In 1974 Stanislav Grof and his late wife Christina developed holotropic breathwork at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. In the Grof® Legacy Training we use the brand name Grof® Breathwork for the technique of holotropic breathwork as Stan Grof wishes the Grof® work to be represented and taught. Grof® Breathwork is an experiential approach to self-exploration  and it is a way to induce deep holotropic states of consciousness by a combination of simple means – accelerated breathing, evocative music, and a special form of energy releasing bodywork. By combining these three elements, a very powerful tool is created.

Grof® Breathwork combines and integrates elements from modern consciousness research, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, eastern spiritual philosophies, shamanism and other native healing practices.

The process of self-exploration and therapy in holotropic states of consciousness is governed by the inner healing intelligence of the organism. It gives access to biographical, perinatal, and transpersonal domains of consciousness and thus to our deepest psycho-spiritual roots. It allows healing and transformation to take place on a much more fundamental and causal level than traditional symptomatic treatments.

The sessions are usually conducted in groups; participants work in pairs and alternate in the roles of experiencer, breather, and support for an experiencer, sitter. The process is supervised by trained facilitators who assist participants whenever special intervention is necessary. Following the breathing sessions, participants usually express their experiences by making a mandala, a visual impression, followed by sharing in smaller groups.

“In the point of rest, at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation and each human a cosmos of who’s riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable on the first page.”

– Dag Hammarskjöld