Every once in a while, someone comes along who can’t be real.
Like Susan Boyle, whose audition for Britain’s Got Talent broke the internet at over 100 million views in 10 days.
The most incredible performances come from those we dismiss outright. Too old. Too unattractive. Too boring.
Then they pull something out of the depths of spirit that has us leaping to our feet to cheer, blinking away tears.
That’s how I felt watching Täo Porchon-Lynch.
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Before I tell you about her audition for America’s Got Talent, let me tell you a little about this #BrilliantBabe.
This incredible woman marched with both Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. She helped Jews escape the Nazis with the French Resistance. She befriended Marilyn Monroe. She knew Ernest Hemingway, Noël Coward, Duke Ellington, and many other luminaries of the 20th century, leading the media to dub her a “real-life Forrest Gump.”
But that’s only a fraction of the story this diminutive 101-year-old woman, who passed away in February 2020, had to tell.
Täo was born on a ship in the middle of the English Channel in 1918. Her Indian mother died during childbirth, and her French father gave her up. She was raised by an uncle in India, where her fascination with yoga began.
At age 8, she saw a group of boys practicing yoga and asked to join their game. She would practice yoga for the rest of her life. Guinness World Records named her the world’s oldest yoga teacher at age 95.
In the intervening years, she found time to model for Coco Chanel, act alongside Bob Hope and Elizabeth Tailor, write screenplays, and produce documentaries.
She co-founded the American Wine Association, took up competitive ballroom dancing, and wrote an award-winning memoir, Dancing Light. She was chosen by athletic wear company Athleta for its Power of She campaign.
Her motto—unsurprisingly—is “There is Nothing You Cannot Do.”
Her optimism and yoga practice kept her centered in the ageless aspect of her being. She was limber, petite, and serene. She said she felt 20 years old inside.
Despite three hip replacements, she refused to give up the high heels that, it’s claimed, help her “elevate her consciousness.”
“When you are in touch with the breath, there is no such thing as age,” she told the Huffington Post. “There is so much to do and so little time.”
You can find interviews with Porchon-Lynch all over the web and mainstream news. She was active on social media, with 73K followers on Instagram. Dr. Deepak Chopra called her “one of the most acclaimed yoga teachers of our century.” He added:
Täo Porchon-Lynch… is a mentor to me who embodies the spirit of yoga and is an example of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. Like yoga, she teaches us to let go and to have exquisite awareness in every moment.”
If you want to know what ageless living looks like, you could do worse than model yourself after this master yogi.
But Porchon-Lynch liked to surprise people.
Any assumptions you made about what it looks like to be old, she was going to explode them.
Just like she did on the night of June 9, 2015.
That was the night she appeared on America’s Got Talent, in a performance that has to be seen to be believed.
By then, she’d been dancing competitively for nearly a decade. She’d racked up over 700 first-place awards. America’s Got Talent approached her, asking her if she’d like to be on the show.
Porchon-Lynch agreed. The beginnings of an idea glimmered in her mind.
Her partner-in-crime was the 26-year-old dancer Vard Margaryan. They made an unlikely pair, with a 70-year age gap between them. But his youth made a certain style of dancing possible.
As they stepped onto the stage, the judges smiled tolerantly at this little old lady in her sparkly dress and her strapping dance partner. Then they began to dance, and mouths dropped.
Porchon-Lynch had chosen a rap song, Pitbull’s “Fireball.”
As Margaryan lifted her in his arms and spun her around, you saw what she must have looked like as a cabaret dancer during the Blitz in London.
Beautiful. Breathtaking. Filled with joy. Fearless.
Those aren’t words you’d normally associate with age, but Porchon-Lynch wanted to change that.
“Women have the power to nurture our world and inspire others to be fearless,” she said. “Like dawn wipes out the darkness of ignorance, women radiate the beauty of life.”
Here are 5 more inspiring quotes by this amazing woman.
I watch the beauty of nature. It is telling me that even the trees get more beautiful as they age.”
When people are known to breathe properly, they can survive and do anything. Nothing is impossible when you are in tune with your breath.”
Yoga is a dance within…and then something inside you grows so big, it spills out like champagne, that’s when you dance on the outside.”
Never put negative thoughts in your mind because it goes right into your body… When you wake up in the morning, say, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life.’”
Leave your yawns behind you and feel the tiny new breeze of life lighting up inside of you.”
Stay Tuned for More #BrilliantBabe Profiles
Here at Your Brilliance, we believe the best way to figure out how bright you’re able to shine is to look up to other woman who are doing what you’ve always wanted to do.
The women you see featured in glossy magazines, climbing sheer rock cliffs and heading Fortune 500 businesses and crafting unique Etsy art from the comfort of their own homes, got there on guts and faith.
They didn’t know if they’d be able to succeed at their dream. But each and every one made the decision to take the first step. And the second. And the third.
We hope these profiles of brilliant women inspire you to reach for your dreams.