Podcast

Episode 155: Healing through memoir with Sherry Sidoti

Sherry Sidoti is an author and a yogi. She recently published her first book, a memoir about her own healing journey, A Smoke and a Song. This is such a powerful and moving story highlighting how we can heal ourselves by exploring and accepting our experiences, and coming to terms with the past.

We talk about:

  • What inspired Sherry to write her book
  • Sherry’s journey to writing a memoir
  • Sherry’s experience as a yoga teacher and how it has helped her learn to use language sparingly and effectively
  • Writing a memoir with a focus on self-expression and ethical considerations
  • How Sherry was able to write about trauma without triggering trauma
  • Motherhood and healing generational trauma
  • Using meditation and sensory awareness (five sense awareness)  to access memories
  • What it means to be living in the layers
  • What it’s like living on Martha’s Vineyard

And more!

Sherry’s website: sherrysidoti.com

Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Sherry’s book: A Smoke and a Song: A Memoir

Why not explore more…

Writing your story with Julia Brewer Daily

Julia Brewer Daily wrote her first novel when she was over 50 and is the host of the Authors Over 50 podcast.

Caring for a loved one with dementia with Carolyn Birrell

Carolyn Birrell shares her own journey navigating her mother’s path into dementia, so that others may be better prepared.

Mothers, daughters, estrangement and healing with Laura Davis

A profound and deeply moving conversation with Laura Davis, author of The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share it and leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening.  Thank you!

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Podcast

Episode 144: The power of yoga for menopause with Niamh Daly

Niamh Daly is the founder of Yinstinct Yoga and focuses on creating yoga practices to help especially with menopause, training teachers around the world in this. She also runs courses in Menopause Awareness and Strategies for fitness professionals, nutrition and health coaches as well as accredited courses for Psychotherapists and Counsellors.

We talk about:

  • Why Niamh is so passionate about yoga and especially for menopause
  • How to adapt our practice through menopause and as we age
  • The stages of menopause
  • The importance of pleasure
  • Connecting with our nervous systems
  • What we can learn by listening to our bodies
  • The importance of movement throughout the day
  • Being cautious of people making big promises about menopause
  • Looking out for misleading narratives
  • Learning to trust ourselves

And more!

Niamh’s website: yinstinctyoga.com

Facebook | Linkedin | Instagram | YouTube

Why not explore more

Getting Real About Long-Term Health With Sam Palmer

An interview with Sam Palmer, of the Midlife Makeover, getting real about what it takes to achieve long term health and fitness.

Staying Fit And Healthy Through Menopause With Tania Dalton

Meet Tania Dalton, healthy aging coach and fitness trainer who’s passionate about redefining age and empowering women to embrace menopause.

Yoga For Menopause – 7 Reasons Why It’s Great

Looking for a natural remedy for hot flushes and achy joints? Yoga could be the answer. Here’s why it’s great to try yoga for menopause. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share it and leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening.  Thank you!

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Blog

The Day I Met Yogi Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Wonderful life lessons from Tao Porchon-Lynch

I’ve never been much of a fan girl. I had a mild crush on David Soul back in the day. Remember him from Starsky and Hutch? My father paid for me and my mum to go and hear him sing at the Birmingham Hippodrome. What a dish he was! But I never had pictures of pop stars up in my room like all my friends did. I was a more serious teen!

But, I had the ultimate fan girl experience when I finally met my all-time shero, Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga teacher at 98 (she died at 101). When I actually saw her in real life, getting out of her Smart car in three-inch heels and walking round into the Fred Astaire Dance Studio where she taught her Monday class, I almost started to hyperventilate!

My friend had driven me up from Manhattan to Hartsdale for a 9 a.m. yoga lesson with this amazing woman. I’m a big fan of yoga and believe it can really help transform midlife and beyond. I was so overwhelmed to finally see Tao that tears pricked my eyes.

“Why are you crying?” asked my lovely chauffeur. “I don’t know,” I sniffed back. I did some deep breathing to get my pounding heart under control. Then we went into the studio to bask in the aura of this quite incredible woman.

Tao Porchon-Lynch
The author and Tao.

A Remarkable Life

Tao Porchon-Lynch had a remarkable life. I’m amazed a film hasn’t been made about her. She was born in 1918 to a French father and an Indian mother. Her mother died in childbirth and Täo was brought up by her aunt and uncle, mainly in India, but also travelling around Asia as her uncle designed railroads.

On hearing that I had journeyed from London to meet her, she told me of being there during the Blitz and meeting Noel Coward. She’d performed in cabaret nightly there during the War, having escaped from France where she’d been helping Jews flee the Germans.

Tao is clearly doing something right to still be able to teach yoga at nearly 99. So, what life lessons can she teach us? For starters, that beauty is completely and utterly ageless!

Tao Porchon-Lynch

There is Nothing You Cannot Do

This was Tao’s mantra and a powerful one it is. She had been practising yoga since she was a child and saw boys doing extravagant poses on the beach in India. She wanted to do them, too, even though she was told it was inappropriate for girls. Nothing was going to stop her then and nothing did since.

She practised with many of the yoga greats including B. K. S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. When, after her first hip replacement, her surgeon told her she would no longer be able to do full lotus (both feet sitting on alternative thighs), she was determined to prove him wrong.

When I met her at 98 and after three hip replacements, she could still do full lotus and then lift herself up on her hands while in that position! In my 50s I can only dream of such feats.

Watch this video to hear how Kathryn Grayson and Debbie Reynolds encouraged Tao to set up a yoga class and how she told B.K.S. Iyengar he was a snob for not teaching women!

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Wake up Each Morning Knowing This is the Best Day of Your Life

I have no doubt that Tao’s exceptionally positive outlook on life contributed to how fascinating her life was, her longevity and the phenomenal physical flexibility and health she enjoyed for so long.

She embodied mindful living, milking each moment for its exquisite life force and seeing the beauty in everything. She embraced life and everything it threw at her. She did that all her life and continued to do it as she approached her centenary.

The day I met her she was teaching two yoga classes, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 6 p.m. She had a dance lesson immediately after the first yoga class. And, then in the afternoon, she was taking part in a wine tasting. Ah yes, she was also a wine connoisseur. She founded the American Wine Society with her late husband in 1967!

Tomorrow Never Comes. Don’t Procrastinate!

Tao lived and breathed this mantra too. Her life was a veritable odyssey through 20th century history. One wonders how you could pack so much into one lifetime. She marched with both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. She was friends with Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich.

She worked as a dancer, model, actress and now as a yoga teacher. At 87, she took up ballroom dancing and won over 700 First Place awards since then! She even danced on America’s Got Talent at 96.

 

I was lucky enough to watch her having a dancing lesson immediately after our yoga class. Watch the video to see Tao Porchon-Lynch strut her stuff!

 

Whatever You Have in Your Heart – Smile

I spent three hours in Tao’s company and I don’t think she stopped smiling once. There was true joy and compassion in this quite exceptional woman. She lived to bring that joy to other people through yoga. In class, it was impossible to reconcile that a 98-year-old woman stood in front of us, seeing the way she was able to bend her body into advanced yoga poses.

Tao Porchon-Lynch exuded kindness, energy and poise, and energized all those around her.

She also had an immense sense of fun. I’ve already told you about her heels. She wore them all the time, except on the yoga mat, even at 98! She talked of how they stretch out her foot perfectly. She also told me she even took them with her to walk up to Machu Picchu. How bonkers is that!

I was lucky enough to meet her again that same year in London. Such a beautiful soul. The world was a better place having you in it Tao. Dance forever.

 

 

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