Yoga can be intimidating at any age — the often unpronounceable names, the pretzel-like body contortions. But yoga master Tao Porchen-Lynch maintains that everyone can do it, and she is living proof. In 2012 at the age of 93, Tao earned the distinction of becoming the world’s oldest yoga teacher.
Now a year later, she has released a DVD, along with 32-year-old Tara Stiles, owner of Strala Yoga in NYC. The DVD, available at Amazon for $10, offers, well, something for everyone. The first sequence features Tao on the beach doing an easy flow, while the second practice offers a more advanced sequence (with modifications, of course) with both Tao and Tara.
SeniorsForLiving.com recently spoke with Tao about her new DVD, how yoga has helped her maintain her health and longevity and why people of all ages should practice yoga.
How did your partnership with Tara Stiles come about?
Tara and I were interviewed by the editor of Integral Yoga Magazine the summer of 2010. We were both teaching workshops at Yogaville in Buckingham, Va. “Is 92 the New 29? The Grande Dame of Hatha Yoga and the New Kid on the Block” was the title of the interview! Since then, we’ve had a lasting relationship.
Why should seniors practice yoga?
There is no such thing as age. Nature advertises we can restore ourselves if we’re in touch with this power of the breath.
How has yoga helped you maintain your health and supported your longevity?
Yoga unites the body, mind and spirit. It proves nothing is impossible. It opens up the door of life and doesn’t allow me to get rusty.
Are there any safety concerns for seniors when it comes to yoga?
There are always safety concerns for anyone. Don’t push yourself into it. Go with your breath. Let your breath take you there. Move slowly and gradually in the pose. Don’t look at what you can’t do, but know within you there is the power to do.
What is a common misconception seniors have about yoga that you’d like to dispel?
[That] seniors are too old to do yoga. Yoga is a wonderful feeling — like a jewel — you can do it if you do it the right way with the right teacher.