What is holotropic breathwork
Holotropic breathwork, which was developed by MUDr. Stanislav and Christina Grof, is one of the methods of transpersonal psychology. It was founded on 35 years of research of extraordinary states of consciousness, which the psychiatrist of Czech origin MUDr. Stanislav Grof had begun since the sixties in Czechoslovakia and with which he then continued in USA. Today, he is one of the globally acknowledged authorities of the relatively young field of transpersonal psychology. The theoretical background and practical application of this discipline and especially the holotropic breathwork method can be found in Dr. Grof’s published books.
"Holotropic" in translation means oriented towards wholeness. For the induction into the altered states of consciousness this method uses accelerated breathing and evocative music. These states open the person to all the levels of human experiences, they enable us to understand the root cause of our unproductive behavior, the suppression of emotions and energies, which are during this process released and transformed.
This effective and safe method for self-exploration combines the results from modern consciousness research, depth psychology and various spiritual practices. The experiences, which go beyond our normal perception of time, space and boundaries of the ego, give us an outlook on ourselves in a new context of spiritual unity with the whole of existence. This method also brings useful insights for addicted people, it enables the revision of obsessive states and that is how it helps to prevent these unwanted behaviors. It shouldn’t be though of as a healing method, but as a way of self-exploration and connecting with the spiritual level of life.
Who is fit for it?
The seminars can help people:
Interested in inner work and deeper self-understanding
Looking for a spiritual path, more meaningful approach to life and a dialogue with people of similar interest
Who had a "Bad trip", a difficult psychedelic experience
Participating in some addiction treatment program
Searching for an effective prevention from obsessive behaviors
Growing up in disharmonious families
Working with other people as a consultant, therapist, doctor etc.
Undergoing a difficult situation in life (divorce, death of a relative, loss of employment etc.)
Desiring a development of their artistic creativity
Holotropic breathwork also looks to be useful as a supportive method during the treatment of various psychosomatic illnesses – migraines, asthma, psoriasis etc – as well as some mental illnesses – anorexia, bulimia, depression etc. It can also help you find a path, if you have different or unclarified sexual orientation.
The seminars are not for (contraindications):
People with a sickness, because the breathing can be emotionally and physically demanding (such as cardiovascular illnesses, high blood pressure – hypertension, some types of epilepsy, glaucoma, aneurysm, head injury with brain hemorrhage, etc.
…with a more serious mental illness or an infectious disease).
People actively using drugs including marijuana, alcohol and other addictive substances. / It is mandatory to have at least 30 days of abstinence before or with regular users of alcohol to have a minimum of 14 days of abstinence./
Pregnancy is also an issue.
The application process
If you haven't yet experienced HB, it is mandatory for you to contact MUDr. Milan Hrabánek for an initial phone consultation. Together we will discuss the most ideal form and schedule a session on a specific date.
- this service is only available in Czech, for now.
If you have already had a HB experience, but your health situation hasn't changed, you can check out our program and try out more of our programs.
Forms of holotropic breathwork at the Center Holos
Weekend seminar of holotropic breathwork
These group seminars of HB are framed to be self-exploratory and experiential, so it is meant for people, who are interested in inner work or just would like to understand the HB method better.
The seminars are typically 2 days long. We begin on Saturday at 1pm. After the initial introduction to the technique, there will be the first round of holotropic breathwork, which is then repeated on Sunday at 9am. The work is done in couples, where during each round only one person breathes and the other one is a so called sitter, who looks after the breather – handing water, tissues, escorting to the toilet, etc. After each round, the participants share their experiences. The closing of the seminar usually happens on Sunday around 17 hours.
Some seminars we offer can last more days and can have a slightly different program, which can always be found in the description of the specific event.
The participants always stay around the place of the seminar, which can be in a shared room in sleeping bags or accommodated in rooms of Center Holos. It is possible to make a reservation of the rooms, if there is the capacity, in the application form.
We provide to our participants of the seminars a whole array of techniques for the integration of their experience. In addition to capturing the experience into a mandala, it is possible to utilize the techniques Sandplay or Soul Collage. During some seminars we also make shamanic masks or a clay mandala.
Holotropic breathwork in a small group
HB in a small group is done with maximum of 10 people and is meant mainly for our clients, who for any reason are not fit for the typical seminar in a large group. There is a bigger space for an individual work with a therapist.
These small groups usually happen on Tuesdays. The participants arrive in the morning at 8:30, additionally we recommend a booking of our room, so that you can arrive a day earlier, if possible. The closing happens in the evening around 16:00. All participants breathe at the same time under the supervision of our experienced sitters and floaters, followed by a group sharing.
Individual session of holotropic breathwork
The individual session of HB (1 client – 1 therapist) is meant only for the clients in our treatment programs, for whom it is not suitable to participate in the large or the small group seminars.
Holotropic breathwork in water
The theoretical bases and the practical application of holotropic breathwork in water has been developed here by MUDr. Milan Hrabánek, whose experiences showed, that the water environment in many cases allowed a deeper experience during the holotropic process, including the material from perinatal matrices and possible insights into past lives. This experience creates an intermedieary between the typical holotropic breathwork and a floatation tank (based on sensory deprivation).
How is HB in water different from the typical session? The breathwork is done in groups of 3, so that every breather has access to two assistants. The breathwork is done in water on floating pontoons. For the intensification of the experience, the water is heated up to the core body temperature. For the induction into the altered states of consciousness this method uses accelerated breathing and evocative music. These states open the person to all the levels of human experiences, they enable us to understand the root cause of our unproductive behavior, the suppression of emotions and energies, which are during this process released and transformed.
The water seminars are only for those, who have already undergone a typical session of HB at least once.
The seminars of HB in water can be found in our Event program, though currently we are searching for new places ideal for these seminars.
Holotropic breathwork with live music
Holotropic LIVE – happens only once a year during the seminar Farewell with summer at the end of August. This prolonged seminar of holotropic breathwork has two HB processes, one of which is with live music, that is created by the natural instruments being played by our team of music therapists, while the sitters are also allowed to join in. Part of the seminar is also the sauna of native Americans – sweatlodge. Since the program of this seminar is really loaded, there is no time for theoretical preparation, for this reason the seminar is only allowed for people, who already have at least one experience with HB.
Holotropic breathwork seminar
What to abide by after a session of holotropic breathwork
I stay true to myself, in peace and humility
I share my feelings from the session only with people, whom I trust, and I know, that they will understand me
I will drink plenty of clean water during the following couple of days, at least 4 liters per day
After the day of the session, I will not eat fatty foods, only light meals
I will also shower for at least 10 minutes, not take a bath
I will not look for excessive entertainment – discos, parties and other loud hard music
I will not watch TV and work on PC for at least 24 hours after the session
We recommend contact with animals
… as well as walks in nature
… staying on the sun and with fresh air
… inner work with mandala – add information by painting or writing
I will call after 24 hours to share how I’m feeling