Breathwork

 

Throughout history, virtually every culture has provided an opportunity and a method to access non-ordinary states of consciousness for inner exploration and healing. These methods have included drumming, chanting, dancing, fasting, ingesting psychoactive plants, altering breathing patterns, and many others. Breathwork, through deep breathing and evocative music, facilitates access to all levels of human experience, including unfinished biographical material, birth memories, transpersonal phenomena, and residues of trauma stored in the body.

    Breathwork can help individuals


  • Deepen their spiritual connection.
  • Resolve preverbal issues untouched by “talk” therapy.
  • Make the 11th Step a reality.
  • Heal emotional contributors to physical disease.
  • Get to the root of anxiety problems and reduce panic attacks, phobias, OCD, and generalized anxiety.
  • Provide a safe and natural way to experience non ordinary states of consciousness.
  • Unblock the creative process.
  • Release assumptions of “I can't” and empower positive life path changes.
  • Provide the true transcendent experience that we might seek through drugs, love and sex, spending, and other addictions.

Training and Experience

I completed the Holotropic Breathwork Certification through the Grof Transpersonal Training Program in 1998. I have led workshops continuously since January 1997 in NJ, NY, FL, and various retreat centers in other east coast states. I am a Board member of The Association for Holotropic Breathwork International, for whom I served as President for 5 years.

Participant Feedback (rollover to pause ticker)

 

 
“Holotropic Breathwork is not mysterious. What a wonderful opportunity to feel and express one's feelings in a safe place. Feeling your feelings without censoring or defending yourself from yourself simply feels good... Like moving rusty gears on a bicycle, the breathwork allowed me to go forward into my daily existence without getting stuck or stopped by uncomfortable emotions. As a non-chemically induced form of therapy it provides an easy transition and integration of an experience of heightened awareness into the day to day.”
 
“Being separated from my mother at age 5 for several months was a major trauma blocking me from living my life fully. During the breathwork session, I was able to return to my memory of her and grieve the loss and feel the powerful feelings of love I had repressed for so long.”
 
“Because of a difficult past and a difficult situation that I must now tolerate, I have been carrying around a lot of pity for myself. In the session, I found myself crying a lot, and I believe that it released that unpleasant burden. Since then, though it didn’t happen all at once, I have been feeling much stronger and more capable of acting on my own behalf.”
 
“I started thinking about my brother who died in a swimming accident at age 19. I found myself wanting to take his place, and I felt myself in the water, then later on in the hospital bed in a coma, and later on in the coffin looking out at everybody - it was an extremely intense experience for me to do this - it was something I had thoughts about at different times but I had never emotionally experienced what I really thought and felt about him and my mother. I felt a lot of relief afterwards, and I felt a release from the guilt of not being there for him and not being there for my mother while she was visiting him in the hospital.”
 
“I was very close to my brother growing up, but for the last ten years he has closed me out of his life, and I despaired of ever reconciling with him. During the breathing I had an image of him being in a lot of pain and needing contact. I called him the next week, and in the midst of an unrelated conversation, he referred to the issue that had been bothering him all this time, and we were finally able to resolve it. I’m also experiencing a significant shift in how I’m relating to my mother.”
 
“I have asked myself more than once why I kept returning to go to such dark places. I now think I know and it's because of you and the good people coming to the sessions. For the whole day at Breathwork, I don't have to worry about who I am or that I am depressed and must hide it from everyone. It is the only time I feel like I can just be myself. On top of that, it's in a wonderfully loving and supportive atmosphere. I don't think I find that feeling anywhere else in my life. Thanks a million for doing what you do so well!”
 
“Each breath was the fuel for my soulsearching journey. It felt great. Like a plant needing water, each breath provided life. I experienced my beginning and ending again and again. At end, there was peace.”
 
“I began attending 'Breathwork' because I was consumed with feelings of self-hatred. I felt hopeless, stuck, and depressed. I did not realize that suppressed childhood traumas were controlling my current behaviors, thoughts, and reactions. Through the breathing sessions I was able to relive these traumas and truly feel, express, and release the grief and anger that were buried deep within me. Instead of meeting with the abuse, rejection, and criticism that surrounded me and permeated these experiences when I was a child, the facilitators and other participants of the workshops allowed me to 'do it again' in an extremely nurturing atmosphere, filled with genuine support, caring, and acceptance. As a result, I am beginning to value myself, and to regard life as something to be embraced with joy, rather than endured in pain.”
 
“My experience with Holotropic Breathing has been holistic with life-changing awarenesses. Holistic in terms of its effectiveness in the physical, emotional (psychological) and spiritual realms. I am transformed from a sickly, fearful, faith-lacking being (that my belief system pretends I am) into a powerful, bold, spiritual being that God knows me to be. True reality comes into focus and distorted 'images' are no longer needed. Breathing is the vehicle that takes me to this place of remembrance. It is as if I awaken to hear Spirit remind me of everything that I had forgotten or pushed aside so that Ego may reside. I cannot wait to start breathing because my body, mind and spirit want to be 'set free' once again. The loving touch of Spirit takes me to places I've been and will be, all with the assurance that life is pure energy, and God rests in the midst of that energy. The Breath is Blessed.”
 
“I feel so much stronger physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually as a result of having attended Holotropic Breathwork Seminars for the last two years. I've learned, through the breath, how to access, trust and utilize an inherent wisdom I was not aware of before. I was always searching for a way to transcend the pain of having to live with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Depression. Instead, I found a way to work with it. I've learned that there is always a little darkness in the light and a little light in the darkness and, most importantly, I'm finally o.k. with that. Holotropic Breathwork Seminars have been, for me, the safest environment to allow both the dark and light aspects of myself full expression without the fear of punishment or judgment. I believe the gradual integration of these two aspects of myself are leading me towards true wholeness.”
 
“I want to say thank you for providing the safe space for breathworks and also for all the kindnesses you have shown me. I had a glimpse of the power of the work today, as I was stuck for over an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Cross-Bronx expressway (the road from Hell). I found myself doing tonglen for all the other people caught in that snarl (both sides). By the time I crossed the George Washington Bridge, I was so high, all I could do was rejoice in life. I owe that (somewhat different from my typical) response to such traffic to the experience I had Saturday. It's deep healing work.”
 
“That was some workshop Saturday. Early in the afternoon there was an interval where I thought to myself, "What am I doing here?" Somehow I no longer saw the point to it. But sitting changed all that. For me sitting seems to be a very powerful experience. To witness one of my fellow humans going through such powerful inner experiences, then maybe resting a bit, then launching into some other inner process... I feel such incredibly strong empathy then. This must be good for the soul.”
 
“I don't know what happened yesterday, but today I have been energetically happy, throwing out good "vibes" to all I meet, and I think it was because of the amazing experience of HB. Thank you, thank you. If we can all be happier, more peaceful, and connect (as you said), the world will be a better place, and if it's not, at least we will be.”
 
“Thank you for your dedication to the work that you do. It was an incredible session for me....I was able to go deeeeeep into release of anger and rage. --first it startled me that it was there and ----then it startled me as to how much was there. There is more space for me now. :) yay!”
 
“The workshop was so helpful! The people were awesome! I am feeling so much better and with so much energy! It really made my issues clearer and what I need to continue to work on; I am definitely not feeling stuck anymore -- just the opposite. Hope too see you again, as I am making it my intention to attend future workshops.”
 
“I have done breathwork countless times and every time the experience is different. My childhood experience was one of horror and terror. It was Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). All the fear I internalized as a child followed me into adulthood. By the time I did my first breathwork I had several years of counseling. Breathwork has hit on a deeper level, allowing me to let go of so many fears. Things are so connected in the psyche. During the last workshop, I had the realization that I cut myself off from love because I could not trust. It all had to do with my past. I saw that particularly the left side of my body was affected. The left side is the receptive side of the body. I am blind in my left eye. Connected to the false belief "Trust is not safe" was the false belief "If I do trust and allow love it is limited in nature." At the same time the realization happened during the workshop, I saw who I really am – a beautiful child of the Great Spirit – and that there is no limitation. The experience was so beautiful; I saw that everything goes on without ending! I plan to do breathwork every chance I get. It has made such a difference in my life.”
 
“Ever since my surgery 1 1/2 years ago, I have had problems with shortness of breath as well as experiencing pain every time I was able to get a deep breath. (This is different from the knot I had been feeling that got me to the workshop). Western medicine, accupuncture/herbs and chiropractic physicians have not been able to help with the pain and I thought this was something I was just going to have to accept and live with. I am delighted to tell you after yesterday's breathwork session I keep taking deep breaths and feel NO PAIN!! (I'll try not to hyperventilate!) It is so wonderful and I am so grateful to the both of you for continuing to host these wonderful breath workshops. I love you guys and, you know, I also just love to breathe..... (3 weeks later…) I am happy to say the pain is still gone! And, yes, you can add this account to your website if you wish.”
 
“Thank you so much for holding the workshop this weekend! I had a very positive, affirming experience, which is just what I needed at this time… I have been noticing subtle reverberations from the experience these past few days; in brief, I feel that the self-doubt that I have been carrying around with me for many years has been released.”
 
“Let me thank you, one more time, for giving me the opportunity to participate in your Saturday's "Focus" workshop. It was a very emotional experience which has already influenced significantly my life in so many respects. The breathwork session affected me very profoundly in a way that I am only beginning to realize. I feel the process initiated during breathwork is slowly developing but it runs mostly on an unconscious level. And, I think, my experience, so far, is just the "tip of the iceberg" with much more to explore. It looks like the first part affected is a very outer layer of the unconscious mind (sorry if this sounds unclear but I've never received any training in psychology, so in my layman view, a mind has a layered structure). I was very pleased with the workshop ambiance which you masterfully created. Thanks to a welcoming, friendly and relaxed atmosphere I had a chance to meet bunch of nice, outgoing people. It felt great to spend some time with the like-minded individuals.”
 
“Thank you for having this great workshop. I experienced a definite change from normal waking consciousness. I don't know how to qualify or quantify the experience. While doing the breathing, after an unknown length of time, the breathing seemed to take over. As I observed the experience, I seemed to start making spontaneous humming sounds that went along with the music. As I watched this going on, I felt detached, like I was observing it, and at the same time felt great joy, possibly bliss, when certain frequencies were intoned. Occasionally coordinated with this were flashes of light and colors of aqua blue and green. I didn't experience much mental processing like I do when taking mushrooms or peyote. After, there was a wonderful feeling of calm; the mind wasn't frantically running from one thought to the next. Very peaceful and this has lasted for many days now.”
 
“The weekend at Yogaville was amazing. I will never forget it! Thank you for all you do, and I hope we will cross paths again in the future. I can honestly say it was life changing. You are both gifted in what you do, and I will be forever grateful.”
 
“I am still on a spiritual high after yesterday. I hope to participate in another breath workshop in the near future. It was a beautiful journey. One that I will treasure.”
 
“My first experience was pretty limited — I saw a lot of yellow, remembered a few scenes from my childhood, but nothing traumatic like I was expecting. No traumas came over me. After I finished I thought, well, I didn't get that much out of this, but it was ok for my first time. Then, to my great surprise, for the following 4 weeks or so, I had so many memories resurface. My dreams were extremely vivid and colorful. I needed a LOT of sleep and rest just to stay grounded. A lot of energy moved out and through me and I had to take care of myself very intently so it could be transmuted. I can say after this whole process I feel much clearer about my direction in life, and I feel lighter and freer. I must have released things I wasn't aware of I was carrying, and I'm not aware what they were, it all happened in its own time and wisdom and at its own rate. All I know is I feel much lighter. Also my breathing is much easier now, and deeper. Thank you so much.”
 
“Just wanted to drop you this line to say thank you for yet another safe and loving space you created for us on Saturday. I appreciated all the small yet very thoughtful details -- like the beautiful array of colorful food -- the tissues -- the fabulous music -- the scented hand cream in the bathroom -- well all of it. But most of all , for allowing everyone to have their own experience without judging it.....your love and the love for your work shines through...”
 
“Please receive my warm well-wishing and deep gratitude to you. This past week — unbelievable that it's only been six days! — has continued to bear fruits of healing, insight and spaciousness. I was perhaps expecting a "come down" or an abrupt, harsh return to the hylotropic, or maybe storms of doubting the simplicity, beauty and efficacy of HB. My experience, rather, has been of continued, rich unfolding and delight. And all endogenously sourced! I believe (y)our expertise, experience and intention fed and feeds my process. Thank you for the clear container, the safe structures and making this work accessible. A tremendous weight has lifted from early attempts at self-initiation that proved traumatic lacking such supports. I feel a bit like a missionary for HB, continually sharing the theory and process with friends and family. I hope to have additional opportunities to work with you three — I like your dynamics — and also in other more intensive experiences.”

 

Individual Breathwork Sessions

 

If it is inconvenient to attend a workshop, or if you are not comfortable experiencing Breathwork in a group format, you can have the experience in my office by scheduling a double session. In 90 minutes, we can check in, breathe to music for about 55 minutes, and have some time to process the material that arises. This also provides the opportunity to receive more direct facilitation and process verbally during the session.

 

Holotropic Breathwork

 

Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that helps participants reconnect to their higher selves and to a larger whole. (The word “holotropic” literally means “moving towards wholeness.”) Based on insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and the world's mystical traditions, the process uses accelerated breathing and evocative music to help participants enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

This state activates a natural “inner healer” that guides the participant's process and brings forth an experience that is unique to that person in that particular time and place. Every individual in a workshop experiences something different. And while broad themes may recur for an individual across multiple sessions, no two sessions are alike.

What to Expect in a Workshop

Workshops are about 12 hours long and include a 3-hour session for each participant, a chance to hold space for someone else's process, mandala drawing, group sharing, and eating.

 

Focus Breathwork

 

Breathwork has been found to be a precise key to the body's natural healing resources. It triggers a natural process of integration, cleansing, and purifying in the body, mind, and spirit. As the meeting ground between the conscious and the unconscious, it is useful in healing the split between these aspects of the psyche.

What is Focus Breathwork?

“Focus Breathwork” is an approach I developed that allows participants to experience breathwork with a reasonable time commitment. Workshops are about 4 3/4 hours long and include an 80-minute session for each participant, a chance to hold space for someone else's process, and group sharing.

 

Breathwork & Internal Family Systems (IFS)

 

By integrating Breathwork and IFS, the powerful insight provided through Breathwork's slight trance state accelerates the IFS process, helping parts that have been unknown to become known more quickly and parts that aren't serving us to become powerfully transformed into effective allies. The following continuum outlines how IFS and Breathwork can be effectively used together:

IFS and Breathwork Continuum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The IFS and Breathwork Continuum


What Happens when Breathwork & IFS are Combined?

    From an IFS perspective, purposely increasing the breathing invites more Self-energy into the body, leading to a variety of possible experiences:

  • Parts unblend, and the participant experiences the attributes of Self.
  • The transpersonal Self is experienced as light, energy, bliss, or other spiritual manifestations.
  • Guides, in various forms, are encountered.
  • The presence of Self from the breather and facilitator or sitter invites the emergence of exiles.
    • The exiles find acceptance from Self.
    • The exiles express through the body to varying degrees, showing Self scenes from the past to be felt, witnessed, and healed.
  • Manager parts that have concerns about any of the above emerge, providing the opportunity to work with them. The process is especially effective at bringing to awareness managers that live in the body and serve to restrict the breathing and block the flow of energy. They can be unburdened of the need to inhibit the life force and experience that the result is not only safe, but also beneficial and enjoyable.

What to Expect in a Workshop

Workshops are 5 hours long, with a 1-hour optional pre-workshop lecture on IFS. After a demonstration of the Breathwork & IFS process, we begin the workshop by discovering how our parts react to deeper and fuller breathing. Each participant then breathes for 50-60 minutes, while their partner and facilitators support their process, using IFS techniques. The breathing sessions are followed by group sharing, which allows integration of the experience with daily life.

Participant Feedback (rollover to pause ticker)

 

 
“Whenever I tried deep breathing techniques, I encountered discomfort and resistance due to tightness during inhalation. I believed that breathwork was not a good modality for me for these reasons. When Ted told me about using IFS to understand the "parts" that blocked my breathing mechanism, I was curious to try it again. -- During the process, I discovered how, from a very young age, I developed muscular blocks around inhaling. I encountered the child part who learned to protect me from "breathing in" a toxic environment with an immature, volatile mother. This part learned very early on, that in order to save myself, I needed to push people away, rather than be nourished by them. As an adult, I struggle with feeling emotionally nourished and taking care of myself in loving ways. Since the workshop, I have felt a profound shift. I am less blended with my "DON'T INHALE!" part, and the overall result has been that I am breathing more fully and taking steps to fill myself in nurturing ways. -- I believe in the power of these two modalities used together.”
 
“I really enjoyed your Breathwork/IFS workshop! Thank you for all the info, clear presentations, safe space and your magnificent SELF presence. With this setting, I was able to go very deep into my process and address old stuck stuff. It was so liberating to connect and ask several parts to step aside and to finally release fear stored for so many years. The power, intensity and duration of my energetic release go beyond words. My SELF- energy expanded and allowed a richer fuller experience. I feel lighter and freer today. I look forward with greater appreciation of using both Breathwork and IFS and to your next combined workshop.”
 
“Wanted to drop this note to you (and Monique) to thank you for yet another amazing class. Learning and actually applying the IFS to the breathwork worked for me. Looking forward to doing it again. You create a space of safety and non judgment, that makes it just so easy for the real self to emerge. The music, the room, the attendees, the sharing, the food--ALL of it perfect for expanded growth.”
 
“I was very moved by the training Monique and Ted provided. They made everyone feel welcome and at the end of the training it felt as if we had known each other for a long time rather than just a few hours. I had a very profound experience during the breathing exercise we did, felt intense energy pulsing through my hands, feet, and face. I've never felt anything like this before and, once I stopped being afraid of it, understood that I was working directly with my emotions, something I often find hard to achieve in talk therapy. At the end, I felt a real release and calm sense of knowing that was truly beautiful. I've been looking for this a long time. ”
 
“My experience at your workshop was very meaningful. I connected with a little girl I didn’t connect with for many years and was able to unburden her through the intense crying (tears she was never able to shed in real time), and show her love and appreciation she so deserves. She stayed with me and in the days that followed I felt an energetic shift in me, like there was more space inside, lightness, relief and more joy.”
 
“These are the comments that were passed onto us after the 2010 IFS Conference: This was amazing!! -- Beautifully presented and great organization. This content was so engaging -- Amazing and really fabulous work. Techniques were terrific -- Powerful -- Beautiful and uplifting -- Please repeat this session next year -- WOW!! -- Brilliant. Thanks so much -- So well done.”