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.