Drugs are usually the first thing someone encounters when researching how to become a psychonaut. They provide a quick shortcut to an altered state of consciousness that sounds fun and exciting. Psychedelics are the cheat code to reaching enlightenment. However, because of the illegality of these substances, many psychonauts put themselves into jeopardy just to press the limits of their experience, either with legal quandaries with drugs or by taking substances that are harmful and untested. Fortunately, our body is the best drug mule we could want. Through meditation, lucid dreaming, sensory deprivation, and a myriad of other natural means, we can achieve altered states of consciousness. One avenue that few have heard of is holotropic breathwork. At its core, holotropic breathwork, or just breathwork, is controlling your breathing to reach an altered state of consciousness.
BACKGROUND ON HOLOTROPIC BREATHWORK
Before diving into how to successfully perform holotropic breathwork for non-ordinary states, it is worth noting the individual responsible with bringing the practice to the forefront.
Stanislav Grof is one of the early scientific researchers who was dedicated to LSD therapy. His work was mostly centered around exploring the mind in this susceptible tripping state to determine where trauma has affected an individual. With the drug crackdown in the 60s, Grof developed a formalized breathwork discipline that he trademarked as “Holotropic Breathwork”. Now in his 80s, Stanislav Grof is still certifying practitioners of holotropic breathwork and leading seminars for individuals to try it out first hand.