Holotropic Breathing was developed by Dr. Stanislav Grof und Christina Grof in the seventies. Holotrop means: Moving towards wholeness. Grof said, „that we are not really whole in our normal state of consciousness; we are fragmented and identified with only a glimpse of what we truly are.“
In Holotropic Breathwork, accelerated breathing and evocative music evoke extraordinary states of consciousness which intiates deep healing processes. Holotropic experiences have been induced and practiced over thousands of years in many cultures, using rhythmical dances, drumming, chanting, meditation, changes in breathing and ritual use of psychodelic substances. The healing, transformational and developmental potential of holotropic breathing draws a new map of the human psyche.
Due to his intense research with extraordinary states of consciousness, Grof had to expand the conventional western concept of the psyche by two big realms. Besides holotropic experiences on the biographical level, people experience also the access to the area of birth and to the transpersonal level. So holotropic breathwork also provides important contributions to transpersonal psychology and to the understanding of „spiritual crisis“.
A holotropic breathwork session which lasts about two hours or more is not focussed around a certain „issue“, as opposed to other methods of psychotherapy. It is crucial to let go of any expectations and concepts at the beginning of the session. Grof talks about an inner radar system which selects automatically the most relevant and emtionally loaded material from the unconsciousness and brings it to the surface.
Holotropic breathwork is offered mainly in groups but also in single sessions. Thematically accentuated music is used as additional tool.