Holotropic Breathwork™ is an experiential method of self-exploration and psychotherapy which was developed by Stanislav and Christina Grof. Thanks to this technique you can reach extraordinary state of consciousness, where a hidden healing potential can be found. We are used to saying Holotropic state of consciousness. The meaning of the words is Holos = whole, complete; trepen = going to, so it means moving toward wholeness. This idea came from studying various shamanic and Eastern cultures, where the breathwork is present, as well as expanded state of mind. Stan and Cristina spent decades with developing this method as a contemporary safe technique to reach the deep holotropic state of mind and its healing potential.
It is simple combination of accelerated breathing, evocative music, and a bodywork technique. During the breath-work emotional blocks are released as well as various unexpressed feelings and energy. The bodywork from facilitators is very useful in this case. Healing potential is based on access to biographical, perinatal and transpersonal layers of unconsciousness. It is there where we can touch the psycho-spiritual roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders. In these deep holotropic states it is possible to activate natural healing intelligence of psyche – inner healer. Holotropic Breathwork is mostly offered as group work. Individual work is possible too. The breathers and sitters work in pairs and switch for each session. They are supervised by trained facilitators. Each session is about 3 hours long filled with music. The breathers lie on mattresses with eyes closed or covered, without expectations, without thoughts, using accelerated breathing, listening to music, letting go of what comes up, trusting and cooperating with inner healer. The sitters are fully present and taking care of their breathers in matters such as drinking, covering, going to bathroom, etc., but with no unrequested care or help.
There are three important phases of the process: preparation – session – integration.
Preparation is already begun by making the decision about attendance by the registration and fulfilling of the medical form or by a consultation. It is mainly about your personal preparation, which is mostly about recommendation for calming, mindfulness, limits of using substances such as alcohol or recreational drugs, observation of your habits, reasons and expectations. To the collective preparation as well as to the session we are coming without expectations. During collective preparation we are building trust towards each other, to ourselves, to our inner healing intelligence and to safe space. We are talking about more details regarding the session.
After the session, as is mentioned above, there comes the part of integration. In there especially art work is used, which can help us to capture the experience into some kind of expression without words. We are used to drawing mandalas. Later on we are perform a sharing circle, where all participants have the opportunity to share they experience, if they want to do so. After that we implement so called integration for home instructions. The group could stay in contact, especialy with facilitators just for safety or for the following development.