Yoga teacher and competitive dancer, Tao Porchon-Lynch, is quite a lady. At the ripe old age of 95, she not surprisingly holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest yoga teacher. She took up teaching yoga 20 years ago, and certainly has no plans to stop any time soon. One has to ask, how does she do it?
She fervently maintains that staying active is the key to youth and agility. True to her word, she takes dance lessons, teaches regularly at established yoga centres in New York, and still leads international yoga trips – working with over 400 yoga students around the world. Conversely, she also finds plenty of time to meditate.
She is a vegetarian. Generally starting the day with a grapefruit, and grazing on small meals throughout the day. She imbibes fresh fruit juices often, and is a great advocate of tea and its anti-oxidant powers.
She shuns medication whenever she can: “I’m seldom sick and rarely get tired,” she says. “There’s too much reliance today on medications. Through the study of yoga, I can heal myself. I don’t take any supplements – no vitamins or calcium or anything. I take no medications for any medical conditions; I rarely take even an aspirin.”
She is a firm believer that happiness acts as a fountain of youth, and that following your passion is integral. “Yoga,” she says, “brightens [my] day.”
“Don’t give up” is another of her firm mantras in life. In her 80s she had hip surgery, a procedure that in the elderly can prove irreversibly physically debilitating, but not for the invincible Tao! One month after her surgery, she was up and teaching yoga again. “I don’t believe in letting age and broken bones get the better of my life. I believe nothing is impossible.”
“Yoga and dancing,” she explains characteristically optimistically, “are something that live within me and make me face the world. I’m going to teach yoga until I can’t breathe anymore, then it’s going to carry me to the next planet.”