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Holotropic Breathwork - description of the workshop

Are you thinking about going on a holotropic breathwork trip, but have no idea how the whole workshop works? In this article, we will look at how such a holotropic seminar is organized in terms of practicality and organization.


Holotropic breathwork consists of three parts – preparation, session and integration. Let's take a look at the individual parts.


Preparation

The preparation starts from the moment you decide to go for holotropic breathwork and sign up for the seminar. After you apply, you will most likely be contacted by an organizer for an initial interview. In this interview, you can ask anything that interests you, mention your concerns or doubts. The facilitator who will talk to you will usually be interested in your current life situation, health status and whether you have experience with holotropic breathwork.

At least one week before the seminar itself, it is advisable to refrain from consuming alcohol or psychotropic substances. It is recommended to monitor what is happening in your life, dreams often appear before breathwork. You don't have to do anything with it or analyze it, just observe what happens.



Before the actual breathwork, usually the evening before, there is an introductory lecture. All participants and organizers will gather in the spaces where they will breathe and sit in the opening circle. During the introductory lecture, you will learn all the necessary information. You will be told how the entire workshop will take place, what holotropic breathwork is, what experiences you can expect, how to breathe, what the sitter's role is and other information.

During this lecture, you will also choose a "sitter", i.e. a breathwork partner. The sitter will assist you during your process and you will assist him.


Session

And here it is, you are sitting on the mattress, the sitter is next to you, and the beginning of breathwork itself is approaching. A facilitator comes to you and does a short "check-in". He will have a short chat with you, how you are feeling, answer any questions you may have and wish you a happy journey.


You lie down on the mattress, cover your eyes with a scarf and the short initial relaxation begins. The facilitator will take you through a short meditation to relax and prepare for the process. He then prompts you to start breathing a little more intensely than usual: a little faster, a little deeper. And the music starts playing, which will accompany you through your process for three hours.


During the breathwork, the facilitator monitors the progress and, if necessary, provides the necessary support to the breathers or even the sitters.


Integration

Whether you're done breathing when the music stops, or sooner or later, you remove the scarf from your eyes and watch the action. In your head, what has been happening for the last three hours is projected. Sometimes it doesn't have to make sense at all, it doesn't matter, it's not needed. The facilitator makes eye contact with you and sits down next to you. The so-called "check-out" begins, when the facilitator finds out how you are, if you are fully back, or if any support is needed. And that begins the integration of your experience.


After check-out you will go to draw a mandala. You don't have to be an academic painter, it's about capturing the experience of breathwork. The mandala is just for you to help you remember what was happening. By drawing, you capture the essentials of your previous three hours. For the first time, you somehow express what happened.



After breathwork, there is usually a pause for drawing mandalas, rest, food. After a break, the process is repeated, only the roles change. You are sitting next to the mattress on which your sitter, i.e. now the breather, is lying. Check-in, initial relaxation, music. And you, as a sitter, sit next to your breathing partner, watch to see if he needs anything, and if so, you assist. Don't worry, nothing complicated - hand a tissue, take to the toilet, give a drink, cover. Music ends, check-out, pause.


And it's time for "sharing". All participants and organizers meet again in a circle, this time in a sharing circle. At this moment, everyone gets a space to share their experience of both breathwork and sitting. Sometimes you are given a time limit, other times you may talk until you have said everything.


Putting your experience into words is the second integration step. Of course, if you don't feel like it, you don't have to share anything. This part of the process can help integrate lived emotions and experiences.


At the end, the facilitators will give you recommendations on what to do or not to do after breathwork and how to process the experience. The fact that the seminar ends, but your work does not end, on the contrary, everything is just beginning, now it is recommended to incorporate the whole experience into your life.

 

The entire process of holotropic breathwork is designed to enable a deep experience while providing support and safety to the participants.

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