This YTU Half Happy Baby series will stretch the iliacus of the thigh that is on the floor (not the lifted leg). You will get the most out the stretch from the first part of the movement when you press the knee towards the floor. For an even deeper iliacus stretch, keep the other leg straight on the floor without letting the thigh pop up.

And many of the leg lifts and core exercises in the Coregeous DVD will absolutely get your iliacus toned and strong:

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Ariana Rabinovitch

After 20 years of practicing yoga Ariana has come to believe that body-consciousness leads to self-healing and self-transformation. Ariana teaches a therapeutic style of yoga and often incorporates non-traditional yoga postures and exercises in order to strive for a balance between strength and flexibility. She brings her extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Kinesiology to the forefront of her teaching. She began with an Iyengar yoga program at Columbia University and since then has learned from a wide array of incredible teachers (including Jill Miller!) in order to get a well-rounded and diverse understanding of Yoga.

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Queen Sheba

Wow I just learned how mini happy baby can help the elbow, it’s nice to see how it stretches a well used muscle. Gentle movement like this are needed regularly.


Thank you for sharing these two exercises on how to stretch and target the Iliacus muscle. I do have the Coregeous ball but have so far never used it to strengthen my muscles. I will certainly try out some of the moves presented by Jill in the video and see how they can benefit my iliacus.

Jamie Walsh

Thank you, Ariana.

There is a lot of attention brought to the psoas but the iliacus is overlooked often. Thank you, for bringing it to my attention again.


This half happy baby minivini is making my hipflexors happier then the regular happy baby! Thanks for sharing! BTW, I love your podcast! Thanks for doing such a great job!


I enjoy how the half baby minivini shakes up the pose, adding the thigh to the floor does allow more insight into the straight leg. Especially after a day sitting, this is nourishing to break up the fuzz.

Julie Thomas


you are so right, so easy to forget about the” resting” leg so to speak. Most of us think that only the moving leg is getting happy in that pose. I also think that because the iliac is so deep into our body we tend to forget about it too! The french saying says : Loin des yeux loin du coeur” well not exactly right with YTU since we prone that everything is interlink. Great brain tune up!


Thanks for sharing this. I think it is so easy to become fixated on the raised leg during all the leg stretches in the leg stretch series. I have been reminding my students to not loose connection with the leg on the floor and the information you presented for 1/2 happy baby will be helpful for me when cueing my students to bring awareness to their iliopsoas.

Katy Forline

This is a nice suggestion for a pose to help my massage therapy clients who have a tight psoas. I often tell them to hang the leg off the bed with the opposite knee and hip flexed in while in posterior pelvic tilt, but I often worry about the lack of safety and control from the edge of a table or bed. This is safer, and I frankly have neglected to be conscious of the specific location and function of the Iliacus for years, Thanks for the reminder!

Aaron Porter

I love the Half Happy Baby Exercise. It really opens up your pelvis. It is very relaxing and very effective. My deep squat was perfect after doing this series.


Great recommendation Amanda! Thx

Amanda Morley

If the iliacus, psoas and rectus femoris are all bound up and tight, straightening the leg and anchoring the femur bone down toward the floor without letting the the opposite hip elevate will be really difficult. I have found that pressing the bottom foot to a wall provides me with more access to allow these muscles to release and lengthen. If you are super tight – do leg stretch #3 to the corner of the room so you can anchor both legs to wall this is super sweet if you have a tight lower back too.

Sharrari Fit

I am hoping to learn this as well in the Master classes, YTU level 1. I would also like to know what to be careful of to avoid possible injuries this might bring to newer or less knowledgeable yoga practitioners.