Well, last week I talked about how to become a yoga instructor, but Tao Porchon-Lynch of a suburb just outside of New York City has something to teach all of us. This week, she was officially confirmed, by the Guinness Book of World Records, as the oldest yoga instructor in the world at the ripe age of ninety-three years old. You can watch the news story on Tao by clicking this link. On top of her yoga career, Tao is also an accomplished competitive dancer, showing that she can shake her hips in moves that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.
When you watch the video, Tao can easily bend into any pose asked of her and she insists that her students are equally pushed to their comfortable limits. The classes she runs are small and intimate and her followers seem both loyal and thankful to have such a dedicated instructor to impart her knowledge.
Undoubtedly, Tao is nothing if not an inspiration and confirmation of all that yoga can do for our minds and our bodies. After a hip replacement that threatened to end her yoga career, she refused to hear from her doctor that her new hip came with physical limits and continues to teach yoga with impressive flexibility. Instead, she jokes about sending her doctor a photo of her impressive Lotus pose. Furthermore, Tao seems to possess a calm demeanor, patience and calmness that we’re all so desperately seeking, proving that the mental benefits of yoga go far beyond that initial exercise high in the studio.
Physically, Tao is living proof of the health benefits yoga provides. Her body rivals mine when I was eighteen (which is a far cry from where I am now!), and certainly, she looks like she could outrun me despite being nearly sixty-five years older. She claims that she will teach yoga until she cannot breath any longer, as her practice is a part of her.
Not all of us will reach the age of ninety-three, and certainly, we won’t all be able to keep up our practice until the end of our days. But Tao is a reminder that if we persist, calm our minds, dedicate ourselves to our practice and remain positive, anything is possible and all can be achieved. Occasionally, we all need this kind of reminder.