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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Holotropic Breathwork?

Holotropic Breathwork™ is a powerful, natural method of self-exploration and personal transformation. It was developed by psychiatrist Dr. Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof as a synthesis of different methods used in many world spiritual traditions to activate the psyche. It involves deep and rapid breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork and mandala drawing to access non-ordinary states of consciousness in a supportive context.

What happens during a session?

Every person and every session is unique; but generally, people may experience intense or unusual sensations or emotions, access non-ordinary levels of awareness within themselves, or re-experience and safely work through unresolved issues from their past. Some people also experience an opening to the divine within themselves. Overall, the intention of the session is to create a safe space in which each participant can fully surrender to whatever sensations, emotions or experiences emerge while allowing the inner wisdom of their own personal healing process to take place.

How does a session work?

First, a detailed orientation talk is given and questions are answered. A quiet, guided relaxation follows. Next, participants begin to breathe in a sustained, accelerated manner that continues for 2-3 hours to the accompaniment of evocative music and, when helpful, occasional gentle bodywork. Each participant sets his or her own pace and is fully supported in his or her personal process by two Grof-certified facilitators. Participants work in pairs comprised of a "sitter" and a "breather." The sitter's role is to be a "sacred witness" to the breathwork session, to be present for the breather, and to take care of mundane details to allow the breather to surrender more deeply to his or her own inner process. In the second part of the session after a break, sitters and breathers then switch roles to allow both people to experience both sides of the Holotropic Breathwork experience.

Who can try it?

Anyone can try Holotropic Breathwork, from those seeking psychological breakthroughs, emotional healing or spiritual connections to those who are simply curious and inwardly adventuresome. Contraindications include pregnancy, cardiovascular problems, severe hypertension, glaucoma, epilepsy, acute infectious illness, recent surgery or fractures, or a history of severe mental illness or psychiatric hospitalization.

How do I register?

Pre-registration is required for all sessions and you can register on this site. If you have any questions you can call us at 250-507-4557 or email   breathasmedicine@gmail.com. Work/trade scholarships are sometimes available.