Centenarian Tao Porchon-Lynch lives up to her name. Could it be that her name, to some extent, inspires her to live a life rich with happiness, contentment, fulfullment and rewarding relationships? Look at any picture of Tao Porchon-Lynch and you’ll see a truly ageless woman who is the embodiment of tao itself, a woman who is anchored in present moment living where there is no debilitating stress.
In Chinese philosophy, Tao is the absolute principle underlying the universe combining within itself the principles of yin and yang, forming a perfect whole, not of antagonistic forces, but of complementary ones. Harmony is achieved in the balance of yin and yang—an essential condition for wellness and beauty. Porchon-Lynch strikes that balance.
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With a near cult following of people of all ages, especially the young, Tao Porchon-Lynch, is a diminutive centenarian who dresses stylishly and flamboyantly, always with beautifully painted nails and earrings and lipstick on. Having just turned 100 in August this year Tao often stands at the center of large groups of yoga devotées while she executes perfect yoga postures—not with the common rigidity we tend to see in many older people but with flexibility, agility and expanding openness.
“When we droop inward, we get old,” Porchon-Lynch says. Also, “The breath of life is in all of us, but most of us don’t use it all the time.”
Along with masterful instruction on yoga and mindful breathing, her students regularly receive a master class on positive aging which includes the concept that there is nothing anyone cannot do. Always open to learning and growing, she looks at her yoga students more as teachers than students.
Porchon-Lynch was a model and a cabaret dancer and was yoga teacher to Golden Age Hollywood actresses like Debbie Reynolds and Kathryn Grayson. In 1982, in her mid-sixties, she moved to New York and opened the Westchester Institute of Yoga. She hasn’t truly retired choosing to travel all over the world to teach.
To know her secrets to quality longevity of life and wellness, all you have to do is read her bio which states that her “life has been focused on humanitarian causes, yoga, dancing, wine tasting and a series of creative endeavors in the fashion and entertainment industries including modeling, acting, and writing.”
When she was much younger, Tao marched for social justice with Gandhi and today she is dedicated to helping preserve endangered wildlife, especially elephants. She has an intense relationship with nature, the planet and the oneness of all things. It is this philosophy and way of being that continues to actively inspire her in all aspects of her still very busy life.
Tao’s Instagram profile describes her as ballroom dancer, lover of wine (get those age-defying antioxidants!), former actress, and remarkable human being. Her site says, “Tao is spending her 100th year dancing, teaching and sharing her wisdom with the world.
Tao is just one shining example of larger numbers of people who are now living to age 100 and beyond. She and others prove that a quality life at this age is entirely possible. It really depends on the choices we make in many arenas every day. Statistics are beginning to indicate that our elder population is not just due to baby boomers who have reached senior age.
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O'Brien, Elizabeth. “These 100-Year Old Retirees Are Running, Teaching Yoga and Living Their Best Lives. Here Are Their Secrets to Happiness.” Money, 22 Oct. 2018. http://time.com/money/longform/100-year-old-retirees/