97-year-old Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch Participates in 2016 International Day of Yoga at the United Nations with Sadhguru

DAY 1A   DAY 1B   DAY 2

June 20, 2016 – On the summer solstice, one day in advance of International Day of Yoga, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch spoke at the United Nations joining the Founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. As a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and her biographer, I was delighted to moderate Tao’s conversation. Sadhguru’s conversation was moderated by Max Kennedy, author and son of Robert F. Kennedy. The audience included senior UN officials, ambassadors and other dignitaries from various countries.

The topic was “Yoga for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”–how the different physical and mental aspects of yoga can help create a more equitable and harmonious world. Adopted last year by all 193 United Nations member states, the Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a set of 17 goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Yoga provides a framework for more conscious living and decision-making, as well as a path to foster peace.

Underlining that yoga is becoming a world-wide phenomenon, Sadhguru said the science of yoga is not just about health and fitness but it is the “ultimate solution for every aspect of human existence.” Speaking to UN Radio, Tao said she was pleased to see more people participating in yoga and that the ancient practice represents the “breath of eternal.” As for the United Nations, she said the world body was most necessary.

We need to be able to sit down and talk to each other; we don’t need to [search for] what is wrong in life. Whatever you put in your mind, you materialize, so let’s materialize peace and beauty and [the knowledge] that each one of us has something good to offer.

Asked what a world where everyone practiced yoga would look like, she said, “It would be a beautiful springtime; a world where everything flourishes. I don’t believe in hatred. I believe in the smiles on peoples’ faces.” Diplomats from Nepal, Bangladesh, Liechtenstein and World Health Organisation also spoke about the importance of yoga and shared personal experiences of how the ancient practice has enriched their lives.

On Tuesday, June 21st, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored yoga’s message of promoting harmony:

On this International Day of Yoga, I urge everyone to embrace healthier choices and lifestyles and to commit to unity with our fellow human beings, regardless of ethnicity, faith, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. Let us celebrate this Day — and every day — as members of one human family sharing one common, precious home.

Ban highlighted that as an exercise, yoga has multiple benefits and can help cultivate healthier lifestyles in current times when physical inactivity is linked with a number of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Noting yoga’s “universal appeal,” he said:

Practicing yoga can also help raise awareness of our role as consumers of the planet’s resources and as individuals with a duty to respect and live in peace with our neighbours. All these elements are essential to building a sustainable future of dignity and opportunity for all.

Sadhguru led a simple yoga practice at the UN Plaza in New York. President of General Assembly Morgens Lykketoft was the Chief Guest at the event, which was also attended by Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Cristina Gallach.

We are very grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for initiating International Yoga Day in 2014, and to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN including Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Ambassador Tanmaya Lal, Counsellor Amit Narang and Attaché Uma Dhyani. From the UN, we thank Mélanie Prud’homme from the UN Department of Public Information. We were delighted to have some of Tao’s students and close friends attend including Joyce Pines, Baiju Mehta, Regina Lee, Iris Lee, Arlene Towers, and Linda Klein. Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Wendy Diamond, Erica Viegas from the World Economic Forum and writer Trevor Courneen from Topix Media also joined.

Special thanks to Julie Hall for planting the seed for Tao being involved in International Yoga Day and to Gretchen Robinson for suggesting Tao’s involvement in the UN event. I took her thought and carried it forward by calling the Indian Mission, then Counsellor Narang and Ambassador Akbaruddin made it happen very quickly. It was all in Divine Order!

Below are some pictures from our activities before the actual event on Monday, including Tao’s media interviews and our private gathering with Sadhguru and Max Kennedy. Click on each image to make it larger. You can Like and Share each image, as well as spread the light by sharing this link and these hashtags: #ThisIs97 #TaoExp #TaoPorchonLynch. Thank you to Regina and Iris for taking so many great pictures. They took so many that we divided it into three pages. Check them all out!!

United Nations International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at the United Nations for International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Regina Lee, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Gretchen Robinson and Baiju Mehta at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Gretchen Robinson and 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch being interviewed at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch being interviewed at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch being interviewed at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch being interviewed at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Julio Figuero and 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with team from Indian Mission at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Baiju Mehta and 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Trevor Courneen and 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Ambassador Tanmaya Lal at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Ambassador Tanmaya Lal at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Baiju Mehta and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Baiju Mehta and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Baiju Mehta, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Joyce Pines, Arlene Towers and Linda Klein at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Max Kennedy and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at the United Nations for International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
Max Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at the United Nations for International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-aba Kennedy and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Gretchen Robinson, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Max Kennedy at the United Nations for International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
Joyce Pines, Gretchen Robinson, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Max Kennedy at the United Nations for International Yoga Day – June 20, 2016
97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Trevor Courneen, Baiju Mehta, Joyce Pines, Gretchen Robinson, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Max Kennedy, Linda Klein, Iris Lee, Regina Lee, Arlene Towers and Ambassador Tanya Lal at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Baiju Mehta, Joyce Pines, Gretchen Robinson, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Max Kennedy, Linda Klein, Iris Lee, Regina Lee, Arlene Towers at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016
Baiju Mehta, Joyce Pines, Gretchen Robinson, 97-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Max Kennedy, Linda Klein, Iris Lee, Regina Lee, Arlene Towers at United Nations International Yoga Day event – June 20, 2016

These were pictures from our activities before the actual event. For pictures from the discussion in the UN Chambers, go to Day 1B. For the yoga sessions on June 21st, go to Day 2. Can you keep up with Tao? Be sure to leave your comments and spread the light by sharing this link and these hashtags: #ThisIs97 #TaoExp #TaoPorchonLynch. If you haven’t already, order Tao’s long-awaited autobiography, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master.

EXPERIENCE MORE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA:

DAY 1A

Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy of www.IAmPowerLiving.com and www.PowerLivingMedia.com. President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc., Terri is a Harvard Business School-trained Strategist, Certified Meditation & Yoga Teacher, and Master Coach recognized as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. She specializes in helping people de-stress and realize authentic success. After a corporate media & technology career, she founded the first yoga studio in Harlem and served six years on the Board of Yoga Alliance (including Chair and interim CEO). Called “smart with a heart,” she has been featured in media around the world including Oprah’s book, Live Your Best Life! Along with her mother, Columbia University-trained journalist Janie Sykes-Kennedy, Terri is a co-author of Tao’s autobiography, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master. A sought-after speaker and avid photographer/videographer with a love for storytelling, she often travels with Tao moderating conversations on her life, assisting in yoga workshops and documenting their experiences.
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