POLO BECAME SECOND NATURE TO ME: SAYE YABANDEH
Saye Yabandeh, a multi-tasker and extremely talented lady in conversation with LA POLO
You might know Saye Yabandeh as a polo player or maybe as a Yoga influencer, or even as an actor. Others would say that she is an active humanitarian. But we here at LA POLO tell you that all of you are right since this lady has been everything mentioned above. With this multi-talented woman, LA POLO had a conversation and here is the complete insight into it.
LA POLO: What drew you to Polo? How, according to you, can/has the Sport of Kings make a difference on the humanitarian grounds?
Saye Yabandeh: I started playing polo the same time I started learning how to ride a horse and it became second nature to me. The competitiveness of the sport and the uniqueness of the opportunity for males and females to play among each other is very appealing to me. I believe that polo is the only sport that men and women play together in a match. The horses are beautiful and the game is challenging. There is certainly an elegance and regal aspect of the sport. After all, it is called the “Sport of Kings.” However, I’d like to make an alteration and call it the Sport of Kings & Queens. It really brings people together from all over the world and we’ve been able to use matches to raise awareness and funds for various organizations. I mostly play in charity matches benefiting various causes such as children hospitals, Aspen Valley Hospital, breast cancer awareness in Dubai, and others.
LA POLO: You've had a successful acting career along with your other socially oriented endeavors. What motivates you to continue moving forward in your persuasions?
Saye Yabandeh: In this day and age, we are fortunate to be able to reflect on the paths of the great men and women of the world before us and set them as role models. These men and women who have impacted our world in a positive way have been givers, and in following their footsteps I strive to do the same. A responsibility higher than my own needs encourages me to continue. My passion for personal betterment and evolving to a more whole human being has been a burning desire all along. To carry forward an ever-evolving human civilization that I hope results in the overall elevation of humanity is a great mission for me, and I also believe that with opportunity comes responsibility.
LA POLO: You are incredibly passionate about your health and fitness and a prominent proponent of Yoga. How do you think your passion has crossed over into your career? How were you introduced to Yoga and how has it contributed to your physical regimen?
Saye Yabandeh: We only have one body to carry us throughout this life, so we must take great care of it. Besides, we want to keep the original parts as long as possible!
The importance of yoga to me is as same as the importance of drinking water. I have been able to deepen my practice of yoga in the past couple of years and I am continuing to do so as I find an immense benefit to the health of my mind and my body through the ongoing and ever-evolving practice of yoga.
Yoga is the practice of the mind and body together. I enjoy inspiring others to open their mind and heart and indulge in the practice as often as possible. It is not about how far you can bend down to touch your toes, or how long you can hold your headstand. It is about opening up your heart and breathing in deeply with awareness.
It’s about leaving your yoga mat with a softer heart and higher awareness and taking your practice into the world to the people and events that you encounter each day. After all, it’s about discipline and practice. Like other practices, some days are more difficult and some days are easier, but the importance is remaining consistent. The great thing about yoga is that you could practice almost anywhere. I do yoga on long flights when I travel and I find it extremely beneficial.
LA POLO: It is refreshing to see someone in your position make consistent efforts towards the betterment of society. Can you please describe some of your humanitarian efforts? How impactful do you think your Global Citizen Foundation has been?
Saye Yabandeh: We recently installed solar panels for an underprivileged school in Cambodia. This is a school that was previously an orphanage and I have been involved with these children for many years now. It is very important to me to educate our future generation about global health and the environment. Our kids in Cambodia have been involved in raising awareness in regards to the environmental health making reusable bags for themselves and the village. They have been involved in promoting the use of bicycles versus car and motorbikes around the village. I very much enjoy helping to implement the idea of conscious living with these children starting at a very young age, so as they grow up it is natural to them to protect our planet and live a conscious life. I also make a yearly trip to Rishikesh, India where I work with the children at "mother medical school.” Financial help is always beneficial, however, just visiting the kids in person and listening to them and allowing them to express themselves to you and ask questions is priceless and that is my intention.
LA POLO: How was your experience at St. Aspen Snow Polo event like?
Saye Yabandeh: 2018 was my second year of the Snow Polo event in Aspen to support the Aspen Valley Hospital. We have been able to raise $1 million and are continuing to raise more. Thanks to the organizers and the backbone of this extraordinary event, Mark and Melissa Ganzi. It is inspiring to play among the world’s top professional polo players such as Pablo McDonough, Nacho Figueras, and Alejandro Novillo Astrada in the celebrity polo match. I am looking forward to the Snow polo 2019 and excited to see which polo starts I will be competing with or against.