In a Holotropic Breathwork session, participants lie down in a darkened room, and are instructed to breathe following a pattern meant to induce a non-ordinary state of consciousness. Specifically curated music plays through the length of the experience. One’s breath induces changes in both the psyche and the body, anchoring and defining their journey.
Holotropic Breathwork brings together five elements: Holotropic Breathing, Music, Bodywork, Mandala and Sharing.
Holotropic Breathing involves the following elements:
a) Each breath is full and deep, filling your lungs completely.
b) Circular continuous breathing. When your lungs are almost full, you immediately start exhaling; when your lungs are empty, you immediately start inhaling. This creates a circular breathing pattern whereby you are always breathing in or out.
c) You breathe a bit faster than normal, but not so fast that it creates tension in the body. Breathe comfortably through the mouth or through nose.
Holotropic Breathwork Music
The first hour of a Holotropic Breathwork Music Set is designed to facilitate physical release and includes music with a driving, rhythmic beat. This can include such things as tribal drumming and certain types of electronic music, the second to facilitate emotional release; the third to facilitate integration of the experience and normally includes some sacred chant and ground participants back into an ordinary state of consciousness.
Bodywork (not included in our workshops)
Sometimes a participant has energy that has been “stuck” somewhere in their system that needs a bit of an extra “push” to completely release. Holotropic Breathwork Facilitators are trained to perform a type of Bodywork that helps the release. This generally involves, putting pressure to whatever body part the energy is “stuck” allowing the participant to intensify the symptom or the feelings they are already having.
After a Breathwork workshop, participants are encouraged to express their experience creatively by drawing mandalas. This approach to “owning the experience” and expressing it non-verbally has deep roots in native cultures as well as in Art Therapy. Creating a mandala after breathwork can provide a deepening of the experience and an integration for one’s longer journey that perhaps with only be fully understood in hindsight.
At the end of the workshop, participants are encouraged to share their experiences. The sharing group helps participants validate their experience, and deepens and intensifies the therapeutic process. The sharing group is completed by a discussion regarding what might come up in the days following the workshop and suggestions to the participants regarding integration of the Breathwork experience when they go back into their everyday lives.