Tao Porchon-Lynch, Master Yoga teacher, 98 years young, synthesizes the most positive aspects of Indian, European and American thought. Tao is uniquely equipped to spread Yogic insights, originating in India, to Westerners seeking enlightenment. She has trained and certified hundreds of yoga instructors, since founding the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982. Tao has over 70 years of yoga practice and more than 45 years of teaching yoga to students in India, France and the U.S.
Before teaching yoga, Tao had a long and varied career. Tao was an actress in England, France and the USA (under contract to MGM) in the 1940’s and 50’s, wrote screenplays and made documentaries in the 60’s and 70’s.
Tao is a living advertisement for how to tap into our human potential. She is unique in her ability to overcome the effects of aging to control her body and mind in harmony with Yoga’s principles. Tao’s philosophy is, ‘There is nothing we cannot do if we harness the power within us’.
Her yoga principles and practices will be appreciated by current and future generations. Her current passion, in addition to yoga, is ballroom dancing and she is an award winning world-class dancer. It is an honour to share her brilliance on the blog.
Describe a typical day for you?
I begin my day with a half grapefruit. Always receive an extra wake up call at 6 a.m. and get dressed to teach yoga. Might take a dance lesson after that and then go home to do some writing. Sometimes in the evening I’ve got another yoga class to teach.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievement is to feel the love of my students and know that they know nothing is impossible-to see a smile on their face when they can do anything they put their mind to.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
A few quarters for parking meters, car keys, lipstick hanky and a comb.
What are your ambitions in life?
To save the animals, preserve the earth, get rid of all the junk and see the beauty of all my students because they know nothing is impossible. My students are my family.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I was enthusiastic to learn something new. I try to put into practice what I believe in. Nothing could stop me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I never look into the future. I look at what is within me at this very moment.
What advice would you give a budding yoga instructor and author?
Tell an instructor that they have to realize that no two bodies are the same. Look at a person and tell them to do something a certain way. This is most important.
Tell an author, if an idea comes to you let it come from the inside of you. Your own private inner self is talking. There is too much quoting other people. Learn to quote your own inner self.
Finally, happiness is…When you see a smile on someone’s face when s/he realizes they can do something.