Photo by Joyce Pines
Tao Porchon-Lynch, the 93-year-old featured presenter speaker at this year's Yoga Journal Conference in New York, has been named "Oldest Active Yoga Teacher" by Guinness World Records.
With some 70 years of practice behind her, this grand dame of yoga has studied with luminaries of the heritage, including Indra Devi, Aurobindo, B.K.S. Iyengar. She opened the Westchester Institute of Yoga in New York in 1982.
She was introduced to yoga growing up in Pondicherry, a French Colony in India, where she would watch the local boys doing yoga on the beach. "As a child with a zest for physical activity, I wanted to do the amazing things that they were doing with their bodies," she told Guinness.
Porchon-Lynch continues to travel and teach at Yoga Journal conferences, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan, and the Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville in Virginia, among other venues.
When she's not teaching yoga, you'll likely find this former French Resistance fighter, model and actress (and one-time winner of the "Best Legs in Europe" contest) doing competitive ballroom dancing.
Other yoga categories that have made it into the Guinness World Records:
Longest Yoga Chain: 202 yogis in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, made the shape of a heart on April 12 of this year.
Longest Yoga Marathon (female): Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow of Canada did yoga for 32 hours straight at Om West Holistic Centre, Quebec, Aug. 2-3, 2010.
Longest Yoga Marathon (male): Michael Schwab of Austria did yoga for 29:04 in Vienna Sept. 26-27, 2009.
Largest Yoga Class: 29,973 students from 362 schools did Sun Salutations simultaneously for 18 minutes at Jiwaji University, Gwalior, India on Nov. 19, 2005.
And our favorite ...
Most Consecutive Yoga Positions on a Motorcycle
Yogaraj C P of India did 23 yoga asana poses while driving a motorcycle in Mumbai, Feb. 17, 2011. Yogaraj, according to the Guinness World Records website, also once held the record for the "longest yoga marathon male."