This image is of Baddha Padmasana - Bound Lotus. It brings the body into a symbol of infinity, and is said to awaken kundalini energy, destroy karmic obstacles, and clear the pathways for energy to flow. In the Ashtanga tradition we fold right leg first and then left leg, purifying the liver and spleen as our heels massage our internal organs. We then fold forwards and bring our chin towards the floor in Yoga Mudrasana or 'psychic union pose,' as a way to awaken the inner Self and honour divine union.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose) is not to be taken lightly. It's important to learn how to make this challenging pose a vehicle for peace and freedom rather than frustration and injury.
When we hurt our knees in this pose, it is mostly due to tight hips. Pushing too far into the pose, or misplacing the foot, ankle, and heel, can also contribute to an injury. Setting an intention to practice Ahimsa (non-harm) and Satya (truthfulness) is crucial in approaching this safely. Such a special pose needs an appropriate, gradual way of working towards the expression, whatever that may be for each individual.