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Holotropic Breathwork™ is a powerful technique, within Transpersonal Psychology, for self-exploration and healing, which allows for greater self-understanding and access to the roots of emotional and psychosomatic challenges. Its name, Holotropic Breathwork™, combines the Greek words ‘holos’ (whole) and ‘trepein’ (going to) meaning moving towards wholeness. 

This method was developed by the renown psychiatrist and psychotherapist Stanislav Grof and his late wife Christina Grof, based on extensive research in psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and spiritual settings. It involves a combination of breathing, evocative music, focused energy release work and integration through art work and sharing.

Holotropic Breathwork workshops provide a safe context to access expanded states of consciousness that have the potential to bring us in contact with our inner healing organismic wisdom. It is an empowering method, directed by one's inner wisdom, which can help process and integrate emotional challenges.   As a method for psycho-spiritual development, it enlarges our field of being, helping to integrate our physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions.

HB might be of interest if 

  • You are seeking an experiential approach to self-discovery.

  • You are facing challenges and seeking insights.

  • You want to understand and work upon the emotional roots of a persistent physical/psychosomatic condition.

  • You want to experience expand states of consciousness that have a transformative potential.


Theory and Practice of Holotropic Breathwork

The theoretical framework of Holotropic Breathwork integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world.

How does Holotropic Breathwork work

The process itself uses very simple means: it combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special set and setting. With the eyes closed and lying on a mat, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter an expanded state of consciousness, which activates a deep healing wisdom, bringing forth a particular set of internal experiences. The quality and content of these are unique to each person and specific to the particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.

Additional elements of the process include focused energy release work and integration practices such as mandala drawing.


Holotropic Breathwork is usually done in groups, although individual sessions are also possible. Within the groups, people work in pairs and alternate in the roles of “breather” and “sitter.” The sitter’s role is simply to be present and available to assist the breather—not to interfere, interrupt, or try to guide the process. The same is true for trained facilitators, who are available as helpers if necessary.


One of the most unique and powerful dimensions of HB is its revolutionary expanded cartography of the human psyche described by Stanislav Grof. Experiences occur, and transformation happens, not only in the biographical dimension – our life history from birth up to the present moment. But they also encompass what Grof calls the perinatal and transpersonal dimensions of the psyche.


The perinatal includes the reliving of our birth from conception, in the uterus, through the canal, and into the birth itself. In this dimension, as well as in the birth, it is also possible to undergo the powerful healing episode known throughout world spiritual traditions as psychospiritual birth-death-and-rebirth.


The transpersonal dimension includes the realms of the archetypes described by Carl Jung, as well as many other collective experiences described by world spiritual traditions, and phenomena not previously mapped by any other tradition.


In-depth descriptions of the cartography of the psyche, including Grof’s four perinatal matrices, can be read about in many of Stanislav Grof’s books.

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