With great devotion, affection and respect for your memory we are honored to share your noble teachings.
Yotus Wellness: What is Yoga? What is not Yoga?
Tao: Much of the yoga practiced in the West is very physical. I don't only teach physical yoga. I rely on the energy body and the use of the chakras and other energetic elements in the body to bring about transformation. The breath of life is our own internal energy field that is all-knowing and all-healing. I tell students that it is critical to tune into their inner selves and not go only into the physical, to learn to go beyond the physical and into their true selves. It is only by going within that true transformation is made.
Yotus Wellness: When and why did you start practicing Yoga?
Tao: I was introduced to yoga when I was 7 years old. I wandered to the beach near my childhood home in French India and saw some boys playing in the sand. I followed their movements and I thought that I was learning a new game. That evening, I told my aunt about the game and she explained that it was called yoga and that it was only for boys. I told her that girls can do what boys can do and by the time I was 8 years old, I was on the beach joining the boys, practicing yoga during playtime.
Yotus Wellness: How often do you practice Yoga? What’s your daily routine?
Tao: I wake up before the sun rises because I like to watch it rise. By observing nature, I can feel a life force. I look outside my window to the sky and tell myself that this is going to be the best day of my life. Then I’ll often pick up my journal and write something that comes to my mind that’s in my heart. I don’t want to sit there hoping, wishing, and wasting time. I always practice my yoga in the morning and my dancing in the afternoon. This commitment is likely why I’ve received the Guinness World Records for being the oldest yoga teacher and the oldest competitive ballroom dancer.
Yotus Wellness: What is the greatest benefit of Yoga practice?
Tao: Yoga can be the joy of life, and it’s not just about putting our bodies into specific postures. It’s about expressing what comes from inside of you and showing up when you meet other people to create a oneness.
Yotus Wellness: How was the experience of meeting Gandhi?
Tao: When Gandhi was trying to escape the British and had no place to go, my uncle would have him over our house in French India and shoo me out of the room. I didn't know who this man sitting on the floor was and didn't get a chance to speak to him, but I did march with him during the Salt Marches.
Yotus Wellness: You have been giving Yoga classes for more than 45 years. What is the feeling of teaching so many people?
Tao: I became a yoga teacher after friends saw me incorporating yoga into my everyday life and asked to join my practice. What I love most about teaching is seeing a smile come onto someone’s face when they realize that they can do things that they thought were impossible, physically and mentally. My students are my family and also my teachers.
Yotus Wellness: In addition to Yoga, you are also a dancer. Do you think Yoga and dancing can somehow be complementary or correlated?
Tao: Yoga is the dance of life. Stretch through to your fingernails. This is how one should approach everything in life, always stretching oneself beyond their limits.
Yotus Wellness: What is the secret of longevity? How do you keep yourself motivated?
Tao: I never think about aging. Not interested in my age or what I can't do, I spend my time knowing nothing is impossible. I don’t feel any different now that I’ve turned 101. I’m not even scared. And I’ll never stop practicing yoga—it’s the dance of life! The breath is the breath eternal, which makes all things possible.
Yotus Wellness: You say your mantra is "There is nothing you can't do". How can we incorporate this mantra into our lives?
Tao: Don't breathe in the negative. Whatever you put in your mind materializes. So materialize what you want to happen and know that it's possible.The problem is that we sit too much inside ourselves. You will never gain anything just sitting there, wondering what you should do. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Know that today is going to be the best day of your life. Smile at the world and it will smile back at you.
Yotus Wellness: In a TED Talk lecture you stated, "Use the wonderful laws of nature to recycle your whole body." What laws were you referring to and how can we use them?
Tao: Yoga is the joining of our mind, body and spirit. It is like nature, everything is always recycled and brought full circle. I find that I can heal myself if I do what nature does. It’s taken away stress and has helped me through crises. I meditate as I watch all of nature. Nature is advertising the seasons of life. It reassures me no matter how bad the storm is, spring will follow. Nature is my encyclopedia of life.
Yotus Wellness: Can you give an advice on how people can find their purpose?
Tao: There is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it. Use your breath and learn to enjoy the world and think positively while moving through the rhythm of life.
"Im going to teach yoga until I can't breath anymore then I will just fly away to the next planet ..." Tao Porchon Lynch