Meet Tao Porchon-Lynch.
Usually, after a women turns 30, she hates to reveal her actual age and might even lie saying she’s 10 years younger than she really is, but for Tao Porchon-Lynch, she flaunts it. At 93-years-young, Lynch, who is originally from Pondicherry, a French colony in India on the Bay of Bengal, is proud to reveal her age and proves the cliche that age is really nothing but a number.
A couple months ago, Lynch was dubbed as the World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher by the Guiness World Records and has been practicing yoga for more than 70 years and teaching it for over 45. She’s also has trained and certified hundreds of yoga instructors since she founded the Westchester Institute of Yoga in Westchester, N.Y. in 1982.
She is currently teaching regular classes at various Westchester studios, across the country and even around the world, inspiring people not only to use yoga as an anti-aging regimen, but to help people tap into their human potential and appreciate life, just like she does.
“Feeling the energy of life within me opens the door to appreciate the life force behind everything in this universe,” she told me.
If this isn’t a perfect if-my-grandma-can-do-it-you-can-do-it example, then I don’t know what is. I caught her before jetting off to teach in Montana, and I was able to ask her a few questions that will help us on our journey to becoming healthy 93-year-olds one day. Hopefully you feel inspired to get up and start being healthy!
Q&A With Tao Porchon-Lynch: The World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher at 93
1) It seems that some people just can’t bring themselves to start exercising. As the oldest yoga teacher in world, what are your suggestions for people who are just not motivated to stay healthy? How have you stayed motivated all these years?
Motivation is inside of you. Learn to breathe and you will open up the door for what you want to do… Just get in tune with your inner self. If someone is too lazy to use the life force to activate the body, tune into the inner energy of the breath. Know that each action of your heart is the inner life force. No! I’m never thinking of being “motivated!” Since a child I wanted to live every moment of my life.
2) When did you start exercising?
When I was young I watched some boys doing yoga and it interested me. I decided if they could do it, so could I.
3) How has exercise benefited your health over the years? What do your doctors say about your health? Are they impressed?
I don’t believe in checkups!
4) Sometimes people do get motivated to exercise and go on a work-out spree for a good three months, but then they fall back into their same old lazy rituals and gradually fall back into the exercise-less lifestyle. What are some tips when people want to give up?
I don’t think of yoga as exercise, but feeling how wonderful it is to get new energy into my life. It is the linking up of body, mind and spirit. Watching the dawn makes everything in nature pulsate with our life. Renewal of the life force makes us aware of it.
I start the day knowing there is no such word as “can’t do something,” only the verb “to be able.” When you get up in the morning know this is going to be the best day in your life.
5) Along with exercise, how healthy do you keep your diet? What does it consist of?
I don’t eat too much. I eat slowly. I eat mostly fruit, fruit juice and green vegetables. I like cooked greens as well as salads. I’ve never liked large portions of any food. I never eat meat because I can’t kill anything.
I think of the wonder of the earth and how it along with the sun and rain provide me with food. People say I eat like a bird. Well, that’s a good example how to feed the body. In the U.S. we eat too much which creates a heaviness in the body and stifles the energy.
I have a hip replacement in one hip and a long pin in the other leg. The pin prevents me from doing some yoga poses.
Don’t spend your time thinking about what you can’t do. I don’t let pain take over me and I know if I keep using my limbs and let the power of the universe “breathing” be my guide, there isn’t anything I cannot do.
7) Everyone has a weakness when it comes to food. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream, milk chocolate and wine.
8) What are your top 5-10 motivational tips for people to start getting healthy?
Tomorrow never comes.
Look for the wonder of health being unnerved in our bodies and mind.
Know the secret of life dwells with every breath we take.
Live, live, live. Don’t waste your life restricting.
Look how dawn awakes nature and makes the darkness and ignorance of night fade away.
Let your body feel the freshness of the energy of a new day.
Open up to help your body and mind become renewed.
Don’t allow it when you are so young to become stagnant. There are so many wonderful things to do and so little time to do them!!!
9) You are a perfect example of how people can exercise at all ages. What would you tell a lazy 20-something-year old who doesn’t think exercising is important? And what would you tell a 50-year-old who says they just can’t push their body to do it?
It’s important to keep the body moving at any age. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds!!!!
*All photos were taken off Google Images