On February 21, 2020, on the day of Mahashivaratri, in the suburbs of New York, Tao Porchon-Lynch, one of the oldest Western women-yoga teacher, passed away at the age of 101.
An Indian by mother (Bihar state) and a French by father, she lived in Pondicherry in South India for the first 20 years of her life (that time it was a French colony in Tamil Nadu). In 1930, she participated in the famous "Salt March" with Mahatma Gandhi. During the Second World War, she was in French Resistance. She acted in films, danced on stage, led yoga in different countries. She studied with Sri Aurobindo, Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Swami Prabhavananda (famous Swami from the Ramakrishna Mission). She was initiated into the South Indian Vira Shaiva Sampradaya. In 2019, in India, she was granted the Padma Award - the highest civilian award. As Doug Swenson wrote, “Now you are dancing with the stars.”
Born - Täo Andrée Porchon
August 13, 1918
Died February 21, 2020 (aged 101)
In these two photos, Tao performs trataka on ishta-linga - a small personal shivalingam, this is one of the main practices of concentration (Dharana) in the South Indian Vira Shaiva / Lingayat Sampradaya (one of the major schools of Shaivism in India).
Tao wit Doug Swenson.