Mail online - How to get high without drugs: Is hyperventilating your way into a trance using 'holotropic breathwork' the latest new age craze
Type of Spiritual Experience
It can also cause brain damage
A description of the experience
How to get high without drugs: Is hyperventilating your way into a trance using 'holotropic breathwork' the latest new age craze?
- The form of 'industrial strength mediation' involves deep, rapid breathing
- Type of psychedelic psychotherapy, intention is spiritual enlightenment
- Developed by Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina in California in 1970s
- Acclaimed in new American online comedy Be Here Nowish
- Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo are its creators and stars
- They play two New York girls who move to LA to find their spiritual side
By Martha De Lacey
Published: 12:24, 21 January 2014 | Updated: 17:13, 21 January 2014
A technique aimed at helping you access deeper parts of your consciousness through accelerated deep breathing is being hailed as the latest spiritual tool for enlightenment after appearing in new web comedy Be Here Nowish.
The practice of Holotropic Breathwork was developed in Big Sur, California, in the 1970s, by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina, and involves, according to the couple: 'Accelerated breathing, evocative music, and a technique of bodywork that helps to release residual bioenergetic and emotional blocks.'
Such hyperventilating - under the guidance of a trained group - is considered an effective way of going into a trance to access deeper parts of yourself, of releasing past traumas and even getting high without drugs.
Holotropic Breathwork is always done in pairs, with one person as the 'breather' and the other as the 'sitter'
Holotropic Breathing was referenced by Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo, creators of Be Here Nowish, as one of the new age practices used in spirituality circles in LA
The practice has been acclaimed by Be Here Nowish creators and stars Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo in an interview with the Sunday Times Style magazine, along with colon hydrotherapy, urine therapy, sexual energy crystals, past-life regression and vision quests, which involve venturing out into the woods and fasting all on your own.
In a Holotropic Breathwork, clients work in pairs, with one as the 'breather' and the other as the 'sitter'.
The breather lies on a mat, closes their eyes and begins to breathe faster and deeper, while the sitter ensures they are safe and supported during the session.
The breather's accelerated breath will gradually bring on a non-ordinary state of consciousness - an hallucination or vivid dream - and they are free to stay still or move as they wish.
Sessions last three hours, then the breather and sitter swap roles.
The practice of Holotropic Breathwork was developed in Big Sur, California, in the 1970s, by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof,
Grof, who has spent over forty years researching non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by both psychedelic substances and non-drug techniques, is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology.
'This method provides access to biographical, perinatal, and transpersonal domains of the unconscious and thus to deep psychospiritual roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders'
'This method provides access to biographical, perinatal, and transpersonal domains of the unconscious and thus to deep psychospiritual roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders.
'It also makes it possible to utilize the mechanisms of healing and personality transformation that operate on these levels of the psyche.
'The process of self-exploration and therapy in Holotropic Breathwork is spontaneous and autonomous; it is governed by inner healing intelligence rather than following the instructions and guidelines of a particular school of psychotherapy.'