holotropic-breathwork-practice

Practice of Holotropic Breathwork™. 

Holotropic Breathwork™ is a method created by Stan and Christina Grof to use healing potential of non-ordinary (holotropic) states of consciousness. Holotropic Breathwork™ practice can be divided into 3 stages: preparation, session, integration

The preparation stage comprises:
-theoretical information about basic types of phenomena (biographical, perinatal and transpersonal), which can occur during the Holotropic Breathwork™ session;
-discussion of the “inner healer” principle and the basic holotropic strategy, which is non-directive following of the process and intensification of the unfolding phenomena;
-practical instructions for breathers and sitters;
- provision of information about physical and emotional contraindications and discussion of uncertainties, if there are any, with a specialist
- breather-sitter partnering (in case of group work)

Holotropic Breathwork™ session consists of:
- faster and deeper, in comparison to normal, breathing, no other specific instructions about breathing rhythm, structure or type are given;
- evocative music played for approximately 3 hours in accordance with the following structure: 1 hour - inspiring; energetic and rhythmic; 2 hour - dramatic, emotional, heart-opening; 3 hour - tranquil, meditative and contemplative. Hi-quality music equipment is used to provide the necessary sound quality
-energy-releasing body work, which consists of certain techniques facilitating intensification and release of bioenergetic and emotional blockages. 
It is offered in case of: 
1. Occurrence of various symptoms which can prevent the breather from proceeding with his/her session or are unsafe; 2. breather’s demand; 3. residual tension at the end of the session.

Holotropic Breathwork™ session implies totally inner and preferably non-verbal breathing experience without any interference from outside unless specified body work is needed.

Sitter’s task during Holotropic Breathwork™ session is to be responsive and unobtrusive, create safe space for the breather, respect natural unfolding of the process and provide assistance when it may be helpful (when physical support is needed; accompany breather to the bathroom, bring tissues or glass of water, etc.)

Holotropic Breathwork™ specialist’s (facilitator) role consists in providing safe and supportive environment for breathers to go through their inner experience, and leaving out any means of directing the unfolding process. Holotropic Breathwork™ facilitators don’t interfere on the basis of their intellectual judgements or a priori theoretical reasoning.
It is important to allocate enough time, usually two-three hours, for a session to allow the process to reach its natural closure.

Integration consists of:
- self-expression in an art form by means of drawing mandalas (drawing in a circle), clay modeling, creating a soul collage, Jungian sand play, etc.;
- group discussion of the experiences, the purpose of which is to provide an opportunity for all participants to share their experience and their own interpretations of it. Holotropic Breathwork™ facilitator does not express his own interpretations developed from any theoretical system, including Holotropic Breathwork™. It is acceptable if facilitator asks qualifying and clarifying questions to help the client better formulate his/her own insights gained in the session. In some cases, references to facilitator’s own or other people’s experience are admissible. Moreover, sometimes reference to the dictionary of symbols or various mythological plots may be helpful.

Hereon Holotropic Breathwork™ can be considered completed.

For further integration and development of the experience it may be useful to have sessions of psychotherapy in such approaches as Gestalt-therapy, client-centered therapy, psychosynthesis, Jung’s analytic therapy, body-oriented therapy, family therapy. It is also beneficial to have a course of massage, practice yoga, chigun, various forms of meditation, go to sauna, swim and walk in nature.