Tao Porchon-Lynch was an American Yoga master who won the Guiness world record as the “World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher” in 2012. An award winning author, the French and Indian descent Yogini continued teaching her weekly Yoga till the age of 101. She lived with her personal mantra “There is nothing that you cannot do”.
Born to a French father and an Indian mother, Tao became a Yogi at the age of 8. Her autobiography – “Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master” won the 2016 IPPY award and three International Book Awards. She also authored – “Reflections: The Yogic Journey of Life“, a series of original meditations.
She took up ballroom dancing at the age of 87 and won more than 750 awards as a competitive dancer. She was also an actress, a couture model, publisher and co-founder of the American Wine Society.
Tao has also scaled Machu Picchu in stilettos and featured on “America’s Got Talent” at the age of 96 where she received a standing ovation from the judges. In her Hollywood days, she has also rubbed shoulders with Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Elizabeth Taylor. She was also a close acquaintance of the Indian actor Dev Anand.
“Wake up every morning with a positive mindset. Whatever you put in your mind materialises. Within yourself, there’s an energy, but unless you use it, it dissipates. And that’s when you get old.”
(Tao with her Padma Shri)
Tao received the Padma Shri in 2019 for her excellent work in the field of Yoga. She has studied with the likes of B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo, K. Pattabhi Jois, Swami Prabhavananda, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She has also marched with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Tao passed away in February 2020 in the White Plains. The life of Tao is an inspiration for everyone. She truly embodied the spirit of a Yogi, living her life to the fullest. She was often seen wearing leather pants, stilettos and was fond of bright nail polishes.