Watch CBS News

Tao Porchon-Lynch, named world's oldest yoga teacher, has died at 101

Meet this yoga master
100-year-old yoga instructor, ballroom dancer on life well lived 02:35

Tao Porchon-Lynch, who was awarded Guinness World records for being the oldest yoga teacher and the oldest female competitive dancer, died Friday at the age of 101, according to posts on her website and Facebook page. Porchon-Lynch, who started dancing competitively at 87, also marched twice with Mahatma Gandhi, according to her website. 

"Tao taught her last Yoga class on Sun, Feb 16th," a representative for Tao told CBS News. "She had been taking her weekly dance lessons until that week."

A memorial for Porchon-Lynch was also posted on her public Facebook page

"With great sorrow and heavy hearts, letting you know that our beloved Tao passed away peacefully in the morning on February 21, 2020. As she would say, she is now dancing her way to the next planet," the post said. "We are planning a wonderful celebration of Tao's life in the Spring." 

Born in French India, Porchon-Lynch modeled and acted, playing the golden idol in the 1940 remake of "The Thief of Baghdad." 

Porchon-Lynch practiced yoga for more than 70 years, 45 of which she also spent teaching in India, France, Dubai, China, Russia, and the U.S., according to her website. She maintained a studio in White Plains, New York. 

She kept teaching and competitively ballroom dancing even after having three hip replacements, she told CBS News' Roxana Saberi in early 2018. When asked how she stayed so active after those procedures, Porchon-Lynch simply replied, "Because I'm the boss." 

At the time, she still held seven yoga classes a week. She told Saberi that her energy came from "the breath of life." 

"The breath of life is right inside of us," she said. "To feel the dance of life within you, and know that nothing's impossible."  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.