THE BUZZ: On Sunday, May 13th 2012, I had the distinct honor of presenting the Guinness World Record for Oldest Yoga Teacher to my inspiration 93-year-old Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch. 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. She has trained and certified hundreds of yoga instructors since founding the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982, and she has made over twenty-five trips to India with her students. She continues to teach workshops at many yoga centers, including the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan and the Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, Buckingham, Va.
The previous World Record was held by 91 year-old Bernice Bates in Florida. The certificate presented to Tao read as follows:
The oldest yoga teacher is Tao Porchon-Lynch (USA, b 13 August, 1918) who remains an active yoga teacher at 93 years, 7 months and 1 days (as of 14 march 2012). She is a registered instructor at JCC Midwestchester, New York USA. -Guinness World Records
My mom, Janie Sykes-Kennedy, joined us which made it even more magical since it was Mother’s Day. It was also fitting to have Tao’s celebration that day because when asked in interviews, “Do you have any children?,” Tao’s response is always, “Yes, I have 400 of them. My students are my children.”
The event was held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Hartsdale, New York where Tao teaches yoga and learned how to ballroom dance. Tao taught a beautiful yoga class – including her one-of-a-kind Tango Sun Salutation Flow. A camera crew from a Russian TV network was floating through class filming. We did interviews for them so if anyone in Russia sees the show, please let us know!
After class, we had the induction ceremony and celebration. Mayor Thomas M. Roach of White Plains sent a proclamation declaring May 13th “Tao Porchon-Lynch Day”. A special thanks goes to Joyce Pines, Karen Young and Sherri Holman for making all of it happen and run so smoothly. At one point, Tao changed into an incredible gold dress and showed off her dancing expertise with her 24-year-old dance partner. Tao is indeed an example of how each of us can live to our fullest potential!
Check out Tao’s website for her teaching schedule.