Institute for Holotropics 501.c.3

The Institute for Holotropics, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and fostering the holotropic perspective and approach through communication, education, training, and research. The Institute received 501.c.3 status in 2014.

Your donation to the Institute for Holotropics will be used for one or more of the following:

  • need-based scholarships for certification trainees
  • digitalizing and editing previously recorded audio and video teaching from leaders in the field, including Tav Sparks and Christina and Stanislav Grof
  • recording and editing audio and video from modules led by current GTT teachers
  • Future research on Holotropic Breathwork®
  • If you would like your donation to go to a specific project or use, please contact us at


The article below was written by Tav Sparks

Holotropics is a term describing an approach to healing and transformation that is reemerging in this era, based on practices and philosophies well known in most ancient cultures. This perspective has already fostered valuable contributions in many areas of personal transformation, healing, wellness, and creativity.

While originally referring to the specific practice of Holotropic Breathwork®, Holotropics has come to imply a much larger field of endeavor. This field includes groundbreaking approaches to physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being, and perhaps even a central role in a global evolution toward wholeness.

The holotropic approach to all of these areas is both valuable and unique.  Through this perspective, these endeavors share a core basis of authentic personal empowerment  — not merely a superficial nod to that idea.  This powerful transformational component is mobilized by the recognition of a primary authentic inner healing dynamic residing within each individual.  The natural and universal trajectory toward wholeness catalyzed by this inner healing impulse is an invaluable gift of true transformation, and a centerpiece of the holotropic perspective.

When individuals experience and recognize this source of a true power within through Holotropic Breathwork®, they realize that this inner healing force is essential in any effort toward authentic personal or collective evolutionary transformation.  This valuable role includes bringing core holotropic principles into many disciplines, settings, and projects, thereby greatly enhancing the already proven value demonstrated through Holotropic Breathwork® alone.  This next stage of the unfolding of the holotropic perspective represents an exciting new frontier for personal and collective transformation.

Roots of the Holotropic Perspective

“Holotropic” has Greek roots and means “moving toward wholeness.”  The word itself was coined by Stanislav Grof to name and characterize the technique he developed with Christina Grof, known as Holotropic Breathwork®.

The Holotropic Breathwork® process reflects an elegant evolutionary trajectory – moving toward wholeness – referred to cross-culturally for millennia, and chronicled by many mystics, including Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo.

Holotropic Breathwork® is a contemporary practice that has at its roots elements from sources both ancient and modern. These include:

  • the world’s mystical traditions
  • indigenous shamanic practices
  • ancient mystery schools
  • rites of passage
  • transpersonal psychology
  • 20th century consciousness research

Specifically, Holotropic Breathwork® is a practice of deep breathing that opens seekers to expanded states of consciousness.  In these enhanced states, they are able to access and work with not only personal material from postnatal history, but also the record of biological birth, as well as relevant material from the collective, or “transpersonal” dimensions of consciousness.

Our Authentic Inner Healing Power

The essential healing dynamic accessed through Holotropic Breathwork is the transformational power inherent in consciousness itself.  In Holotropic Breathwork, this dynamic is often called the “Inner Healer.” This term denotes an inner healing impulse, and does not imply an entity or structure. The Inner Healer is an integral transformational dynamic that has been referred to cross-culturally by many names, including the soul, higher self, atman, or jivatman.

As a strategy recognizing authentic personal empowerment, the holotropic  perspective has the potential to revolutionize psychology, philosophy, and all sorts of human pursuits. The power inherent in holotropic dynamics is proving to be a valuable evolutionary phenomenon, with implications far beyond the breathwork setting alone.

Some of these implications are:

  • Holotropic strategies for mental health and psychiatric treatment
  • Inner directed and self-empowering approaches to education
  • Healing trauma and PTSD
  • Holotropic and transpersonal approaches to addictions treatment
  • Strategies for supporting psychedelic experiences
  • “Sitting” with those transitioning in and out of life
  • Holotropically-inspired business and economic ventures
  • Implementation of a holotropic psychotherapy
  • Holotropically-oriented medicine and nursing
  • Expanded creativity in the arts or any activity

The Flowering of the Holotropic Perspective

As it emerges from the original revolutionary power of Holotropic Breathwork®, The Institute for Holotropics reflects the holotropic perspective’s “coming of age.”  It is much more than just a forum for this one-of-a-kind breathing practice.

The Institute honors the expanded creative blueprint inherent in the original holotropic approach.  It also functions as a wellspring of creativity and inspiration by promoting and celebrating the holotropic perspective’s enhanced possibilities to be of greater service in the world.

The drawing of the tree on this page illustrates an elegant trajectory – past, present, and future – for the flowering of the holotropic perspective. For holotropic seekers all over the world, it is an opportunity to celebrate this exciting era of the holotropic unfolding.

We see the Institute for Holotropics as “ground zero,” a “cauldron of inspiration,” or as a “launching pad” for every dream, possibility, and project that inspires and motivates seekers in this expansion of the holotropic perspective. It is our honor to share with others the gift the Grofs say, “fell into their laps,” and which they so tirelessly midwifed for us for decades in this exciting era of global psycho-spiritual evolution.


  Holotropic “Tree” by Cary Sparks