What is Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork?
Incorporating breath, music, and support for physical expression, Holotropic Breathwork™ creates the conditions for the psyche to open to whatever is ready to be explored. In order to create the supportive conditions that make this depth of self-inquiry possible, we place a strong emphasis on preparation, and also on the integration process that follows the breathwork session. While each participant’s experience is unique, growing out of their own inner wisdom, we offer support to recognize what is being learned, and how that learning is happening – what capacity is growing – as well as ways to foster on-going discovery and integration following the workshop.
Stan Grof, the creator of Holotropic Breathwork™, calls it a “Technology of the Sacred.” When we do this work at the Academy for the Love of Learning, we contextualize it as experiential learning: there is something that we are each in a process of learning that lives uniquely within ourselves. This spirit of exploration and self-discovery is at the core of the Academy’s mission: Learning as a practice for awakening. As we ‘wake up,’ our view of life is transformed and we no longer see ourselves or our world in quite the same way. Holotropic Breathwork™ is a method that can evoke this sort of transformative experience.
The Academy’s work rests on the idea that we human beings have a natural inclination to learn and to keep growing and transforming. The focus of our work is on reconnecting with this learning impulse, which so often becomes disengaged, lost or forgotten through our experiences in childhood, education and the intensity of social pressure “to do” rather than “to be.” The idea is that staying awake to learning is, in fact, a practice that is vital if we are to really engage with life.
At the heart of the Academy’s programs is an experiential learning model in which participants are taken into some form of experiential activity and then invited to reflect and make meaning from that experience. This is often a disorienting experience which may shake up beliefs and ideas about “how things are” and “who I am.” The intent is to recognize the powerful inner change that comes from learning to be with and navigate this disorientation. We can open to more of ourselves in the process, rather than contracting in fear or anxiety when faced with the unfamiliar. In doing so, it is possible to find more internal freedom, more possibility for choice.
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