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Pure Inspiration: Täo Porchon-Lynch


Yoga's 98-year-old Rock Star

In the year 2016, the ancient, millennia-old, practice of Yoga, and “Yogalebrities” are everywhere. We’re not complaining. We love Yoga at Château de Pommard. Every Wednesday lunchtime, our Yoga Teacher guides us through our Sun Salutations (the sun is very important to us, so we like to praise it when we can!) in the Orangery, where we have a spectacular afternoon view of Clos Marey-Monge. The view makes the stretches and strains of the yoga worth it.

With many of our team yoga-mad, the latest yoga inspiration to be passed around at the Château’s water cooler is that of Täo Porchon-Lynch, the 98-year-old “Yogalebrity” who is currently a social media sensation, following being rediscovered in 2012. However, fame is nothing new to Täo: she has been admired and respected all her life. And what a crazy, amazing life she has had – and she’s not done yet. From Yoga Master to bestselling author, oenophilist to cabaret performer (Noel Coward said she made a “dark London brighter”), couture model and actress to film producer, as well as the former ambassador and founder of the American Wine Society. For these reasons alone, we love her. In recent articles that follow Täo’s new found success with the millennial generation, it is the fact that she drinks only tea and wine (she never sips water, apparently), that has been repeated more than any other fact in her lifetime, proving that if a nonagenarian who drinks only wine and tea can be healthy then there is hope for us all. Täo is currently putting the yoga social media yoga craze, which is full of young, bendy, and lycra-clad people showing off their toned tummies and pelvic floors to shame. Because Täo is different. Täo stands out from the herd.

Born in the town of Pondicherry, India in 1926, but now a Hartsdale, New York, local, the nonagenarian Täo forever accessorizes with big earrings, neon-painted nails, and is always (always!) seen in high heels (except for when she’s doing yoga), and especially when she participated famously in America’s Got Talent 2015 (her performance was described by the judges as “too mind-blowing for words”) She’s our kind of gal. But our admiration for her doesn’t just start there. Täo loves wine so much that she founded the American Wine Society with her late husband in 1967. She first discovered yoga in 1926, aged 8, spirit of yoga and has been a stretched embodiment of the ageless body, timeless mind ethos that has made yoga the go-to exercise of the current generation. With her yoga, Täo teaches us to let go from distractions and to have “exquisite awareness in every moment”.

Watch Täo in action with Ted here:

Described, trivially, as the “Real-Life Forrest Gump", having participated in many era-defining historic events in the past fifty years enjoying up-close and personal encounters with a host of many famous faces, including Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Llama, General Charles de Gaulle, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astaire and Coco Chanel, Täo is perhaps most famous, other than her yoga, for her obsession with wine. In 1967, Porchon-Lynch founded the American Wine Society alongside her husband, later becoming the publisher and editor-in-chief of the wine appreciation magazine, The Beverage Communicator. Every year, Täo travels to France to appreciate new wine regions with her fellow yoga friends. She’s welcome here anytime.

In a world where youth is a precious commodity, it’s refreshing to see Täo, officially the world’s oldest yoga instructor, receive the recognition she deserves from a younger audience who just want to be friends with a glamorous, wine-drinking, yogalebrity.

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