Have you ever physically connected with someone to the point their energy flowed through you with only a single touch?
I recently experienced this feeling when I attended a Holotropic Breathwork workshop, carried out by practitioners of Grof Transpersonal Training. I was truly moved by the experience; it’s difficult to sum up into words all that I felt. The practice of Holotropic Breathwork is definitely one you have to try for yourself in order to appreciate and to understand fully how your breath alone can be your true healing power.
By sharing a snippet of my experience, I’ll be providing you with an overview of what Holotropic Breathwork is, why I decided to do the workshop, and finally, the subtle yet so incredibly meaningful shifts I’ve noticed in my life since having attended. My passion for this newly discovered practice is oozing from all parts of my being; When you begin to open up to the experience of breathing with intention, you discover the true powers of the breath and how embracing the practice of breathwork can strengthen your connection with self.
What Is Holotropic Breathwork?
Grof Transpersonal Training, defines Holotropic Breathwork™ as ‘a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world’.
Holotropics involves a combination of a deep and accelerated breathing technique with specially selected music, in a particular setting. The breathing technique used in Holotropic Breathwork allows the ‘breather’ to reach further states of consciousness that would otherwise be difficult to arrive into. Through the power of Breathwork we’re able to approach healing from a place of openness and with loving energy, allowing us to more easily identify blockages within ourselves and work towards clearing energetic traumas, balancing our energy centers, and connecting our awareness back into our bodies.
The name, Holotropic has its origin in two Greek words:
Holos – Whole
Trepein – To move in the direction of something
These two words together create Holotropic which essentially is the practice of moving towards wholeness.
Interested in learning more? Check out the Principles Of Holotropic Breathwork
My First Experience With Holotropic Breathwork
I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and to be honest, that was probably the best mindset approach I could have taken when entering into a workshop like this. No expectations. A few weeks previous to the workshop I had listened to an episode from the Luscious Hustle Podcast, with guest Gwen Dittmar; they spoke about the power of Breathwork and how the simple practice of tapping into the breath could be your best healing power.
Up until the point I listened to this episode, the basis around my website was to provide content that shared my personal experiences of how breathing intention into each and every moment, by applying mindset shifts, can help you live a fuller more meaningful life. I always thought that to ‘Breathe With Intention’ was to mentally decide to fill each action with intention but the more I kept thinking about the conversation from the podcast, the more downloads I received and everything began to click. Breathing with intention is 100% physical, not mental; when I came to this realization, my world changed. I thought to myself, damn, breathwork is totally my jam and the practice that I’ve been needing to connect with this whole time not only for my internal self development but for my business to continue evolving and following in the direction of my soul’s purpose. The Universe placed me in the path to encounter breathwork at precisely the moment I needed to discover it.
It was following my encounter with the breathwork episode on The Luscious Hustle Podcast that I had a spark to start searching the internet for groups where I could join in on a breathwork meetup, session or workshop. Through my search, I came across Holotropic Breathwork and it was then that I said, ‘I have to do this!’ Although I didn’t have the extra money to spend on the workshop, there was such an energetic pull towards it and something telling me I needed to find a way to make it work, so that’s what I did. I paid the deposit to reserve my space and I made a commitment to self.
Looking back two months later on the whole experience, I can see clearly that the Universe was hard at work guiding me on my path; I continue to trust in the Universe because I know it’s always got my back and will never fail me.
The workshop itself took place in a town outside of Barcelona, called Sabadell, and was a full day shabang, starting at 9am and wrapping up around 9pm. I arrived that morning, excited, a little nervous but none the less, extremely open to the journey I would embark on. As others began arriving one after another I naturally became more comfortable in the environment. Once the entire group was present, we were taken through a 1 hour brief on the theory of Holotropic Breathwork, and then discussed everything we would be doing in the day which even after listening to I still had no idea what the heck I had signed up for. I had found my partner for the session during the morning registration, or rather he found me. I felt an instant comfort in his presence, partially due to the environment but also because of the energy I felt he transmitted.
To briefly explain the actual workshop without going into too much depth, the session begins with one partner lying face up on a yoga mat with their eyes closed while the other person, ‘the caregiver’ sits next to them. The caregiver is simply there to be present, available if needed, and most importantly hold space while the partner on the mat is doing the physical breathwork. Once the first session concludes, there is normally a break, at which point the partners switch roles.
You can read more about the process at Principles Of Holotropic Breathwork
As the caregiver for the first three hour session, I began by sitting next to my partner. What happened in the next 10 minutes of the session was truly amazing and from that moment, I was able to relax even deeper energetically and found myself trusting in the process fully at that point. Making reference back to the into, ‘Have you ever physically connected with someone to the point their energy flowed through you only with a single touch?’ This is precisely what happened. Roughly 10 minutes into the session, my partner asked for my hand and as I placed my hand in his, within seconds, I felt a flow of energy passing from his body to mine, then circulate through me before moving back through him. When I asked him after the session why he felt the need to reach for my hand, he told me he felt as if the energy inside him was needing an outlet to pass through. In the moment of the session, I was receptive to his energy which as a result allowed it to flow through me like a vessel. I kept thinking, wow, energy is some real powerful shit!
When it was my time to be the ‘breather’ I must admit, I was a little nervous. After listening to the experiences had by other breathers in the room, some laughing, others crying, and a few screaming, I was nervous because I didn’t know what would come out of the experience for me. The one thing I knew was that if I wanted to make the most of the workshop, I’d have to let go. I had to allow myself to be vulnerable towards the environment, the experience, and towards the person whom I just met hours before and who for the next three hours would be starring at me while I was breathing awkwardly. Not going to lie, for the first minute or two I was thinking, frick, I must look ridiculous, but these thoughts quickly drifted as I began to involve myself more fully in the breath. It didn’t take long before I started to feel my hands tingling and a sensation similar to when you fall asleep on a limb, go up my arms. The only way I could describe it was as an energetic current I could physically feel moving through me.
I was feeling myself (no folks, not in that way), and it was incredible! Being able to physically feel your energy is indescribable. At one point throughout the session I noticed a tightness in my chest which although subtle, was still very much apparent. The tightness I felt was in my heart’s centre, where I tend to hold a lot of physical and emotional tension. With one hand I placed my palm flat on the area where I felt the tension; holding it there until the pain left and moving it to other spots of tension as I began to feel them. I am aware how woo woo it all sounds but I was able to notice that my energy was actually helping to release the blockages I felt in those areas. With the breath, my chakras were being engaged.
Throughout the session, I remember moments of sudden laughter for which I couldn’t explain in the moment nor after, but it was simply a feeling of bliss. When the session was finally coming to a close, three hours later (and let me say that 3 hours literally passes as if you were lying there for only minutes), I slowly opened my eyes, gradually began to sit up and it was in that moment that I noticed tears running down my face. These were not tears of sadness but tears of gratitude. I didn’t realize it 100% in the moment but the download after was this… it had been many months since I felt fully safe in such a vulnerable position while in the presence of anyone. Months previous to my Breathwork workshop I had gone through an extremely difficult heartbreak, one that hit me down hard and since, I had been holding up a big protective shield around my heart.
Although I didn’t reach some deep deep state of consciousness I did enter into a state where I could feel myself and my energy, which for me was more then enough to feel grateful for. Since that day I’ve been more aware of the loving and heart centered energy I have inside and have allowed myself to continue letting it guide me in my journey.
I am writing this almost two months after attending my first Holotropics Breathwork workshop and still, I continue to be moved months after by the experience. I definitely walked out after that day with more awareness, softness, and a greater feeling of abundance and joy. With each new spiritual practice I try, I’m able to dive deeper into self and open up more layers of my being. My deeper spiritual journey began a year ago and since then I am amazed on a daily basis how much the universe has gifted me. I definitely was aware of it before however, the difference now is that I am feeling more fully like an active participant in everything around me and feel my energetic contribution in this world.
So, what insights and understanding have I gained from the workshop?
1. A deeper awareness of self.
2. A more encompassing understanding of my purpose. My blog and my business have evolved so much deeper in a way I never expected, following the session. My soul’s purpose became more clear to me.
3. Spiritual practices like breathwork have shown me that when you diversify what you consume, you open up so much more than a portal to knowledge.
4. Your body will tell you everything you need to heal, you simply need to be open to listening and receiving what it tells you.
5. Last but definitely not least, I met an incredibly beautiful human being from the whole experience whom I not only physically connected with by touch in the Breathwork session but who after spending many moments during the last 1.5 months in his company, has managed to touch my soul, open my heart, and hold me close, all before even laying more than a hand on me; a man so secure with himself and with a deeply rooted awareness of his needs and connection to self, that when he offers his time and space, you truly feel his energy, showering you with a nurturing love.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Holotropic Breathwork workshop I attended, what it all entails and how you can get involved, you can connect with me here or on IG @soul_essential_travel for more info.