Project Description

Athleta’s Power of She Campaign

January 7, 2017 – I was so honored to be featured in the Athleta Power of She campaign with my teacher/mentor 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch. Tao graced the cover of the Athleta catalog and we were both featured in stores and online. 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.

The Backstory…

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

By 2011, Tao and I started presenting together and interweaving our empowerment work. I hosted Tao’s first yoga workshop in Harlem at the Dwyer Cultural Center. In addition, I invited Tao to co-present my workshop “The Gandhi Effect” at the Newark Peace Education Summit which resulted in a packed standing room only audience. I 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, I 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 me and my 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. In November 2017, we released our second book together, Shining Bright: Images and Quotes to Inspire Optimism, Gratitude & Belief in Your Limitless Potential. Now we are collaborating on a number of other media projects to amplify Tao’s light and share her wisdom around the world in various formats.

98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch on cover January 2017 of Athleta 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
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign - January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign - January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign - January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch featured in Athleta Power of She campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy featured in Athleta campaign – January 2017
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta's Power of She campaign
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Athleta’s 2017 Power of She campaign
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Behind-the-scenes at Athleta shoot with 98-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch and Aimee Hyatt in Los Angeles, CA – October 2016
Janie Sykes Kennedy, Tao Porchon-Lynch and Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy at Independent Book Awards Ceremony in Chicago, IL – May 2016
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.

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!