Tao has been a lifelong activist.
Tao grew up in a family that had a deep commitment to equality and activism. Tao’s uncle, who raised her, was friends with Mahatma Gandhi.
One day I returned home from my daily adventures and when I walked in, I saw a man sitting in a chair talking with my uncle… I figured he was one of Uncle’s new friends… I soon found out that this little funny-looking person was Mohandas Gandhi – or “Mahatma” as people called him.
Tao marched with Gandhi – twice. The first time was the famous 1930 Salt March – an unprecedented demonstration of satyagraha, Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent protest. In this instance, it was to protest against the British salt monopoly.
Tao worked in the French Resistance helping Jews escape the Nazis during WWII.
Tao’s aunt in France had become furious with Hitler’s invasion into Poland and the stories that were circulating about the atrocities towards the Jewish people there. She started helping Polish Jews escape by hiding them in cement wine vats at the family’s vineyard in the Rhône Valley. That was Tao’s introduction to the French Resistance. When Tao was in London, she wanted to do more for the war and started working with the French Resistance under General Charles de Gaulle.
I was able to lead them to safety from the tunnels under Paris and on to the flat boats that were loaded with wood and coal… As we were traveling down the Seine to our destination, German soldiers with dogs were patrolling along the river listening for anything suspicious…We didn’t dare cough or even breathe aloud. We knew our lives depended on it.
On her last mission, Tao was almost caught by a German spy. Her partner, Joël Le Tac, was caught, tortured and put in a concentration camp.
Tao did whatever she could to support the troops during WWII.
During the Nazi Bombing Blitz in London, Tao received special permission to enter the military zone and perform for troops on the White Cliffs of Dover. She developed a reputation for being fearless.
I was not frightened by the air raids so many people got to know me. They couldn’t get over it. They would say, “There’s a French girl – it’s amazing – she’s not afraid. She goes and entertains the troops on the cliffs edge.”
As the French were being repatriated toward the end of WWII, Tao was invited by an American General to train over 2,000 American WACs (Women Auxiliary Corps) in Salzburg to perform for the U.S. troops as part of the USOs (United Service Organizations).
Tao lives the Oneness she teaches and sees yoga as a gateway to peace.
Tao participated in various marches over the years. She greatly admired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1968, she attended Dr. King’s funeral in Atlanta. Tao has supported many animal rights and environmental organizations, and sees yoga as a gateway to peace. In 1995, Tao participated in Yoga for Peace in Israel with 400 yogis from around the world including 95-year-old Indra Devi and T.K.V. Desikachar. In 2011, Tao spoke on the opening Peace Panel for the Newark Peace Education Summit with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and two other Nobel Laureates, Jody Williams and Shirin Ebadi, and other notables such as Dr. Deepak Chopra. Get ready for The Tao Experience through her long-awaited inspirational autobiography: Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through The Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master.