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World's oldest yoga teacher talks long life

Born nearly one hundred years ago in 1918, she is still a world class yoga instructor and a competitive ballroom dancer

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Gulf News

Her mother was Manipuri and father a French national. The world’s oldest yoga teacher - 99 years - has marched with Mahatma Gandhi, fought the Nazis, been a cabaret performer and Hollywood star.

Tao Porchon-Lynch, born as Täo Andrée Porchon on August 13, 1918, continues to teach yoga, ballroom dance and inspire with her joie de vivre. And the secret of her energy “the breath of life... the breath of life is right inside of us, to feel the dance of light within you and know that nothing is impossible”, she said in a recent interview to CBS News.

Based in New York, Guinness World Records recognised Porchon-Lynch as the world’s oldest yoga instructor at the age of 93 in 2012.

She’s had three hip replacements but continues with her active life including competitive dancing, which she started at 87, and holds seven classes a week to teach yoga.

Tao’s mother died giving birth to her, she was raised by her paternal aunt and uncle, who designed railroads. They also owned vineyards in the South of France.

At the age of eight she discovered yoga and became a practitioner of this ancient science. She learned from Sri Aurobindo and B.K.S.Iyengar.

In her youth she was a successful model and during World War II, she moved to London to be a cabaret artist under Noël Coward. After that she became a Hollywood actor and signed on with MGM. She married Bill Lynch in 1962, and as she got more deeply involved with yoga, Tao quit acting. This was 1967. And this centenarian has never looked back.