Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world. The name Holotropic means literally “moving toward wholeness” (from the Greek “holos”=whole and “trepein”=moving in the direction of something).
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 a non-ordinary state of consciousness. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing him or her a particular set of internal experiences. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content brought forth is unique to each person and for that 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 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 a “breather” (the “experiencer”) and a “sitter”. The sitter’s role is simply to be available to assist the breather, not to interfere or interrupt the process. The same is true for trained facilitators, who are available as helpers if necessary.