What Do Psychedelics And Holotropic Breathwork Have In Common?
This week we talk to Joe and Kyle from Psychedelics Today, a regular podcast that explores important events in the field of psychedelics. We hear about how Joe and Kyle met, and about their unique personal experiences with psychedelics. We end up pretty much covering it all – life, death, rebirth and (of course), holotropic breathwork.
Joe and Kyle met through a shared interest in holotropic breathwork – a technique for transpersonal development created by LSD-psychotherapist Stanislav Grof. Joe describes holotropic breathwork as a method of intense, focussed breathing, in a group setting, aided by loud, evocative music. It can often produce a psychedelic state that is used for healing or personal development – and many describe it as being similar to psychedelic therapy.
Now experienced holotropic practitioners, Joe and Kyle also run the Psychedelics Today podcast in an effort to provide a resource for anyone interested in any aspect of the psychedelic world – including holotropic breathwork.
Kyle’s personal interest in psychedelics resulted from a near-death experience after a traumatic snowboarding accident. He experienced a blissful peace on the edge of death, only to return to life with confusion and dismay. He suffered from depression until an experience with magic mushrooms, which changed his life dramatically. Since then, he’s been fostering an interest in all things psychedelic.
Joe’s past lies in holotropic breathwork. During his philosophy class at university, Joe came across the work of Stanislav Grof, and decided to try out a holotropic breathwork course. He ended up getting hooked on the sense of community, and the authentic connections he could form with others. Experiences with ayahuasca and other psychedelics further enhanced his appreciation for breathwork.
Joe and Kyle tell us that holotropic breathwork can produce psychedelic states very similar to those experienced on substances – but with differences worth mentioning. Breathwork is less predictable, sometimes producing intense psychedelic states, and other times not. Breathwork is also more of a body-oriented technique, and can help people process a lot of body-related trauma – more so than most psychedelic substances.
We talk briefly about the stages of birth, and how holotropic breathwork can get people in touch with their own birth-related trauma. The theme of rebirth is often brought up during holotropic breathwork sessions, and people can end up discovering a lot about the source of various physical and mental traumas.
Finally, Joe and Kyle give us their opinion on the future of psychedelics. They see the hopeful legalization of MDMA in 2021 as a big stepping stone, which will lead to an explosion of psychedelic culture into the mainstream. They hope to help steer the conversation during this milestone, and hopefully encourage concepts like peer-to-peer therapy (i.e. veterans helping other veterans by administering MDMA therapy) or psychedelic hospice care. The future is psychedelic!