TAO PORCHON-LYNCH is another hugely inspirational woman. Born in French India on August 13, 1918, at age 100, she’s still going strong. At the time of writing this post she’s 100 years and 11 days young. She still drives herself around and still travels the world teaching yoga, totally inspiring everyone lucky enough to meet her.
Her motto is “Don’t tell me what I can’t do, I’m only interested in what I can do.”
At age 6 she saw some boys practicing yoga in the park one afternoon, and decided she wanted to learn. On returning home her aunt told her yoga wasn’t suitable for girls, but her uncle was all for her learning the art and, 94 years later she still teaches the passion she acquired then!
She has become quite renown in her latter years for her fearless, joyous attitude to life. When she wants to do something she does it!
She recounts her life in her Memoir, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being, Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master – an account of her life for which she garnered an Independent Publisher Book Award. Her early life involved marching with Gandhi alongside her uncle as a child, later years saw her modeling in Paris, acting in Hollywood and marching with Martin Luther King. Other books include Yoga with Tao Porchon-Lynch, Reflections and, Shining Bright: Quotes and Images to Inspire Optimism, Gratitude and Belief in Your Limitless Potential.
“I don’t believe in age. I believe in energy”.
Not empty rhetoric when it comes to Tao, which is why she inspires so many people. Despite having had three hip replacements she is still dancing, driving her own car, and travelling the world teaching. After each surgery, which included a fractured wrist at one point, when doctors told her she wouldn’t do such and such again, she simply ignored them – knowing she could heal herself and carry on as usual. And she did.
Not one to not do something she has a yen to do, she took up ballroom dancing at age seventy, and began competing soon after. Living her maxim she competes in day- long dance competitions with a partner seventy years younger, and teaches yoga the next day.
She says when you tap into the eternal energy inside you life is effortless.
Tao credits learning to breathe properly as being essential to her energy – “If you’re in touch with the breath inside you, there’s nothing you can’t do.” She honours B.K.S. Iyengar with teaching her perfect yoga alignment, and Pattabhi Jois with teaching her to breathe properly during practice. Like all genuinely wise and mature yoga teachers Tao doesn’t believe in a one size fits all practice. As bodies are different, so abilities will vary. (Not everyone can, or needs to, wrap their leg around their neck!)
As study after study shows, our over indulgence in animal products is having a chronic effect on our health and wellbeing, being a lifelong vegetarian is very likely a mainstay of her longevity and vitality.
Tao’s pearls of wisdom for health, vitality and contentment:
Don’t procrastinate—tomorrow never comes.
You can’t believe in something if you only do it halfway.
Each day, whatever is in your mind materializes.
Never think about what can go wrong. I know my best
day is everyday.
If you wait for something good to happen, it will. Don’t look for tragedy.
Those words are true wisdom and the reason she is such a sought after speaker. Her life, and the joy she radiates are the proof of her words.
Our challenge, is to really listen to the wisdom she imparts, to put aside our wounds, and to live as she does – with fearless joy and optimism, KNOWING that our minds are the creators of our reality, and that we need to guard what we allow ourselves to think and to believe.