Ask Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik

Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik our Editor (since 2003) is a recognised International expert and authority on the subject of yoga. He has been practising, researching and studying this discipline for over 45 years.

He is an accredited Yoga teacher specialising in kundalini, hatha and laya yoga. Our Editor is an advanced practitioner and has experience of many styles of yoga. He has also been teaching for over 20 years and is fluent in several languages, including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujrathi, Persian and Urdu.

Q&A Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik

Q: My son is 6 and half years old and is generally healthy. Recently however he’s been having problem where he seems to be rubbing his inside knees together when he’s walking and this leaves the skin sore. We’ve attended the GP who said that we should just monitor for now as it’s not life threatening and that we should get him to practise some sports and related things to help him move his legs around. - D. Bryant - Devon

Your GP has given good advice. Unless the condition is severely threatening your son’s day-to-day activities there is no reason why you can’t help him at home. Practising yoga is a good way to help your son concentrate on parts of his body and how they move. Yoga also allows training of the mind to concentrate on specific aspects of the body which we may not particularly pay attention to.

This allows better control over how our muscles and joints work. The rubbing of knees together resulting in chaffing or similar discomfort, even bruising or just general redness/soreness, which is not pleasant and if left unchecked for a long period of time can become quite stressful.

You need to also take an inventory of your son’s overall lifestyle. Closing of the legs when walking when he ordinarily is fine could be sign of general stress, anxiety and a call for help. He may be restricting his movements and participation in his day to day life (at school, home, socially). Ask and look into his friends; are they supportive? Are his siblings domineering – taking away too much attention from him, is he able to express himself openly without fear of reprimand?

Your son would benefit immensely from doing yoga, as practical yoga poses generally open up the hip region and help negotiate the knees in day to day life. It’s also a psychological thing – standing on your own two feet – see if he is overwhelmed by any pressure such as exams or even the clothes he wears – perhaps even a change of clothing/fabric that allows his body to ‘breathe’ may also help.

The following yoga pose, Badrasana or gentle pose, is particularly recommended to help deal with the issue that your son is experiencing.

This pose is also known by different names in various schools of yoga, such as:

  • BADDHA KONASANA (VARIATION)
  • THE BUTTERFLY POSE
  • THE GRACIOUS POSE
  • BOUND ANGLE POSE
  • THRONE POSE

Sit down with the back straight and bring your legs in front of you. Bend at the knees and bring them together with the palms of the feet facing each other (as you would bring hands into prayer pose). The back part of heels should rest comfortably under the perineum so that you are sitting gently on this, with thighs widened and knee cap stretched to touch the floor. Enjoy finding the balance until you are firmly rooted to the floor.

Bring both arms in front of you and clasp the feet by interlacing the fingers directly on the feet (making almost a small hand stool), thumbs placed at the top of the feet. Keep your head straight and stare straight ahead. Hold the position for a few minutes. While in this pose you may also choose to gaze at the tip of your nose instead of staring straight ahead.

Now you can go further in this pose.

Exhale while bending over at the waist, holding the body in the position described above. As you come down slowly tuck the elbows closer to the waist and press them down onto your thighs, and holding the feet as you were earlier also now bring the feet down to touch the floor. When bringing your head down, touch your temple, nose, and chin as far as you can to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds at least. On inhalation rise up into the original position.

When practised regularly this pose alleviates pain in the legs and strengthens the ligaments and tendons. It provides natural elasticity to the knees by stretching them, thereby releasing toxins. It’s perfect for anyone who spends a lot time during the day doing activities such as walking, running, working on a shop floor or hospital ward etc.

This pose also stretches and strengthens the muscles and joints of the stomach, knees, spine and feet. It’s a perfect tonic for opening the space between the hips. It allows the practitioner to engage with more spatial awareness in their day to day activities, allowing a freedom to move without undue restriction.
Badrasana is also recommended for weight loss and dealing with abdominal and related digestive conditions, as well as infertility.

Yoga masters over the decades have described different variations of this posture including Mr BKS Iyengar referring to it as the Baddha Konasana Variation, and Yogi Sri Swami Satchindananda in Integral Yoga Hatha describes the pose as Badrasana (gentle pose), up to the sitting up point (without bending down to floor).

In the Kundalini yoga tradition of the respected yoga Master Mr Yogi Bhajan this pose is referred to as Butterfly and instead of remaining in a static position it has been developed so that the practitioner moves the legs up and down in the original pose (just like the wings of a butterfly).

In essence the basic posture is the same, which is keeping the back straight, bending the knees and bring the feet in front so that the soles face each other. The practitioner may wish to clasp the feet together with both hands or instead straighten the arms so that the hands are rested directly over the knees.
The pose can be tinkered and adjusted to even incorporate hand mudras such as the Gyan mudra.

The Gyan mudra provides additional benefits, as it seals energy and is a good position if you are meditating. When holding the pose, which is considered to be an auspicious one for meditating you can either stare straight ahead, or fix the gaze at the tip of the nose or lower the head so that the chin touches the neck. The gazing is a form of meditation as well. It brings direct benefits to the eye, brain hemispheres and provides both psychic and physical benefits. The Gyan mudra can be used to instil confidence, grounding, release fear and imbue a sense of calm and peace. It’s an ideal pose for working on strengthening the first chakra as well dispelling fear, instilling a sense of confidence and ability to allow one to engage with day to day life without hesitation of movement or direction.

Badrasana has a long, rich and ancient tradition and pedigree. It is mentioned in classical ancient yoga texts including the Gheranda Samhita and the Hatha Yoga Pradapika.

Archaeological discoveries of ancient artefacts from the Indus Valley in the Indian subcontinent show a seal that is thousands of years old. It is famously known as the Pashupatinath Seal, discovered at Mohenjo-Daro. It depicts a seated figure in the Badrasana pose leading to the possibility that the ancient Indus Valley civilizations were practitioners of yoga.

There has also been further innovation on this pose by contemporary practitioners and there is also a variation known as the Aerial Baddha Konasana, where the practitioner is suspended above the ground using props and related support.

I hope that your son recovers and I wish you all the best.

Ask Yogi Maharaj Dr. Mallik