing this, its one of my favorits!

Lou Shapiro

Aaron’s right. An excellent range of motion practice that can be done by almost anyone, to each individual, healthful degree. Great homework to send home with students, as no props required. And, there are few who wouldn’t benefit from more hip flexibility.

Aaron Porter

You have to do this sequence to understand it’s full effect. So if you haven’t done it yet stop what you are doing and follow the sequence. This is such a great hip opener. Also, when the hips open so does the spine. I do front and back squats in the gym and this is going to me my go to warmup from now on. THANKS JILL!


Great advice of the poses with which we can activate the sartorius, its always good to have other options than the traditional ones to move this muscle. I’m going to try them.

Michele Klink

I enjoyed your thorough description of the sartorius muscle and the reminder of the Happy Baby minivini where it is both agonist and antagonist. Yes, sassy sartorius. For a PNF sartorius stretch, one can adduct the leg in the twist portion, closed chain with foot on ground to provide resistance in order to push down, then release. Or with leg externally rotated out to side, someone can give the foot resistance as we adduct the leg up, then release.

Sharrari Fit

Great use of DOM’s and anatomy jargon, Macala! Could you explain in these terms how to do splat frog? I don’t remember this one. What other poses do you know of where the sartorius is the protagonist? And any poses where PNF could be used here to deepen the sartorius stretch? Thanks for your help, Macala.

Kate Krumsiek

Great info on a complex muscle! I often feel a tightness in this area, particularly on my right side. I’m sure I cross that ankle over my left ankle as a postural habit…. happy baby mini vini here I come. Thank you.


Thank you Macala, Propping my hips on a block gives great release to my sartorius and half happy baby mini vini is one of my favourites . I know my students will love these modificatons !!! Cheers