Meet Tao Porchon-Lynch, The World’s Oldest Yoga Instructor

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– Tao Porchon-Lynch is 97 years old and nothing is slowing her down, especially when it comes to keeping in shape.

Porchon-Lynch is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest yoga instructor, teaching up to eight classes a week in Westchester.

“I hadn’t realized I was so old,” Porchon-Lynch joked.

CBS2’s Mary Calvi had never taken a yoga class before, and for her first class she wanted an instructor with flexibility, endurance and years of experience.

“I was born August 13, 1918,” Porchon-Lynch told Calvi.

For Porchon-Lynch, there’s no such thing as “can’t,” Calvi reported.

At age 90, Porchon-Lynch became a competitive ballroom dancer, and wrote an award-winning book entitled “Dancing Light.”

“I wake up and I say ‘This is going to be the best day of my life,” Lynch said. “I never put anything negative in my mind, so I start off by smiling at life.”

For her students, her near-century of insight is inspiring.

“When she started yoga, girls didn’t do yoga in 1926. So it’s unusual to have a female master at her level,” one of her students told Calvi. “I’m trying to keep up with her.”

Age has not minimized Porchon-Lynch’s flexibility or her memories.

“I marched with Mahatma Ghandi when I was 12 years old. During the war, I was with General De Gaulle and I helped in the underground, helped people escape the Germans,” Porchon-Lynch said.

Years later, she marched with Martin Luther-King, Jr. at the Washington Monument.

Working as a model, she spent time with Hollywood’s elite.

“Marlene Dietrich, we were very good friends,” she told Calvi.

So what’s her secret to such a long life?

“To just take the breath of life inside of you, and feel the joy of living,” she said. “And what it’s like in the tree, the sap moving upwards throughout your body, and nothing’s impossible.”

Her energy and her patience are unsurpassed, as are her motivational words.

“Don’t put it off ’til tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes,” she said.

Porchon-Lynch has more on her plate: She’s headed to France next week to compete in a ballroom competition.

 

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