Flamingos like to congregate in a large, shallow body of water, all preening their pink feathers, resting in the sun and standing on one leg for hours at a time.
Scientists are not exactly sure why flamingos stand on one leg so regularly.But it’s an impressive ability, considering flamingos’ legs are longer than their bodies, and most of their weight is oriented horizontally. Humans are oriented vertically, with almost all of their weight in line with the center of gravity. It really should be easier for humans to stand on one leg than for flamingos. But most of us have trouble standing one leg for 10 seconds, let alone for hours like flamingos do.
To encourage your child to focus and be present have them try flamingo pose, maybe even try it along with them or by yourself. Here’s how:
Stand with your feet together and focus your eyes on something (that is not moving) out in front of you. Take a deep breath in and place the bottom of your right foot on your inner left ankle or calf. Breathe out and place your hands on your hips. Imagine your pink wings out to the side while you balance on one foot. Take a few deep breaths and then lower your foot to the ground. Now repeat on the other side with your left foot up.
I often encourage children to start with a count of 5 on one leg, and then backwards from 5 on the other. Once they start to feel more comfortable ask them how long they may be able to stay, give them a goal to achieve, but let them know every time they practice flamingo pose it is different. If they fall out encourage them to take a deep breath and start over again, you can even put an object in front of them to help them focus.
Flamingos even sleep on one leg, give your child a challenge once they feel comfortable in flamingo pose with their eyes open to close their eyes and pretend to be a sleeping flamingo.
Try it yourself you may be surprised how challenging it can be.