World's oldest yoga teacher dances tango

Post date: Jun 25, 2014 3:06:58 AM

"There’s so much to learn and I just feel I don’t have enough time to learn everything"3

"The greatest thrill that you can really have is to see someone who says I cant do it and show them they can."3

Tao Lynch-Porchon: image source:

Yoga master, award-winning ballroom dancer, wine connoisseur, writer, former model, and actress American Tao Lynch-Porchon (born August 13, 1918) is one truly inspiring and multi-talented woman!

In her 90s Tao still teaches yoga and is an award winning ballroom dancer. I often say tango and yoga keep one young, and here's living proof. Both yoga and tango are great for balance and flexibility and in this way are complementary physical disciplines.

Tao is also a powerful reminder that one is never too old to tango!

Here's some more background on Tao1. Be inspired! 


Despite her age, Tao is capable of doing yoga poses that would be a challenge for most people.

Tao became interested in yoga when she was 8 years old, after seeing people practicing yoga on the beach in her hometown of Pondicherry, South India. “

"My aunt told me that yoga wasn’t ladylike, but I didn’t care,” says Tao. “I walked up to the beach every day at 5am and couldn’t wait to start. While a girl doing yoga was not considered scandalous, it was certainly unusual at the time,”4 

Tao has been a yoga teacher for over 60 years. She been teaching yoga to students in India, France, and the USA for more than 45 years and has certified over 400 teachers. 

In 2012 the Guinness Book of Records awarded Tao the title of world's oldest yoga teacher. 

image source:

Tao does not intend to retire. "I will continue to practice yoga until I can no longer breathe, when I fly to another planet." 2

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Tao began ballroom dancing in October, 2002, and has since won more than 400 first-place prizes in local dance competitions.

Her youngest dance partner is Argentinian Hayk Balasanyan (born 1989). He is 69 years younger than her! 

          Tao and Hayk: Image source:

             Tao and Hayk: image source:

Here's what Tao has to say about dance and yoga...

"Dancing tango is like drinking champagne." 3

"I'm going to dance my way to the next planet."3

“Age is just a number, and I’ll never be too old to practise yoga or dance."4

“It’s hard to say if I prefer dance to yoga, as I see dancing as a continuation of yoga. Both are forms of movement that come from within, so I equate them to be very similar." 4

"I fill every hour of every day with yoga or dance."4

"I will never be too old to do yoga or dance."4

Here's a video of Tao tangoing (ballroom style): 

To see Tao dance to La Yumba with her dance partner Hayk, skip to 3:38.

Model and Actress

In 1939, Tao left India and moved to France to study dance, but shortly after the Second World War began, she was forced to escape to England until Paris was finally liberated in1945. With no money, no family and no friends in England, Tao turned to her talent as a dancer to make a living during the war.4 

This lead her to become a cabaret performer under the mentorship of Noël Coward. Travelling by foot from different nightclubs and theatres in a location where bombings often took place, Tao entertained countless soldiers, sailors, air force members and marines every night of the week.4

“At night during the war, everyone in London would hide in the subways to escape the bombs, but I couldn’t stand the thought of being afraid to live,” she says. “In everything I do – yoga, dance, everything – people are always telling me to be careful, but I’m fearless. There is absolutely nothing that I can’t do.”4

In the 1940s and Fifties, Tao worked as a model in Paris for designers such as Marcel Rochas and Jean Patou. She snagged many modelling titles, including "Best Legs in Europe"!

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Tao was an actress in England,France and the USA (under contract to MGM) in the 1940’s and 50’s.5 She appeared in various Hollywood motion pictures, including Show Boat (1951), and The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), in which she co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor. 

During her career as an actress, Tao frequently gave free yoga sessions to her fellow actors and actresses.

Wine Connoisseur

In 1967, Tao assisted in the establishment of the American Wine Society (AWS). She also frequently appeared as part of the judging panel in various wine competitions. With her fellow yoga practitioners, Tao organises annual wine appreciation trips to France.

Writer - Producer

In the 1960s and Seventies Tao continued to work in the film and television industry, writing screenplays and making documentaries.5

In 2013 Tao released a DVD on yoga as well as a book about meditation Reflections: The Yogic Journey Of Life.

image source: Keeping Up With Tao Porchon Lynch

Tao is truly unique in her ability to overcome the effects of ageing, and to control her mind and body and mind in harmony with Yogic principles. She is indeed a living advertisement for how to tap into our human potential.5

Here's a more in-depth article about this amazing woman that you may enjoy: Keeping Up With Tao Porchon Lynch

1 Main references: 

Wikipedia and and

2 Tao quoted in http://relaxsphere

3 Tao quoted in

4 Tao quoted in