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What is holotropic breathwork?

Dr Stanislav and Christina Grof developed holotropic breathwork in the 1970s on the basis of many years of clinical therapy experience with expamded states of consciousness, modern psychology and consciousness research as well as the study of ancient wisdom traditions. The Greek word 'holotropic' means 'moving towards wholeness'.
Holotropic breathwork is a work of deep self-awareness and healing. It offers safe and powerful access to holotropic states of consciousness (HSC) and their transformative potentials. These are evoked combining the technique of deeper and faster intensive breathing with loud, evocative music. If necessary, the breathing session is supplemented with process-oriented body work. At the end of the session, the experience is brought to a mental level by drawing mandalas and by sharing and telling the experiences. They are thus integrated into everyday awareness. The point of breathwork is basically to reach expanded states of consciousness in which a whole range of experiences can arise. However, the goal are not such experiences per se, but rather wisdom and healing. For this, these experiences are a means to an end.


Dr. Stanislav Grof

In a Holotropic Breathwork workshop, people experience a place of deep safety and profound trust, often for the first time. They learn to take time out from ordinary life for their deeper concerns and dreams. They learn how to bear witness to their own suffering and the suffering of others. They learn how to support one another through a dramatic process of unfolding. They learn that the enormous spiritual treasures of the Kosmos are available in each of us. They learn to trust their Inner Healer. They learn that experiencing their truth is the quickest way to wholeness. They learn to be compassionate with themselves and others. They learn to celebrate their uniqueness and respect other peoples' differences. They learn that it's okay to feel little and vulnerable, and that it's okay to feel big and powerful. They learn to empathize with everything in the created universe as part of themselves, and they learn that they, too, are part of everything. They learn how to trust the deep wisdom of their own psyche and to stay open to its ever-evolving story. - Martin Boroson

A radical inner transformation and rise to a new level of consciousness might be the only real hope we have in the current global crisis brought on by the dominance of the western mechanistic paradigm.

Stanislav Grof


Stanislav Grof is likely to be the main living psychologist. Grof is a pioneer in every sense of the word and one of the most global theorists in the field of psychology in current times. His modern corroboration of the perennial philosophy is an extraordinary achievement.

Ken Wilber

The possible spectrum of experiences of holotropic breathwork encompasses the entire mental structure, which, according to Stanislav Grof's “cartography of the psyche”, consists not only of biographical experiences, but also of perinatal impressions of one's own birth experience as well as transpersonal experiences. 


Participation in holotropic breathwork is not psychotherapy and does not replace psychological or psychotherapeutic work and support.

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