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World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher Reveals 4 Secrets to a Long Life

Why Tao Porchon-Lynch wears high heels and never says 'I can't'

World's Oldest Yoga Teacher

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Secrets and life lessons from the world's oldest yoga teacher

En español | Tao Porchon-Lynch, 98, winner of a Guinness World Records award as the world's oldest yoga teacher, says her secret to long life is her mantra: Nothing is impossible.d

A former French Resistance fighter, model, actress and activist, she's been teaching yoga for 45 years, three hip replacement operations notwithstanding.

Born in India, she now lives in Hartsdale, N.Y., where she moved with her second husband. She still teaches yoga to packed classes at a local dance studio.

Her four secrets to long life:

Start the day an optimist. "When I wake up in the morning, I don't think about all the problems I have. I say, 'This is going to be the best day of my life.' Whatever you put in your mind materializes."

Be fearless. "Don't spend time on 'I can't.' When I practice yoga, I just go and do it and don't let my mind get in the way, because it will tell me what I can't do. I'm not interested in what I can't do. I dance every day. I do rumba, samba, waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha-cha, paso doble… I'm going to compete in the Fred Astaire championships in a couple of weeks. My new teacher and partner is 26."

Focus on breath. "I practice breathing not every day but every hour. The problem is that people just take sort of a sniff. That's not the breath. The breath has to come from deep inside, even from your feet. The Chinese call that channeling the energy into your heart. Everything breathes, even a blade of grass. It sounds silly, but when I was a little girl, I one day had my ear to the ground and my aunt asked me what I was doing. I told her I was listening to the grass grow. Everything has energy — it's the breath of life."

Wear heels. "I wear high-heeled shoes so that I'm completely energizing my instep all the time. I climbed Machu Picchu in high heels, and I got there faster than many of the others."

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