holotropic breathing technique

The Holotropic Breathing Technique

If you partake in yogic practices, chances are that you have learned countless exercises and techniques to push you towards a clearer, healthier way of life. One popular method used in yogic practices is the Holotropic Breathing Technique. What is the Holotropic Breathing Technique?

The Holotropic Breathing Technique involves regulating specific breathing patterns to achieve an enhanced state mentally, physically, and emotionally. Holotropic Breathwork is practiced in an attempt to connect more deeply with oneself.

Continue reading to learn more about the Holotropic Breathing Technique. Such a widely practiced form of breathwork involves intense efforts best led by an experienced instructor. Read below to learn aspects of Holotropic Breathwork worth considering before you try it out.

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What is the Holotropic Breathing technique?

Stanislav and Christina Grof developed the Holotropic Breathing Technique in the 1970s. They intended to create an outlet through which people can experience altered states of consciousness without having to partake in the use of drugs – most of which had recently become illegal around that time.

The Holotropic Breathing Technique requires quick, even breathing in an attempt to reach a state of consciousness outside of one’s typical awareness. Often through catharsis, practitioners are meant to find understanding through healing, empowerment, and more.

Breathwork locates a particular experience with which you are supposed to recognize and work through. Without holotropic Breathwork, however, you would not be able to recognize the certain experience. Instructors leading a Holotropic Breathwork session do not tell participants what to focus on. Instead, the breathing technique is in place to allow your mind to push the experience to the forefront, allowing you to gather from it whatever is necessary.

Whether you simply reflect on some crisis in your life or reconcile with an event, the Holotropic Breathing Technique is supposed to allow you to cleanse yourself of particular negative energy that has been clouding your mind. The experience and results of Holotropic Breathwork are varied, which is one of the factors that makes the Holotropic Breathing Technique so appealing. It presents a more individual experience than other yogic lifestyles.

How do you do holotropic breathing?

The Holotropic Breathing Technique involves breathing quickly and evenly for minutes to hours. In doing this, you alter the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your body. Sometimes, participants recount a hallucinogenic feeling. Holotropic Breathwork is intended to help people recognize and face trauma or other intense events in life.

Holotropic Breathwork is facilitated by a trained breathwork instructor. As you will learn below, practicing the Holotropic Breathing Technique on your own is ill-advised.

Your instructor will only give you details on your breathing pattern. They should not advise you on what to think about, as you are supposed to face the event in your own mind. After learning the technique of quick, even breathing, it may take some time before you begin to experience the achievable effects of Holotropic Breathwork.

It is believed that Holotropic Breathwork, after a certain amount of time, can induce an altered state of consciousness. This may only take a few minutes for some, while it can be hours for others before any changes are noticed. In any case, the feeling is said to be noticeable, but the experience is different for everyone. Since people’s traumas and struggles are different, The Holotropic Breathing Technique is popular among those looking to learn from an individual experience.

Is holotropic breathing good for you?

Holotropic Breathwork can be good for you if practiced correctly. However, that is only the first step. Not everyone feels the sensation of an altered state of consciousness, especially not the first time they try it out. Still, those that do experience the benefits of The Holotropic Breathing Technique praise it for its abilities to clear their minds and make them more focused on important aspects of their lives.

Essentially, The Holotropic Breathing Technique’s main goal is to help a participant experience a fraction of enlightenment. If this can be achieved, it is believed that the participant will know how to get past the problems in their life and lead a more focused way of life much improved from their previous self.

By experiencing just part of the most heightened way of living, the emotions felt in Holotropic Breathwork are thought to induce catharsis that frees an individual from figurative shackles that have been holding them down.

If you partake in yogic practices and have benefitted from related techniques, chances are that you will find some good through the Holotropic Breathing Technique. If you have trained your mind to be able to thrive in similar situations, you might find that Holotropic Breathwork provides an outlet in which you can clear your mind better than any other practice.

Can you do Holotropic Breathing by yourself?

Trying to practice Holotropic Breathing by yourself is not recommended. Without the proper knowledge of how to perform the technique, you will likely not benefit in any way. Even if you do know how to perform the breathing patterns, you must keep in mind that certified instructors of Holotropic Breathwork learn from 600 hours of courses.

If you can successfully reach the altered state of consciousness from the Holotropic Breathing Technique without an instructor, you could be in trouble. Risks include:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Extreme distress
  • Disorientation
  • Healing crisis

The first three risks are easy enough to understand: you could hyperventilate from breathing too quickly, you could become extremely distressed from the emotional toll Holotropic Breathwork can have on you, and you can become disoriented from the feelings and emotions you experience. What is more concerning is the last possibility.

While the Holotropic Breathing Technique has proven beneficial for some, it may not always be successful for others. Also, those who come out of Holotropic Breathwork with a clear mind have the proper instructor. Without knowing what steps to take after falling into and experiencing the intensely altered state of consciousness, you could face a healing crisis. When this happens, the troubles you may be experiencing in your everyday life from trauma or crisis can become even more prevalent than they were before.

Is Wim Hof breathing the same as Holotropic Breathing?

The Wim Hof Breathing Method is not the same as the Holotropic Breathing Technique. With the Wim Hof Method, you are instructed to maintain a regulated amount of breaths – 30 to 40. It is also a bit slower of a breathing sequence, though it still happens fairly quickly.

The intent of Wim Hof Breathing is not as clear-cut as Holotropic Breathwork. Of course, Wim Hof Breathing states that it is meant to help clear your mind and face everyday problems, but Holotropic Breathwork specifies what you are working towards and how you, as an individual, can benefit.

Concluding Thoughts on Holotropic Breathing

The Holotropic Breathing Technique involves an intense sequence of quick, even breaths to induce a mind-altering state meant to lead you toward a path of self-empowerment. Whether you are facing past trauma or recurrent struggles in your daily life, Holotropic Breathwork is meant to help you clear negative energy out of your mind.