What a 95-Year-Old Yoga Teacher Can Teach Us About Success


As entrepreneurs, we’re always seeking new sources of information and inspiration. Whether we’re watching TED talks or scouring the latest business headlines, it’s important to stay on top of our game. Many times, when we’re in need of wisdom and encouragement, we turn to highly successful people, reading their articles or listening to their interviews. The list typically includes the likes of Tim Ferriss, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban . . . and let’s not forget Tao Porchon-Lynch.

Wait a minute.

Tao who?

Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 95-year old (it’s ok, keep reading) yoga teacher (the world’s oldest, by the way and yes, really, it’s ok . . . keep reading) who’s energy and words of wisdom are so powerful, it’s hard to ignore. Hey, entrepreneur Tim Ferris says he regularly abides by the saying, “You’re the average of the five people you associate with the most.” Who said it? His high school wrestling coach. So. . . yoga, wrestling . . . take your pick.

The point is that Porchon-Lynch’s attitude and can-do spirit has propelled her yoga business (which she started teaching in her 70s) into one that includes over 400 students around the world and keeps her in high demand at events across the globe. Her advice about youth, health and positivity can be applied to help your own business succeed.

4 Tips to keep your business successful (yoga poses optional)

Stay active

In addition to teaching yoga and travelling the world to lead prestigious yoga-related events, Porchon-Lynch also takes dance lessons, competes in dance contests and enjoys meditation. “Yoga and dancing,” she explains, “are something that live within me and make me face the world.”

Am I saying the key to running a successful business means busting out into a Downward-Facing-Dog pose whenever we face uncertainty? Not at all. Just as she stays active, we too, must keep on going. We all have times where it’s easy to let things slide or when we experience setbacks, but staying on the go, mentally and physically, keeps us in touch with people, business trends and our creativity.

Stay active by continuing to make those follow-up calls, get out there and mingle at social events related to your industry, keep an eye on the competition and always consider new avenues to build your business. Get out in the world and make your business known.

The key to success is tofu . . . well, sort of

Porchon-Lynch, a vegetarian, says, “Through the study of yoga, I can heal myself. I don’t take any supplements—no vitamins or calcium or anything. I take no medications for any medical conditions; I rarely take even an aspirin.” She is hardly ever sick or tired.

So . . . the key to success is tofu, fruit consumption and never buying aspirin? Not really. Well, sort of. This isn’t the kind of blog where I want to get all deep about the food-body-mind connection, but there is something to be said about eating right and keeping our energy up and mind sharp.

New York City nutritionist Barbara Mendez reminds us to eat our breakfast. “Busy entrepreneurs often skip this important meal which can have detrimental effects on focus, concentration, and decision making abilities,” she says in Inc. magazine. She discusses the effects that bad food choices can have for entrepreneurs adding that “Without good habits in place, you are bound to repeat mistakes, waste time and money and squander opportunities that may lead you to your next big achievement.”

Mom was right! Eat your veggies.

Do what makes you happy

By now, we’ve heard this a million times. Starting or staying in a business that you’re not interested in often leads to boredom, depression and a waning bank account. Doing what makes you happy is a different story.

Not only does Porchon-Lynch say that yoga brightens her day, but she swears that it’s something she’ll be doing until she simply can’t. “I’m going to teach yoga until I can’t breathe anymore . . .” she says.

Do you feel that way about your business?

Don’t give up

The world’s oldest yoga teacher unfortunately needed hip surgery when she was in her 80s. But just one month after her operation, she was back and at it, teaching yoga again.

That kind of persistence will get you places.

Syndicated Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams faced a series of rejections when trying to get started. Just as he was about to give up hope, he says, “I had to do one more thing for luck to find me. As it turns out, one of the perhaps six people on planet Earth who could have looked at my cartoon and said ‘yes’ was a woman married to a guy who was the spitting image of, and had the same job as, Dilbert. It required that one extra attempt, and that wouldn’t have happened without the best advice anybody ever gave me, which is don’t give up.”

Or, as the world’s oldest yoga teacher says, “I don’t believe in letting age and broken bones get the better of my life. I believe nothing is impossible.”

I believe nothing is impossible too.

Sources for this article include:

A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. (http://www.rawfoodhealthwatch.com/)