European Yoga Festival 2012 - part2

A history of the festival is very long and the organisation of it is a very well flowing process (at least it seems like this from outside). Many traditions are well established and one of the best is a tradition of doing Seva. The meaning of the word is a selfless service.

Does not sound very appealing at first, does it? But somehow this was going to be one of the highlights of the festival for me.

Upon the registration we were offered a choice of community work positions that need to be full-field (almost all works i.e. cooking, serving food, cleaning and teaching are done on voluntarily bases). My attention was instantly attracted by the three words - the Tantric Burger. If you have been to the White Tantric Yoga before you know what I am talking about, everyone likes the tantric burger! So the job seems to be advantageous - I would learn how to make them and try it at home ( I still don't know how to make the burger as my task appeared to be a bit different).

The European festival is a multi cultural event with many languages spoken so there are two kinds of Seva in general- a national (where you work with the people of your own nationality and speak in your own language) and an international (where you speak English and can meet people from all over the world). For example, the Spanish group was responsible for the morning cooking and surely everyone enjoyed their "la sopa" song - yogi remake of "la macarena" opening the breakfast (you can watch a piece of it on youtube but be aware that it can stuck in your head for quite a while).  I went for an international group. Surprisingly there were four Russian speaking yogis in the group and we ended up being at the same table and speaking a mixed russian-english. At our first group meeting we were welcomed by Atma Singh (one of the 4 men in the centre of our spiral at the opening ceremony), a French man with a turban and a shawl. He was like the old Hottabich from a famous Russian fairy tale as I was imagining when I was younger. Atma Sigh explained us that he is going to be a leader of the group and is responsible for the job. By the way the job appeared to be quite a challenging one- three mornings before the Tantric starts (at 8am) we would have to make 2300 burgers. This means that we would have to start at 3:45am! Luckily I was not aware of the challenge when I was choosing my Seva otherwise S quite possible would prefer to miss it out.  So we had three days to prepare ourselves for the job. Every morning we would have a short meeting to get to know each other and create a "group space". It was also an opportunity to ask Atma Singh any questions we had regarding the Tantric Yoga (an official highlight of the festival) or practice and life in general.


Karta Singh & Subagh Kaur

Mirabai Ceiba

 During the first 3 days every day was different with lots of things happening at the same time at different areas of the campground the hardest thing was to choose a workshop to attend among at least 10 of them on offer and each one is quite unique. How do I dare choose between a chorus singing with Guru Das or listening to always very deep and touching words of Shiv Charan Singh or trying Shakti dance with Sara Avtar or going to a deep meditative and healing space with Guru Dev or Bangara dancing (very fun Indian dance with jumps and smiles) etc, etc? Though life. The afternoons were easier though: a big class for the whole camp followed by an easy choice of a gong meditation with Nanak Dev. As many others I could not resist a strong desire to come each and every evening to his class, lay down on the ground after a very long day full of fun and challenges and follow very precisely to Nanak Dev's instruction to fall asleep under a deep and mysterious sound of the gongs which is protruding every cell of the body and mind taking you somewhere else.

304 Selwyn Street, Christchurch, New Zealand

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