Dr. Stanislav Grof developed this breathing technique for therapeutic reasons.
In 1971, as psychedelic drugs became increasingly popular in the recreational sphere, the federal government began to crack down.
This put a halt to research Grof was leading on psychedelics for the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.
Dr. Stanislav Grof had learned enough about the relationship between the psyche and the healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness that he was able to develop a non-drug technique to reach those states.
What is a holotropic breathing session like?
A regular session lasts around 3 hours. It begins with each person lying on a mat with eyes closed or covered, allowing the person to direct their attention inward and concentrate on their breathing.
A brief guided meditation exercise follows.
Once the person is relaxed, the instructions indicate the breather to breath deeper and faster, intensifying the breathing progressively.
Loud evocative music encourages and supports the person throughout this breathing and allows to go into an expanded state of awareness where accelerated healing can take place.
Most people can experience enhanced feelings, body sensations, enriched imagery and other non-ordinary experiences that can last from 20 minutes to half an hour.
Some even experience past life events and birth related experiences.
During the process, the Breather may get very active physically, rolling around on the mat, getting on their hands and knees, etc and may also exhibit various types of emotional release such as crying, laughing, screaming, etc.
No two sessions are the same, though themes may recur. Your experience during a Breath-work session can be expected to be as unique as you are because your own inner wisdom is activated to guide you toward a set of internal experiences specific to your personal evolution.