What is Holotropic
Breathwork® ?

Holotropic Breathwork is a means to deepen broaden awareness and consciousness. It is also a healing process that can generate deep insights. It supports a huge range of experiences that come under the general heading of self-development. Holotropic breathwork® has been developed since the early 1970s and is practised around the globe.

It offers the opportunity for expanded states of awareness, or non-ordinary states of consciousness. And it does so in ways that are safe, supported, and can be integrated into our daily lives.

It is part of that time-honoured family of approaches that include traditional use of plant medicines, or other chemical substances, which have been well known to indigenous peoples, for thousands of years. Yet, holotropic breathwork does not use plants or chemicals as part of the experience.

Instead, a safe setting is created. The person who we shall call the breather will be supported by a sitter and by a trained facilitator. The sitter will be available to support the breather. If the setting is in a group, then there will be a team of facilitators available. There is a time boundary around the experience, though that has some flexibility. Usually the breathwork itself lasts three hours. Alongside this is a particular musical accompaniment which can be a guide to the process. The breather lies on a mat for comfort, and may well wear an eye covering to reduce distraction and help focus.

Dandelion in the wind.
Eagle flying through the air in the sunset.

The suggestion is only that they breathe slightly more deeply and slightly faster than normal. They may find that issues that are to do with everyday life come up, or issues from the past that need attention. There may be experiences that have to do with the transpersonal domain – that might be called numinous, or somehow out of time, or extradimensional. Some experiences have a clear spiritual dimension or are a spiritual opening.

There may be blocked energy which requires support, perhaps through focussed bodywork, always with the full consent of the breather. The facilitator may help intensify sensations or movement, so that full expression of issues that are held in the body can take place, with healing release and integration.

We have found our holotropic breathwork sometimes revelatory, often rich and deep, and basically life-enhancing. Whatever emerges is potentially fruitful.

One of the principles of holotropic breathwork is that we can trust the guidance of an inner healer, or healing energy.

The shape of a person, made of galaxies and stars.

Holotropic as a word means moving towards wholeness.

Why Holotropic Breathwork®?


Feel More Complete

Welcome and integrate all the rich, sometimes challenging, aspects of yourself.


Healing and Integration

Nurture yourself on the path to recovery from past emotional hurts.

Become more self-aware

Know yourself in new ways. Surprise yourself with new awareness and insights.

Holotropic Breathwork can
support individuals to:

  • Feel more complete and reduce the thrill or need for something more that that we often search for using various addictive behaviours which may include the use of drugs, love and sex, gambling, spending etc.
  • Find a safe, natural and supportive way to experience expanded states of consciousness.
  • Deepen their spiritual connection and awareness
  • Work alongside other forms of therapy such as psychotherapy, and somato-sensory and physical therapies
  • Begin the healing process where emotional contributors may have been triggers for physical disease or illness.
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of anxiety problems, panic attacks, phobias and OCD.
  • Open, access and unblock creativity, supporting the birth of the authentic self.
  • Release damaging or painful beliefs or assumptions about the inability to make life changes or have choice.

The founders of Holotropic Breathwork®

Holotropic Breathwork® is a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing developed by Dr Stanislav Grof and the late Christina Grof. In the late 1990s Stan and Christina entrusted both the facilitator training programme and the trademark for Holotropic Breathwork to Tav Sparks and his wife Cary Sparks, Director of Grof Transpersonal Training. For more than 20 years Tav brought a huge richness and depth to the teaching. Always kind, full of heart, fiercely protective of the Holotropic perspective and of each individuals capacity to transform from within. The training as many of us know it today is not only the foundation that Stan and Christina midwifed, but the building blocks of structure and integrity, and of love and kindness embodied by Tav and Cary.

Galaxies in space in various bright colours.

Neil has been interviewed for a podcast giving a brief introduction to Holotropic Breathwork.
Click here for Apple or here for links for other podcast players.

This is an excellent interview with Diana Medina one of the Grof Transpersonal Training trainers about the practice of Holotropic Breathwork and its potential benefits.

Diana Medina (senior teacher; advisor) has been an integral part of the Grof Transpersonal Training staff since 1999. A senior GTT workshop leader and teacher, Diana has taught modules and led workshops independently in Colorado, New Mexico, New York and India, as well as working closely with Stan Grof and Tav Sparks at training modules in the U.S., Spain, Ireland, England, South America and Mexico.

Start your Holotropic
Breathwork® Journey

Holotropic Breathwork is a very simple method which supports natural healing and growth through the direct experience of expanded states of consciousness.

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