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

The Guinness World Record holder passed away peacefully on Friday.
Tao Porchon-Lynch
Tao Porchon-Lynch, known as the world's oldest yoga teacher, loved ballroom dancing and wine.NBC Nightly News

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Ronnie Koenig

Tao Porchon-Lynch, the Guinness-certified world's oldest yoga teacher, has died at age 101.

The forever young yogi, author and competitive ballroom dancer, who inspired many through her classes and teachings, passed away peacefully on Friday, according to her website. The news was also posted on her Instagram page, which inspired tributes from many of her followers.

"With great sorrow and heavy hearts, we are writing to let you know that our beloved Tao passed away this morning, peacefully and without pain," read the message accompanying a picture of Porchon-Lynch looking timeless and radiant, posing by the water in a blue dress. "As she would say, she is now dancing her way to the next planet. We are planning a wonderful celebration of Tao’s life in the Spring."

Porchon-Lynch, an American yoga master of French and Indian descent, began practicing yoga at the age of 8 and went on to study with some of the world's most prominent teachers. She had many creative endeavors, including a love for wine and ballroom dancing, for which she won many competitions. She also held the Guinness World Record for the oldest competitive ballroom dancer and competed on "America's Got Talent" in 2015.

Her full life included a stint in Hollywood as an actress and marching with Mohandas K. Gandhi for social justice. She was committed to wildlife conservation and protecting elephants, in particular, and authored the book "Reflections: The Yogic Journey of Life."

While other centenarians are long into retirement, Porchon-Lynch continued to teach yoga in a suburb of New York into her 100s. Her students recalled her exquisite grace, strength and stamina as she taught and worked with people one-quarter of her age.

When Porchon-Lynch was 98, she teamed up with Athleta to show off her yoga skills and share her daily mantras.

Kathie Lee and Hoda marveled at Porchon-Lynch's strength and beauty as they watched a clip of her practice on TODAY and repeated one of her mantras: "Know that the joy of living is right inside you."

Porchon-Lynch always had words of wisdom, especially these thoughts on aging that she shared in her memoir.

“I don’t believe in age. When people ask me about age, I tell them to look at all the trees around them. They’re hundreds of years old. They may look as if they’re dying at the moment, but they’re not; they’re recycling themselves. And in a couple of months, they’re going to be reborn again.”