98-Year-Old Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch

I am constantly inspired by the wisdom and spirit of the people I photograph. I wanted to share an essay written by 98-Year-Old yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch, featured in my latest book Advanced Style Older and Wiser. For more essays CLICK HERE.

In my head I’m still in my 20s, and I have no intention of ever growing up. When people ask me about age, I tell them to look at all the trees around them. They’re hundreds of years old. They may look as if they’re dying at the moment, but they’re not; they’re recycling themselves. In a couple of months, they’re going to be reborn again. I believe we can recycle ourselves with each breath we take.

It’s important to have no fear. My uncle in India taught me that. He was a friend of Mahatma Gandhi. I marched with Gandhi in 1930. Through both of these great men I was inspired to always do what I believe. I performed nightly through the World War II bombing Blitz in London and people were amazed. I worked with General Charles de Gaulle and the French Resistance helping Jews escape the Nazis. I didn’t think it was anything special. I later married the love of my life and modeled for top designers such as Coco Chanel, Jean Lanvin and Jean Dessès. Then, I was an actress under contract with MGM in Hollywood. When disappointments came, my dear friend Marlene Dietrich said, “Close the book.” Instead of dwelling on things, I learned to move on.

I live every day with style. I like color and I always wear high heels. Although I am considered a yoga master and have certified over 1,600 yoga teachers, I love wine and chocolate. When I was 87, I started competitive ballroom dancing and I have since won over 721 First Place Awards. It’s never too late to follow your heart. When I get up in the morning, I say to myself, “This is going to be the best day of my life”… and then it is. Just know that there is nothing you cannot do for you’re not the doer, you’re the instrument. You have the power inside to do everything you set your mind to!


  • Taste of France

    Thank you for bringing their inspirational lives to us, too. I love these people. My mother used to say the same thing, about being young inside her head. Too often we ignore the wisdom and wit of older people. You are a ray of sunshine upon them.

  • Claudia

    She’s so amazing. I love her energy and the way she moves through life. Thanks for the great profile.

  • The Style Crone

    Tao is my role model and one of my goals is to take a yoga class from her. Thank you for featuring her today! Always inspiring!

  • Wonderful peice. Please post more. It’s a treat to see the visuals but reading about the soul is so grtifying and inspirational. Thanks Ari.

  • dani

    What at can one say!!!!???? Any superlative seems inadequateBut the diet,made famous by the ground-breaking health studies dating back to the 1960s, was a peasant-style diet that was largely vegetarian, she says.

  • Adele Miller

    What a great way to face each day, telling yourself it will be the best day of your life! I also want to take a yoga class with Tao…..

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  • Jewels Dietrich

    I adore that you can see such a spirit in you its leaping from the photo!