Many people don’t live to see 100, some don’t even get close. But for yoga instructor and ballroom dancer Tao Porchon-Lynch, life past the 100-year mark is still very full of activity, per the Associated Press.
The centenarian has no plans to shelve her teaching and practice, having picked up yoga as a seven-year-old in her native India after scoping some boys doing it while walking along the beach.
“If boys can do it, I can do it,” she responded when her aunt told her that the movements were “not ladylike.”
By the time she got around to her teenage years, Tao was already teaching yoga and explaining proper breathing techniques to her students.
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“I said, ‘You’re squashing your lungs. Your lungs are not down in the navel, they are above,'” she recalls. But she’s also very full of advice for herself.
“When I wake up in the morning, I look at the sun and I say, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life’ and it will be. It always is.”
Although she’s had four hip replacements, Tao continues to perform ballroom dancing at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio and hasn’t let up on her yoga either. She has also featured on America’s Got Talent.
The 100-year-old instructor was awarded the Padma Shri Award – India’s fourth highest civilian award – by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
Surprisingly, Tao lives alone in a suburban apartment but has current and former students who drop by every now and then to check up, as well as members of a wine society that she’s in.
Asked to reveal what keeps her so active at such an old age, she says it’s all about good breathing.
“The breath is teaching us — listen to it,” she explains. “Feel your lungs expand outward, stretch your hands up towards the ceiling and feel the energy there. Breathe in the breath of life and breathe out peace.”
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