Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch Dies at 101; Honored In Tribute Video
On February 21, 2020, yoga master and historical icon Tao Porchon-Lynch died peacefully at the age of 101 on the Hindu Festival of Maha Shivaratri, the “Great Night of Shiva.” Power Living Media produced a tribute video in her honor including inspiring footage of her speaking and dancing.
In her various talks and media appearances, Tao loved to share this story:
A little girl six years old said to me, “Tao, what are you going to do when you retire?”
I said, “I’m not going to retire.”
She said, “Oh, goodie, but what are you going to do?”
I said, “I’m going to dance my way to the next planet.”
Half Indian, half French, Tao discovered yoga at eight years old on the beaches of Pondicherry when girls didn’t do yoga, and dance has always been her passion. So, it’s fitting that Tao would choose this day to transition when Shiva dances in heaven. It’s said to be “the brightest night of the soul where the yogi attains Nirvana.”
Tao was living history. She marched with family friend Mahatma Gandhi in the 1930 Salt March and was a French Resistance fighter in World War II helping people escape the Nazis. She became a couture model for famous design houses including Jean Dessès, Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Marcel Rochas, Jean Patou and Elsa Schiaparelli. She was also voted “Longest Legs in Europe” and was an actress under contract with MGM in Hollywood. She was one of the founders of the American Wine Society in 1967 and published a wine newspaper, the Beverage Communicator, for thirty years in forty-nine countries. Tao started competitive ballroom dancing at the age of 87 and even performed on America’s Got Talent. Inspirational images and footage showcase Tao’s ballroom dancing footwork with Hayk Balasanyan, Alex Vasendin, Vard Margaryan, Anton Bilozonov and Sandip Soparrkar.
“When you wake up in the morning, do like dawn. Dawn doesn’t just come up in the sky. It wakes up first of all Nature. Then, it rises and it spreads out throughout the world and it spreads out throughout our own bodies. If you can feel that energy as soon as you wake up in the morning and look for the beauty of life, then there’s nothing you can’t do.”
She lived her philosophy. At the end of her tribute video, there is a series of pictures of Tao with various notables, as well as her friends around the world. It is an impressive Who’s Who of the yoga, Bollywood, media and influencer communities.
Tao shows us all what is possible with an intentional, fully expressed life. Her light will shine bright for generations to come. The tribute video was produced by Tao’s biographer, student and collaborator, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, who knew Tao for thirteen years. They did 66 events together spanning 10 countries. She and her mother, journalist Janie Sykes-Kennedy, co-wrote two award-winning books with Tao, expanded her brand beyond yoga and amplified her media reach globally.