The European Yoga Festival is a gathering of participants organized into “Misl Groups”, which come together daily. These Misls are based on different languages and each one has specific tasks and areas of responsibility. They serve as spaces for reflection on festival happenings and collect essential information to be transmitted to the main coordinating team.

The heartbeat of the festival lies within the Seva Misls. When they take charge on the first day, it’s like a surge of life force (Prana) flowing through a motionless body, bringing it to a vibrant existence. The Yoga Festival thrives because numerous individuals dedicate their energy to organize, serve, manage various areas, and support others throughout the nine-day event. Each person’s contribution is crucial, no matter how small the task may seem. The aim is to inspire others to engage in Seva, selfless service, and to cherish the transformative experience it offers.

Seva work goes beyond merely making the festival happen; it is an integral part of an individual’s personal growth process. It involves integrating the insights gained from workshops and White Tantric sessions. Through Seva, one cultivates devotion and humility, enabling the assimilation of the received power. This interplay of Shakti and Bhakti, Power and Selflessness, embodies the profound philosophy of Kundalini Yoga.

Benefits of engaging in Seva include:
– Enjoying the responsibility of co-creating a wonderful festival experience;
– Exploring realms that might otherwise remain uncharted;
– Experiencing the grace of selfless service;
– Reconnecting with Mother Earth and appreciating her nurturing presence;
– Balancing Shakti and Bhakti energies, harmonizing the masculine and feminine aspects within;
– Transforming one’s ego through dedicated service;
– Lightening karmic burdens;
– Cultivating a strong sense of a close-knit community.

Upon entering the festival, participants are asked to select their Misl Group and the specific Seva work they would like to undertake during the ensuing eight days. This presents an opportunity for personal expansion and the chance to excel in the spirit of unity and service.

Misl Group meetings are held each morning between 10:00am and 11:15am.
These meetings are important to attend – it is a chance to get to know people in a smaller group, for us to pass on important announcements and information, and for you to share what is happening for you and be supported by the group. Misl meetings are often fun and playful and help us organize the Karma Yoga work better. Each group will have their own schedule for what time they do their Karma Yoga.

Karma Yoga Misls

  • Area cleanup

    This team keeps the whole camp tidy – especially the Big Top and the Langar Field.

    • Languages: International (English)
    • Work times: 7:15 AM (workshop days); 6:15 AM (Tantric days); and right after dinner
  • Bathroom clean up

    This team is indispensable – dedicated to keeping all the toilets and showers of the camp clean and well-stocked.It is said that it’s the most rewarding duty.Clears up your karma!

    • Languages: French, Spanish, German
    • Work times: French – 7:00PM, Spanish – 4:00PM (during All Camp Meditation), German – 7:00AM
    • Check with your Misl Leader where you will meet.
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Breakfast service

    Serving up solstice soup and oranges/bananas on the langar field. (Singing the Spanish soup song: optional).

    • Languages: Latin American & Spanish
    • Work times: 7:30 at the Kitchen; (6:30 AM tantric days); meet on the Langar field.
  • Breakfast clean up

    Washing up the big pots and recycling the orange and banana crates after breakfast.

    • Languages: Russian
    • Work times: 8:30 AM (7:30 AM during tantric); meet at the Kitchen
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Dinner service

    Serving mung beans & rice, vegetables & salad on the langar field.

    • Languages: International (English), German
    • Work times: 4:00PM (on Tantric days: right after Tantric finishes); meet at the kitchen.
  • Dinner clean up

    Washing up the big pots and pans after dinner.

    • Languages: German, Chinese & Taiwanese
    • Work times: 5:00PM (on Tantric days: after Tantric finishes); meet at the Kitchen area
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Gurdwara

    Helping with all aspects of the Gurdwara programme – foot washing at the entrance, keeping the Gurdwara tidy, handing out shabd sheets, serving prashaad.

    • Languages: International (English)
    • Work times: various – check with Misl Leader; meet at the Gurdwara
  • Music

    This intrepid team of wandering musicians has the task of waking up the whole Festival with their beautiful Wake up song, and helping us all to get up to go to sadhana; they also keep spirits up with their music during Veggie Chopping.

    • Languages: International (English)
    • Work times: 3:45AM, starting on August 6th; meet at the sadhana stage
  • Special dinner

    This team helps with the preparation and service of the Special dinner on Peace Prayer Day, and part of the group helps out with Dinner Clean up every day.

    • Language: International (English)
    • Work times: daily 5:00pm; on Peace prayer day 9:00AM; meet in the Kitchen area and 4:00 pm in Gazebo for dinner service (together with the regular dinner service misl groups).
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Tantric Snack – evening

    Preparation of the Tantric burgers – our lunchtime meal during tantric.

    • Language: Italian
    • Work times: 7:00PM (starting first day before Tantric); meet in the Kitchen Area
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Tantric Snack – morning

    Preparation of the Tantric burgers – our lunchtime meal during tantric.

    • Work times: sadhana time on Tantric days – a very special sadhana indeed!
    • Language: International (English)
    • Work times: 4:00AM each Tantric day
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Tea service

    This team serves Yogi Tea and Golden Milk on the sadhana field in the evening.

    • Languages: French
    • Work times: 6:00PM (during Tantric: after dinner); meet by the big trees by the sadhana field.
  • Vegetable chopping

    This team is key for the preparation of all our meals and snacks. It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team and/or some clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty (think: beetroot chopping). This is an intense job, so those who sign up for this team do the work on alternate days. It is a sadhana like no other.

    • Languages: International (English), German, Dutch
    • Work times: 6:00AM (during Tantric: 4:00AM); meet in the Veggie chopping area near kitchen.
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team
  • Watermelon service

    This team both cuts and serves our midday watermelon snack, including on Tantric days.

    • Language: French
    • Work times: cutting – 8:30 AM (during tantric 7:00AM); serving 1:30PM; meet at kitchen area for chopping; meet by the Big Top for serving
    • It is recommended to bring an apron if you sign up for this team.
  • Youth Camp

    (can choose from Children’s Camp; Toddlers’ Camp; Teens’ Camp)

    All parents who have children attending any of the youth camps (toddlers, children, preteen and teen) are asked to do their karma yoga in the Youth Camp area their children are attending – they will be asked to sign up to spend one day with the Youth camp.

    This Karma Yoga is also open to those who do not have children at the Festival – feel welcome to join. Enjoy being with the kids and their openness to the moment. Go with the flow.

    You will help your group leader to organise the day. Please keep in mind that you are not only taking care of your own children, but you also take care of other children. Please be open to the moment and help with what is needed.

    • Languages: International and German
    • Work times: one full day – non tantric days: 8:45-16:30; meet at the relevant camp.
    • Tantric days: 8:00 – until White Tantra is over – this can be up until 8:00 PM

    For Children’s camp/ Preteens camp, there is a parents meeting on Saturday afternoon, 2:00pm at Children’s camp .

Karma Yoga is the union achieved through committed yet unattached action. It applies all actions executed without the expectation of any kind of recompense whatsoever, be it power, money or respect.
When this kind of detachment in action is achieved it is presumed to  eliminate negative reactions to past actions, regardless whether these actions occurred  in this present life or even in previous lives. Whatever the implications on not immediately verifiable planes, we use the term with reference to physical labor or service? In a sense  it is similar to what we know as acts of charity but without the accumulative sense of debt and dependency the concept of charity often seems to provoke.

by Guru Hans Singh Douqué