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YD Insider Report: An Afternoon with Grand Master Tao Porchon-Lynch

in Events, YD News, Yoga Heroes

Tao Porchon-Lynch the 92-year-old yoga dynamo came to town last week for a workshop. While this yogadork was partaking in YTT subtle bodiliciousness, and therefore couldn’t attend, we were lucky enough to have a fellow yogi reporter Jenn Pesce on the inside. This is her account:

Picture the sweetest old lady you know and now picture the strongest, most advanced yoga guru you can think of – et voila, Grand Master Tao Porchon-Lynch at your service.

As recently reported on YD the 92 year young yogini led a workshop at NYC’s Strala Yoga (owned and operated by yoga star Tara Stiles and her hubby Michael Taylor) this Saturday, July 24th during another heat wave with temperatures nearing 100 degrees.  Despite the heat, the workshop had a tremendous turnout, which included other fitness celebs like Jane Fonda (yes, the one and only, plus her pooch, Tulea, of course) and ‘The Hollywood Trainer’ Jeanette Jenkins.

The three hour session of Tao was a mingling of her huge continuous smile, her extensive knowledge of yoga, and a peppering of her life stories (including one when she asked Duke Ellington himself about the inspiration for his song Purple Gazelle, which she then went on to relate to an explanation of the chakras and their colors).

Despite her hip replacement and pins in her other knee and hip, Tao still demo’ed challenging poses like Padma-Sarvangasana (lotus pose in shoulderstand), a clear representation of her current flexibility and strength even as she nears centurion status.  Although soft-spoken, her pose refinements gave many yogis in the audience a new perspective on how to come into a pose (e.g., natarajasana/dancer’s and mayurasana/peacock) and no matter how challenging the pose, Tao approached each with a simplicity and ease, helping many in the workshop to go beyond where they had ever been before in their yoga practice.

Jane Fonda, who is trying to get back into yoga after a one year hiatus due to a knee replacement, perhaps said it best on her blog:  “A  new role model.  She’s French Indian and marched with Gandhi in 1938!”

Insider Scoop: Talk about yogarazzi -  The workshop was also filmed for an upcoming documentary aptly named “Workout” that spans the various generations and styles of fitness through the years.  Rumor has it that Richard Simmons was also interviewed for it.

Video! Sound is kinda rough, but here’s a clip from the workshop of Tao explaining the ins and outs of mayurasana.

And here’s one of the most inspiring videos you’ll watch all week. From when Tao was 87.

Thank you Jenn! Jenn Pesce is a blogger, yogi and student of life. check her out at jennpesce.com and on twitter @yogadeals

Have a yoga event you want to report? Email yogadork(at)gmail.com

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