The Holotropic Breathwork Community

Supporting healing and transformation

by Kiu Eckstein

Edited and posted by Alysson TrofferThe Inner Door Editor, InnerDoor (at)

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the November 2009 issue of The Inner Door. Kiu's book about Kundalini, originally published in German, has been translated into English and is now available on with the title: Kundalini, the Master and the Disciple: Report of a Search.]

The following account of my life-changing Holotropic Breathwork session is from my book (see the English edition cover to the right).

A quite different, not purposely arranged event, certainly belongs in this context. While preparing a documentary for ZDF German Television about the practical application of non-ordinary states of consciousness in the medical and psychological fields, I had come in touch with Holotropic Breathwork, developed by Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina, and got permission to film in one, at that time still small, training course. The training took place on a small island in the Pacific Ocean near the Canadian coast, which the film crew and I had reached with a charter plane.

After the filming at dinner, one of the participants invited the film crew to “breathe” the next morning with the group. Neither the cameraman, the assistant, nor the sound engineer wanted to enter into this kind of adventure—and I was full of doubts. We were still at the very beginning of making this documentary, and I had to not only book flights and hotels, rent cars, and arrange for the filming appointments, but also to do my work as director and take notes for my commentary. I asked myself if I would still be able to do all that after this therapeutic group work in an expanded state of consciousness, whose great effects I had observed the day before during the filming.

Yet, the impulse to enter in new territory was stronger than my doubts. Something within me told me I could not let go by the chance to find out in this small group of high-caliber people, under the direction of Stan Grof himself, what this unconventional therapy, which I had only read about in books, could do for me.

At first, even though I had been breathing quite strongly, not much happened. But, after some time, my arms and legs began to act independently. In an irregular manner without conscious effort, one or the other appendage raised up, to then fall by its own weight back to the floor, again and again. At every crescendo of the music, at every cry, laugh, or sob of the participants, my legs and arms dropped to the floor again.

Altogether, this may not have lasted much more than an hour, but I had the feeling that I could lay the rest of my life in this tent-like room and do nothing else but feel the tensions of decades shake themselves out of me. Afterward, the others asked me what had happened. Since I hadn’t had great visions, I said: nearly as much as nothing. The rest of the shooting time, the tiresome organizational duties were much easier to handle, not taking much time or energy. Then, the charter plane that had brought us there came to take us back into the real world. Soon afterward, I decided to enter the training to become a facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork.

So much for the experience narrated in the book. After certification as a Holotropic Breathwork facilitator, I brought many of Stan’s books to Brazil, organized two conferences for him in Rio de Janeiro, and gave workshops for 14 years. The experiences during the training helped me accept that I was going through a Kundalini process, which finally brought me to a master in India, Chandrashekharanand Saraswati, and—after staying with him for many months spread out over a couple of years—to write a book about Kundalini, his work, and my experiences. The book came out last year in Germany. It seems to help a number of people and, according to my editor, is even selling quite well.

The Editor’s Commentary on the Back Cover of the German Edition

The knowledge of the hidden life-force Kundalini, waiting deep inside human beings to be awakened, belongs to the most well hidden secrets of Yoga. The great sages of the East offered this knowledge only to a few well-selected disciples, of whose aptitude they have convinced themselves over many years. With this book becomes available for the first time an insider-report, in which a westerner reveals his training over a number of years by a great Kundalini master. Never before has been shown in the West the mysterious process of the ascent of Kundalini in such an open and detailed way, as in this masterpiece. It reveals for the first time the inner wisdom of the ancient Tantric Tradition and demonstrates the far reaching way in which nearly all psychic processes of us humans are in one or the other way connected to the all-pervading force of Kundalini.

One of the most competent and knowledgeable books that have been published about kundalini. The esoteric wisdom of the East in an authentic report of inner experiences.

Supporting Holotropic Breathwork and the Association for Holotropic Breathwork International (AHBI). You can help support Holotropic Breathwork and AHBI by joining as a member or donating. Please help us get the word out about Holotropic Breathwork and its benefits, especially at this time of decision on our planet.

Spread the Word on Your Networks. Please let others in your networks know about Holotropic Breathwork and AHBI. Use the buttons by this post to spread the word. It only takes a moment and can have a major effect. Thanks!

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