Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Living without limits

Published:Sunday | December 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

with Mahatma Ghandi twice - first at age 12, and again at 16, and who worked in the French underground with General Charles de Gaulle against the Germans during World War II, said the country that inspired the king of reggae, Bob Marley, and is home to the world's fastest man and woman, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is a place she has always wanted to return to.

Referring to age as just a number, the incredibly positive Porchon-Lynch, who has had three hip replacements, a broken wrist, a fractured finger and a car accident that left her slightly deaf in one ear, has gone on to win more than 720 dance competitions since 2005. She says fear never enters her mind, neither does negativity. Whatever she does, she says she never thinks of getting old.

"It doesn't interest me. I don't make fear in my mind about anything."

Her positivity led her to start competing at age 87. Her first dance partner was 22 years old. The last time she competed was three weeks ago in Orlando, Florida, and, yes, she won.

the power of positivity

Porchon-Lynch says there is nothing she feels she can't do, owing to the fact that one can do anything they set their mind to. "That power is within you." She also doesn't subscribe to negative thoughts.

"If you approve negative thoughts, negative actions will come through. So when you wake up, know it's going to be a wonderful day. Think positive and that is what will come through," she tells Outlook.

For Porchon-Lynch, no day is the same.

"I simply wake up and know that this day is the best day of my life! This is my meditation. Nothing is impossible."

With no apparent lifestyle disease, no diabetes, no hypertension, no problems of the heart, Porchon-Lynch said she does not believe in killing anything, and eats only fruits and vegetables. No meat or fish.

"I eat very little food, mainly a grapefruit in the mornings,. I may eat a little bit for lunch, but I eat fruits and vegetables, and drink naturally made fruit juices, which are full of energy. I don't drink water; I only wash in water."

According to the yogi - who did a class with 60 persons at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Hanover during her visit - the ground has all the food we need.

Using the trees as example of the incredible energy she gets from nature and how her own life is recycled, Porchon-Lynch said, "Look at the trees moving around. They are hundreds of years old. Some of them, when you look at them, the leaves have fallen off and some of them look as if they are dying, but in a few months they are born again. They are recycling themselves."

Still practising what she learnt when she walked with Ghandi, Porchon-Lynch says there is a oneness in this world that must be brought together.

Her words would do well as advice to warring factions worldwide. "We can all have different ideas, but we must share them and bring them together for good, not against each other."

As a yogi who is spiritual, but not religious, Porchon-Lynch, says that yoga helps one to tap into the eternal energy. "When you're really doing yoga, it shines through you."

Admitting that there were many physical benefits to yoga such as flexibility and strength, she says, more important, it is the pathway that opens up to your inner life and wisdom. To this master, it doesn't matter what your religion is.

"Truth is one; sages call it by many names. It doesn't matter what your religion is. Yoga opens you up to the beauty and oneness of life."

yoga with a difference

For years, Porchon-Lynch taught Iyengar yoga, which she says is beautiful, but has embraced what she calls yoga with a difference. "Yoga from the breath of life. I think this is what most people haven't learnt, how incredible this energy is. I teach more or less from that point of view. If you are not using that energy, then you are weak."

According to Porchon-Lynch, yoga is a feeling that is within you. "I don't pray outside of myself. I pray to what is within me because I know that is the Lord of Creation. So, whenever I have some problems, I look within myself and find the answers. The answers always come," she said.

Married twice, Porchon-Lynch boasts of having more than 400 children - all of the wonderful teachers she has trained.

"So many of my students come to me and say, 'You have changed our lives'. I didn't change it. There was a power inside of them that was dormant. All the power in the universe is right inside of you," she said.

Porchon-Lynch plans to return to Jamaica in April 2015 for a yoga retreat.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com