Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch featured in Athleta “Power of She” Campaign

January 7, 2017–98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch is gracing the cover of the Athleta campaign this month and featured in stores and online with her student Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy as part of the Power of She initiative. The Power of She is a movement inviting women and girls to lift each other up, and together, realize our limitless potential. Go to the Athleta Chi Blog to find out more about the campaign and view the “Tao & Terri” videos and Power of Positivity insights. Stop by an Athleta store near you to get the catalog.

98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch on cover January 2017 of Athleta catalog
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in window of Athleta store on 18th & 5th in New York City
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in window of Athleta store on 18th & 5th in New York City – January 2017
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017

The Backstory…

It started ten years ago. Tao and Terri met in 2007 at a master yoga workshop at Integral Yoga Institute in New York City where Terri originally trained as a yoga teacher. Terri had founded the Ta Yoga House in 2002 — the first yoga studio in Harlem. In the IYI workshop, Tao noticed Terri in a “perfect handstand” as she recalled and came up to her.  She simply said, “I want to know you.” When their eyes met, there was an instant connection. The rest, as they say, is history. Terri started taking classes with Tao whenever she could. Recognizing Tao’s gift to the yoga community and the world at large, in 2008, as Chair of the Board of Yoga Alliance, Terri presented Tao with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute as “An Elder in the American Yoga Community” at her 90th birthday celebration. Terri has not missed a Tao Birthday Bash since!

By 2011, Tao and Terri started presenting together and interweaving their empowerment work. Terri hosted Tao’s first yoga workshop in Harlem at the Dwyer Cultural Center. In addition, she invited Tao to co-present her workshop “The Gandhi Effect” at the Newark Peace Education Summit which resulted in a packed standing room only audience. She also arranged for Tao to share the stage with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Deepak Chopra, and other notables for the opening Peace Panel. That year, Terri interviewed Tao for The Long View at 92 which gave a more in depth view of her life than previous interviews. That sparked a conversation that eventually led to Tao asking Terri and her mother, Columbia University-trained journalist Janie Sykes Kennedy, to help co-write her autobiography. Since it’s release in September 2015, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master has won 10 international and national book awards. It took four years of writing to capture Tao’s fantastical journey and put it into a continuous narrative. Now the trio are collaborating on a number of other media projects to amplify Tao’s light and share her wisdom around the world in various formats.

Janie Sykes Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Independent Book Awards Ceremony in Chicago, IL – May 2016

Three generations of women come together to tell the story of one incredible woman.

Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Janie Sykes-Kennedy in Jamaica – December 2014

All three woman have a history of championing women and girls, and being role models for what is possible. Tao’s defiant spirit and open-minded uncle allowed her to practice yoga at 8 years old in India when “girls didn’t do yoga.” That was 1926. Later, she convinced yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, who was her contemporary in age, to start teaching women.  Tao has been a trailblazer for women in so many ways — as a French Resistance fighter in WWII helping Jews escape the Nazis, a top couture model in the 1940s and 1950s, Vice President at Unitel TV in the 1950s helping to lay the groundwork for TV in places like India, an early international film distributor, publisher of one of the first wine newspapers in America, a co-founder of the American Wine Society (and a Vice President still today), founder of the Westchester Institute of Yoga, President Emeritus & Program Director of the Yoga Teachers Association, and so much more! Her own role models were phenomenal women such as her aunt in France who ran the family vineyard and was a French Resistance fighter, Indra Devi who is called the “Mother of Western Yoga,” and Dr. Welthy Fisher who founded Literacy House in Lucknow, India and World Education — all women who did extraordinary things in their 70s, 80s, 90s and up to 102!

As an actress, journalist and business executive, Janie has worked in the U.S., Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East for five decades with her late husband, Dr. James Scott Kennedy, focusing on cross-cultural communications and leadership development through various media. In the 1950s, they owned and operated one of the first multicultural theatre companies in New York City. In the 1960s, she founded ID: Inner Dignity – a program in Brooklyn, New York that taught self-esteem building skills to girls. In the late 1960s, they lived in Africa, working at the University of Ghana and producing for the 1966 First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, and the First Pan African Cultural Festival in Algiers, Algeria in 1969. In the 1970s, they were invited as Fulbright scholars by the Prime Minister of Australia to live in Adelaide and introduce new concepts of people–African-American and African–via theater and other arts, to that continent. They also produced for the Papua, New Guinea Independence Arts Festival. In the late 1980s, she was invited by HUD and the U.S. Department of Commerce as one of 14 delegates to go to the People’s Republic of China on the first trade mission of American women which led to her distributing the journal, Building in China. In 2011, she was invited by the President of Senegal to speak at the Third World Festival of Black Arts & Culture in Dakar to lend a historical perspective. A cancer survivor, at 81 years old she continues to write and share her expertise.

After almost dying from an autoimmune disorder, Terri left a successful media career and has spent the last 15 years inspiring people — particularly women and girls — to reach their highest potential using tools such as coaching, mindfulness, positive psychology, yoga, integrative health and energy management. As President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc., she teaches executives and entrepreneurs how to thrive at work and in life, as well as publishes multiplatform content to empower success. A Harvard-trained strategist with advanced studies in various disciplines, she uses her unique background and supercharged energy for greatest impact — from teaching yoga to global leaders on The Great Wall of China and inspiring women in Chile for the Estée Lauder Global Breast Cancer Campaign to being a discussion leader for “The Economics of Happiness” at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she founded the Young PWR Brokers in Harlem to teach teen and pre-teen girls self-esteem building skills. Called “smart with a heart,” she has been featured on the cover of Yoga Journal, in Oprah’s book, Live Your Best Life!, and was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader recognizing her “professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential for shaping the future of the world.” Terri has moderated conversations and events with Tao at the Pentagon, the Indian Consulate in New York for International Day of Non-Violence, the United Nations for International Day of Yoga and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, the World Government Summit in Dubai, and various conferences and events across the globe. Alone they are strong. Together they are even more powerful. That’s the Power of She!

Highlights from Tao & Terri travels:

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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at XYoga Festival in Dubai – February 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at World Government Summit in Dubai - February 2017
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at World Government Summit in Dubai – February 2017
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in yoga workshop at Body in Balance in Maui, Hawaii – December 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA – December 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at The 42nd Yoga Research Society Conference in Philadelphia, PA – November 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations Women’s Entrepreneurship Day – November 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting at the Indian Consulate for International Day of Non-Violence in New York – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Release Yoga in Akron, Ohio – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in yoga workshop at Upper West Side Yoga & Wellness in New York City – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in yoga workshop at East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna, VA – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in yoga workshop at Baltimore Yoga Village in Baltimore, MA – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy for yoga and Conversation with a Master at Athleta at the Grove in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with producer George Shapiro in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Book Club discussing Dancing Light in Rye, NY – October 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ – September 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at A Mindfulness Life Center in Scottsdale, AZ – September 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Home On The Sound in Larchmont, NY – August 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Tao’s 98th Birthday Bash in White Plains, NY – August 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting at Core Club in New York City – July 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in yoga workshop and Conversation with a Master at Integral Yoga Institute in New York City – July 2016
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy for yoga and Conversation with a Master at Yoga Jam in Stamford, CT – July 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with Shwaasaguru Sri Vachananand Swamiji  in New York – July 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at United Nations International Day of Yoga – June 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at ClubFit yoga workshop in Briarcliff Manor, NY – June 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Janie Sykes Kennedy at YogaView workshop in Chicago – May 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Wainwright House, NY – May 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Tao’s Spring Awakening Party in White Plains, NY – April 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at XYoga Festival in Dubai – February 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy leading Satsang at Sivananda Ashram Bahamas – January 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at White Plains Library, NY – January 2016
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Young Executives Society (YES) and Mercedes event in Ljubljana, Slovenia – October 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at Age of Happiness Festival in Budva, Montenegro – October 2015
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Harvard Business School Club of NYC – September 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch at Age of Happiness Festival in Budva, Montenegro – October 2015
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy riding an elephant in India – January 2014
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with 114-year-old Bernando LaPallo at the 4th Annual Senior Luncheon in Phoenix, AZ – September 2015
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Sue Wald, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Janie Sykes Kennedy at Dancing Light book launch event at Athleta store in Scarsdale, NY – September 2015
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Filming of Tao Porchon-Lynch with Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Janie Sykes Kennedy at Wainwright House in Rye, NY – September 2015
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Janie Sykes Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Tao’s 97th Birthday Bash – August 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting The Gandhi Effect in Kansas City – August 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Arun Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson) at his home in Rochester, NY – July 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy meditating and presenting Conversation with a Master at Wainwright House in Rye, NY – June 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy for yoga and Conversation with a Master at University of Delaware – May 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Conversation with a Master at JCC Mid-Westchester in New York – April 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon in New York – March 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with Suzanne Roberts in Philadelphia, PA – March 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at YogaWorks in Irvington, NY – March 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy with Nancy Finch at the 31st Annual Women’s Hall of Fame Awards in Tarrytown, NY – March 2015
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Jamaica – December 2014
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Janie Sykes Kennedy at Tao’s 96th Birthday Bash in White Plains, NY – August 2014
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Nantucket Yoga Festival – July 2014
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Tao Porchon-Lynch in support of #BringBackOurGirls – July 2014
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at the Taj Mahal in India – January 2014
Daniel Kennedy, Sheila Kennedy Bryant, Janie Sykes Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Tao’s 95th Birthday Bash in White Plains, NY – August 2013
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Sheila Kennedy Bryant and Janie Sykes Kennedy at Tao’s 94th Birthday Bash in White Plains, NY – August 2012
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. – June 2012
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Karen Young presenting the Guinness World of World Records for Oldest Yoga Teacher to Tao in Hartsdale, NY – May 2012
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting at Yoga Journal Conference in New York – April 2012
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy hosting Tao Porchon-Lynch yoga workshop at Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem, NY – November 2011
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Tao’s 93rd Birthday Bash in White Plains, NY – August 2011
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Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting The Gandhi Effect at the Newark Peace Education Summit – May 2011
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Yoga workshop with Tao Porchon-Lynch – November 2008
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Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy presenting Tao Porchon-Lynch with Lifetime Achievement Award from Yoga Alliance at her 90th Birthday Bash – August 2008

That’s the power of women supporting women!

Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Jamaica – December 2014
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Janie Sykes-Kennedy in Jamaica – December 2014
Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Jamaica – December 2014

Can you keep up with Tao? Be sure to leave your comments and spread the light by sharing this link and these hashtags: #ThisIs98 #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.

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. Her mission is to raise the consciousness of the planet through transformative tools, experiences and content. As a coach, she specializes in helping people de-stress, realign 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 the cover of Yoga Journal and in 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 award-winning autobiography, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master. Terri and her mom are working on the Tao Legacy Project, capturing Tao’s wisdom and teachings in various formats, A sought-after speaker and avid photographer/videographer with a love for storytelling, Terri often travels with Tao moderating conversations on her life, assisting in yoga workshops and documenting their experiences.
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