RBY teacher Yvette Sanchez’s sister Lauren landed in Nepal 30 minutes before the big quake. Read on for a heart-stopping account of this heartbreaking disaster. Join Yvette on Sunday evening, May 3rd from 6:15 to 7:30 for a special class for which all proceeds will be sent to UNICEF to help the children of Nepal. The class will be a special vinyasa-yin-restorative hybrid, with Torrey Kaminski playing her flute during savasana.
Saturday, April 24th at 7:30am:
I get a text from my step-mom, “pls call” (like that kinda text doesn’t worry me at all) but I try to quiet the worrisome thoughts that begin to flood my mind.
She proceeds to inform me about the catastrophic 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, hundreds (now thousands) of people reported dead, and many more still missing. My sister is there; she flew in for a wedding and planned on doing some trekking. My heart skips a beat, “She’s safe”, ” Thank God!” I say aloud. She had landed 30 minutes prior to the quake that knocked her to the ground. Wifi, cell service and ATM’s out of service, an avalanche claimed 18 lives on Mt. Everest, many sacred sites toppled to the ground, roads destroyed, homes fell to rubble on the ground, people wandering the streets in despair, children crying, she was looking for water at the time of her email.
Eventually she made her way to the U.S. Embassy, now a safe haven with food and water enough for at least 3 days. She was told to hold tight.
Not yet a month has passed since I visited my sister, a Fulbright fellow researching environmental sustainability, in the world’s first non-emissions City of Masdar, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
She is a bright star in our sky, sharp as a tack with a seemingly unquenchable lust for life. She’s my favorite travel partner, embracing every moment and savoring her joy, constantly expressing that joy and seeing it to its fullest potential. I adore that quality in her so much! I love her smile, but moreso her heart…an empathetic soul who cares so much for her family and friends, with loving-kindness and compassion.
We discovered our mutual wanderlust a few years ago. She was teaching in Fez, Morocco, and I was blessed to visit. We traversed the country with great ambition, enjoying each adventure we created or came across, able to go with the flow and change our perspective when things didn’t quite go our way. So, optimistic as ever we began to practice partner yoga poses and thus our sister yoga world travel tradition was born. Kauai was next, then India and most recently the UAE, Jordan and Palestine/Israel.
Our ambitious tours of each country have always included some partner yoga. We’ve gracefully (and sometimes not so gracefully, but full of laughter nonetheless) embodied each place with this beautiful practice of yoga together and I’m ever so grateful to share these places and experiences with such an inspiring and sweet sister.
I’m also grateful for what yoga brings us all each and every day:
a grounded yet exuberant practice that allows us to process our experiences, to rid ourselves of that which no longer serves the purpose of teaching us what it means to reach for our highest potential. To embrace each moment, surrender to it, to change our perspective, to forgive and ask for forgiveness, to be reminded what it is to be still, to be in our bodies (a temple if you will) to listen to the still quiet voice, that inner knowing, a deep understanding wisdom within, the divine light, reminding us that we are an integral part of the universe.
My sister is still safe in Nepal and she has reported that aid has begun to pour in. She’s incredibly inspiring, and hopeful, and in my constant prayers to return home safely soon.
Here is an excerpt of an email from my step-mom, with the most recent update of my sister:
Dear Family and Friends,
I just got a call from Lauren. She is safe and is so grateful for the love and support she is getting from all of you. She has been inside the embassy for 2 days now and she says it is extremely chaotic as people that are rescued from the mountains and outlying areas are being housed there as well. She told me about long lines to use telephones and computers, crying babies, panicked travelers as well as the general nervousness in the air. The aftershocks have died down and so today her 3 friends and Lauren decided to venture out of the embassy compound. (gulp)
She described what she saw in detail- historic temples in piles of rubble, thousands of people living on the street, everywhere Nepalese people walking around in shock. She came across a little girl sitting on the curb crying so, stopped and sat down next to her. Lauren pulled out some paper from her backpack and made an origami animal for the young child- soon there were over twenty little ones all gathered around and so Lauren made little figures for all of them and sat playing with the group for quite a while. Her words to me were “Mama, I can do some good here for the next few days. I am safe staying at the embassy at night and helping the villagers during the day.” I tried to tell her to get herself on a plane ASAP. Apparently, the airlines are taking passengers that had flights cancelled over the past few days and of course, people that have been injured out of Nepal first. Lauren does not want to take the place of any of those people.
She sounded much more calm today, more like the Lauren I so admire and adore. Her spirit is again soaring and I know she will make wise choices. Emergency food and water rations have been brought in and I have been assured she will eat what she is given- vegan or not.
Thank you all for your prayers, I believe they are being answered and that Lauren is right where she needs to be.
Sending you all so much love,
We are all right where we need to be. Please join me for a donation based yoga class this Sunday, May 3rd from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at Richmond Beach Yoga. All proceeds will go to UNICEF to help children in need in Nepal.
Together we will embrace the yoga of devotion in motion and stand together, with hope and love overflowing in our hearts, sending prayers of strength, comfort and healing to all those suffering from this devastating earthquake in Nepal.