Confession: I can't stand yoga classes. While I love the idea of yoga and I'm completely sold on the benefits, I just can't manage to make myself enjoy it in reality.
In my mind a yoga class entails soothing music, mental breathing space and a much needed chance to stretch out my body after a long day writing over a laptop. In reality its a painful hour of listening to my own breathing, holding awkward positions and feeling annoyed that I can't seem to get any poses right. In fact, recently I'd all but given up on yoga together.
Then I came across Tao Porchon-Lynn.
This, frankly magical, woman is 98 years old and has been teaching yoga for the last 73 years of her life. She can stretch further than most of us, she is more wise than most of us and to be honest, she seems to have more fun too. As she nears 100, she has shared a little of her wisdom about growing up and never growing old, and how yoga is such an important part of life.
The world's oldest yogi says she discovered yoga when she saw boys doing it as a child. "My mother told me it wasn't ladylike" she says. "I said 'if boys can do it, I can do it and I'm going to do it.'"
Tao's approach to life is that nothing is impossible and you're never to old to give something a go.
"Yoga is done with the breath. It means ‘union with your inner self,’" she told the Huffington Post. “When you breathe, you tune into the inner self, and you’ll find it opens up your whole life. And that’s what yoga is all about."
“Anything is possible; nothing’s impossible. When you wake up every morning, say, ‘this is going to be the best day of my life,’ and it will be. The joy of living is right inside of you. Live it. Believe it."
Tao has featured in Athleta’s ‘The Power Of She’ campaign, which showcases four examples of women and girls working together to change the world.
In a world where its so easy to get obsessed about ageing and getting old, it's good to be reminded of exactly what our bodies are capable of when we treat them right, and what we're capable of when we appreciate life.
I'm heading back to my mat, inspired by Tao to give yoga another go. Let's allow ourselves to be more like Tao, positive, mindful and happy.