As I practice and teach Rebirthing, there are several questions that my students and clients wish to know and understand. One of the most common questions that I come across is what is Rebirthing and Holotropic Breathwork.
In this chapter of learning, I will give you an insight into what are Rebirthing and Holotropic Breathwork and discuss the practices based on Rebirthing that can help you transform for better.
Rebirthing is a powerful and uniquely effective tool for transformation. It is a complete system in itself. Whatever tool/technique you practice regularly can show its own benefits of transforming you on its own. Yet, to attain the greatest results and benefits, it is highly recommended to use every tool. Each of the tools complements one another to bring the best-added potency to the Rebirthing process.
In the year 1960, Leonardo Orr founded the process of Rebirthing based on his personal experiences of spontaneous regressions from one of his childhood memories. He integrated his visions and insights into the modern psychology like inner child healing, eastern spiritual practices, or any other such thoughts with the 4 elements (fire, water, air, earth) of mantra and meditation practices.
The process of Rebirthing is a conscious connected breathing in a way where no gaps remain amidst each breath. You must not hold your breath at any point of time. As soon as your lungs become full, you start exhaling and whenever it is empty, you start inhaling in this procedure. This creates a breath pattern whereby; you are always breathing in or breathing out, creating a breathing circle. It is a relaxed and a gentle breathing rhythm.
Do you want your mind and body to exert pressure and experience tension while breathing? Of course, not, your body especially, your lungs should be relaxed, without straining to maintain the breath for a long period of time without tiring yourself out.
A powerful approach to self-exploration and healing is what Holotropic Breathwork is all about. This process integrates understandings from modern consciousness research, anthropology, psychology, transpersonal psychology, spiritual practices, and mystical traditions.
Holotropic Breathwork uses very simple means of combining accelerated breathing with reminiscent music. You must be thinking, what sort of reminiscent music is used in this process of healing and transforming? Here, by music I meant special setting, provoking the consciousness to expand and flow in a certain direction.
When you enter the trance-state by practicing Holotropic breathwork, your natural inner healing process is activated, and you are surrounded by a particular set of internal experiences. The inner healing intelligence guides you through the process and the content and quality that each person attains are completely unique for that time and place.
Back in the 60’s, Stanislav Grof worked with LSD for many years. He founded that with LSD; a patient can enter into a non-ordinary state of consciousness and get an access to a tremendous healing power. But when LSD was banned, he believed that there should be a way to access the same state of trance without the LSD.
He, then, started working with groups and spent the next period of time in researching.
After a lot of research, Stanislav Grof called for a one-day workshop modality that allowed the participants to access these incredibly healing non-ordinary states through the use of breath and music. He called this modality, a “Holotropic Breathwork”.
In this process the recurring themes are common but no two seasons are alike. Although individual sessions can be possible, Holotropic Breathwork is usually practiced in groups. It is not a guided breathwork experience and thus, there is no “proper” way to do holotropic breathing other than the instruction to “breathe deeper and faster than normal”.
Here, the important thing is to inhale more air through your system than you normally do. After 15 or 20 minutes, your body normally finds its own rhythm and generally no longer you have to think about it.
Benefits of Regular Practices based on Rebirthing
Rebirthing has tremendous therapeutic and healing effects. The connected breathing helps in grasping the healing power of the breathed in energy. Spiritual psychology or creative thinking in the Rebirthing procedure improves the quality of your thoughts in order to have a better life.
It erases the thoughts that create unhappiness and misery in your lives and replaces it with the integrating thoughts that are in harmony with the Universal Truth. Integrating the 4 elements (earth, water, air, fire) of the mantra meditation practices in your daily routine can help in spiritual purification and thus, transformation.
What does transformation mean in context with Rebirthing?
Although, we are already our best version – better to say we embody our best version – but it is covered up through social conditioning, childhood adaptations, stress, dysfunction, trauma, and much more. Our previous experiences from various areas of our lives: birth, childhood, school, relationships with parents and other significant adults, intimate relationships, even past lives, often conceal our true versions. We must let it go off and set ourselves free.
Usually, what we have to let go off are certain limiting beliefs based on our past experiences, the emotions attached to those experiences, and the patterns (thoughts plus emotions), we have subsequently etched into the physical body. All of these hold onto us at a deep cellular level.
The root causes of limiting beliefs are based on some of the fundamental experiences related to (at least) one of the above areas in one’s life. Since the different areas are connected and interconnected, the impact of those beliefs can be detected in the other areas as well. We must let all such beliefs go off that is less than our already perfect, radiant, loving, and lovable nature – and in doing so; we become our best, most authentic version of ourselves.
One of the reasons that make Rebirthing so powerful is the gradual and systematic scan through each area to learn and understand where our shadow parts reside. Rebirthing focuses on integrating them, and thus allows the transformation to happen.
As we know that each area is connected to every other, transforming any of those limiting beliefs has an impact on every other area, making it another powerful element of transformation through Rebirthing.
We have designed a structure addressing the different areas of one’s life to facilitate this systematic scanning. Each TantraRebirth module covers an important area of the human experience that complements each of the others. The modules are ordered in such a way that some areas are based on the others. In such cases, one module will form a prerequisite for the other.