The Curlicue

Toronto Star - - LIFE - YUMEE CHUNG SPE­CIAL TO THE STAR

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.

COLE BURSTON FOR THE TORONTO STAR

The Curlicue pose, as shown by YuMee Chung, helps loosen the calf and thigh mus­cles.

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