“The key experiential approach
I now use to induce non-ordinary
states of consciousness and gain access to the unconscious and superconscious psyche is
Holotropic Breathwork, which I
have developed jointly with
Christina over the last fifteen years.
This seemingly simple process, combining breathing, evocative music
and other forms of sound,
body work, and artistic expression,
has an extraordinary potential for
opening the way for exploring
the entire spectrum of the inner world.”
― Stanislav Grof, The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness
and How They Shape Our Lives
Lehigh Valley Holotropic Breathwork®
Holotropic Breathwork was recently described in the New York Times as “heart opening” and a way to heal yourself and improve mood. The therapeutic benefits of Holotropic Breathwork can include release and healing of trauma, improving anxiety and depression, higher insights of spiritual understanding, increased connection to self and others, opening to compassion and love.
Lehigh Valley Holotropic Breathwork™ is located in the beautiful mountains of Bethlehem, PA. For the past 12 years, we have been offering Holotropic Breathwork workshops throughout the United States for inividuals, couples, organizations and groups. Holotropic Breathwork is 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. Holotropic Breathwork™ was pioneered by Stanslov Grof, MD and utilizes the natural healing capacity of the psyche.
Enhanced, focused breathing and specialized music sets are used to enter an expanded state of awareness which can activate the natural inner healing process. By activating the unconscious and mobilizing blocked energies, this work gives us access to all levels of human experience and activates the spontaneous healing potential of the psyche.
With the eyes closed and lying on a mat, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter a enhanced state of consciousness. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual's psyche, guiding him or her to a particular set of internal experiences.
The Practice of Holotropic Breathwork
The physiological symptoms and psychologically evoked enhanced states of awareness
established during Holotropic Breathwork are achieved in an organic way. The intensity,
duration and effect of each breathwork session are guided by the breathers “inner healer”
or innate wisdom. The room is darkened and prepared with cushions, mattresses and
blankets. All participants work in pairs, one breather and one “sitter.” In the first session,
the sitter attends to the breather. The roles are then switched in the next session, as the
sitter remains attentive to the breather for the duration on the second session.
In the beginning of the session, the breathers are lying on their mat with their eyes closed.
A relaxation exercise helps people to open up and let go more easily. At the end of this
relaxation exercise, the participants are asked to breathe more quickly and deeper and
allow any feelings, images, sounds and movements to naturally arise. The process is
intensified by evocative music.
In the first hour of a breathing session, music with fast rhythms, such as drum music is used to support breathing. In the second hour, more dramatic pieces of music are used to facilitate breakthroughs. In the last hour, integrating, slow or spiritual music is played. A breathwork session typically lasts three hours although there is no rigid time limit for a session. At the end, the breather is encouraged to draw a mandala as a visual representation of their breathwork experience. Bodywork is also provided if needed or requested to facilitate release of tensions held in the physical body.
The basic premise is that we all have a deeper wisdom that lies beneath our thinking mind. In Holotropic Breathwork, the emphasis is on creating a safe space in which each participant can surrender fully to all the sensations, feelings, experiences, energy movement and visions that can arise during the session. This work is of value to those interested in inner exploration, self-discovery and spiritual awareness. It is a wonderful adjunct to psychotherapy and other forms of inner work, as well as a powerful method of self-care for helping professionals.
Trauma and Transformation - The Healing Potential of Holotropic Breathwork
Trauma can occur from any number of experiences we have throughout our lives. Research has shown that it is not necessary to relive trauma to heal it. In Holotropic states, the psyche and the body manifest their capacity to function together as an integral self-organizing and self-healing system. Holotropic Breathwork allows us to connect to this inner healing potential within us.
The safety and setting of the Holotropic breathwork session can allow people to move beyond the fight/flight/freeze response and connect more safely into the body. Possible range of experiences in a Holotropic breathwork session where trauma may emerge can include the perinatal, biographical, transpersonal, archetypal and birth. Breathers have reported experiencing a range of emotions, emotionally charged images, sense energy moving through the body, intuitive insights, and clarity about situation or issues in their lives.
The Holotropic perspective is permission giving. It encourages people to fully express and amplify, rather than inhibit, what they experience in their session. This approach offers the potential for deep self-exploration, personal transformation and healing. The Holotropic Breathwork model provides a setting that is safe and supported by highly trained and certified facilitators.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. I had just finished my Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and had entered the first semester of a six year doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. I decided to stay connected to land of the living by continuing my doctoral studies while I was going through a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. When I finished treatment I can honestly say I was broken - mind, body and spirit. I was seeking healing beyond what the medical community could offer.
I suppose you could say Holotropic Breathwork found me in the form of a postcard inviting me to attend a workshop called Insight and Opening at the Omega Institute with Stan Grof and Jack Kornfield. During that workshop, with the music blasting, and 300+ people laying on mats breathing, I dicovered my spiritual path of healing. Once my session was over and I got up from the mat, I realized I had re-connected with an inner healing wisdom deep within. I wanted to stay connected and move towards wholness and healing through the practice of Holotropic Breathwork. Over the past 20 years, I have continued on this path. First, completing my training as a Holotropic Breathwork facilitator with Grof Transpwersonal Training and then creating a space for others and offering workshops for those who are just beginning their journey.
I was blessed to be personally trained and mentored by Stan Grof and the late Tav Sparks, former director of Grof Transpersonal Training (both pictured above). My commitment to this work was inspired by them. They were the motivation for me to start offering Holotropic Breathwork workshops 8 years ago. In my role as a facilitator, I work patiently and intensively with unbridled energy and unwavering dedication to this process. I want to ackowledge all of the breathwork community; the facilitators, teachers, breathing partners and those who travel from all over the world to courageously do this work. I have been blessed with so much love, compassion, support and acceptance from those I have met along my journey. For all of the seekers, and those who are just beginning their journey of healing, I wish you the courage to dive in deeply and trust that beyond this reality there is another place where there is healing, light, love and it is just a breath away.
Holotropic Breathwork™ can promote experiences accompanied by strong physical and emotional release.
Therefore, it is contraindicated for the following conditions:
Cardiovascular Disease, including heart attacks and angina
Glaucoma or Retinal Detachment
Recent Physical Injuries
Recent Infectious/Communicable Diseases
Asthma (if you have asthma, you must bring your inhaler to the workshop)
Psychiatric Hospitalization or Mental Illness (please discuss prior to registering)
If you have any questions about whether you should participate, please consult
Dr. McGlynn before registering for any of our workshops.
Dr. McGlynn completed the Grof Transpersonal Training Program in 2015 and is a
Certified Holotropic Breathwork facilitator.
We offer workshops to groups, organizations and individuals year round. We also offer regularly scheduled workshops for those who are interested in experiencing Holotropic Breathwork. Please email email@example.com for more information or click on our Upcoming Workshops page.
CONSULTATIONS & APPRENTICESHIPS
As a Holotropic Breathwork® certified facilitator, I offer consultations to individuals completing their requirements for the Grof Transpersonal Training program. This service is currenly being offered remotely. In addition, we are happy to offer apprenticeships at our workshops. These apprenticeships meet the certification requirements of the Grof Transpersonal Training Program.
For information about our upcoming holotropic breathwork retreats, please visit the Upcoming Workshops page of this website.