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).
Holotropic Breathwork® is a very specific practice that is not done alone, but requires a certified facilitator or experienced sitter. Most often this work is experienced in groups, where each breather has a partner (their sitter), with whom they switch roles for a second session. A session normally takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Although the process is not complicated, it must include certain elements in order to be called Holotropic Breathwork®. For instance, if it is shorter it is not Holotropic Breathwork®. In this work, facilitators or sitters do not actively guide the process but are available for support if needed.
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.