A curlicue, in artspeak, is a fanciful curled or twirled figure. The word likely traces its origins back to the tail of the letter Q in its looping cursive form.
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is the setting for an artful twisting pose, with a trailing appendage, that we’re calling the Curlicue. 1. Sit on a bench or ottoman with both feet on the floor.
2. Bending the left knee, place your left heel on the edge of the seat.
3. Reach diagonally across the body with the right hand to clasp the pinky edge of your left foot from above.
4. Sit tall and reach for the sky with your left hand while lifting the foot to chest height with your right.
5. Press your lifted foot forward, straightening the leg as much as your flexibility will comfortably allow, while simultaneously reaching your left hand toward the wall behind you at shoulder height. Turn the head to the left and gaze just beyond the tips of your fingers.
6. Take a five-breath journey into the pose: grow taller with each inhale and revolve around your own central axis with each exhale.
7. Unwind, briefly de-rotate the spine, and repeat on the other side. YuMee Chung is a recovering lawyer who teaches yoga in Toronto. She is on the faculty of a number of yoga teacher training programs and leads international yoga retreats. Learn more about her at padmani.com.
The Curlicue pose, as shown by YuMee Chung, helps loosen the calf and thigh muscles.