Appreciation- Breathwork

I am so grateful to Jeffrey and Cielle for bringing Holotropic Breathwork into my life and facilitating it so beautifully. The breathwork has had a profound effect on me. At once cathartic, intimate, peaceful, powerful; it took me deeply into myself in a way that I do not have access to in my day to day life. They held the container so safely that I felt very free to express whatever arose in me knowing I was in skillful and experienced hands. I hope to have many more opportunities to explore this transformative work.

Kirstin Eventyr, Olympia Washington

Experiencing Stanislav Grof's breath work recently in a workshop led by Cielle and Jeffrey Backstrom was deeply moving, catalytic and wildly surprising. I had had a sample of it last fall with them where I quickly entered an altered state; I knew that I wanted to do more. 

In these two breathing sessions, I was particularly moved by how intimate the experience was not only with my partner(s) but with the entire group. We seemed to drop deeply into a shared space of altered consciousness that showed up in our body movements and expressions while breathing and again later in the debriefing integration conversations.

I had some thoughts about what might arise for me and was wrong on all counts. Everything was surprising, mysterious and yet felt right. For me the breathing coupled with the music moved my body in unexpected ways engaging my physical body as much or more than my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Even the sitting, tending to my partners, was engaging and satisfying. It felt like I was being of service in a respectful, unusual and intimate way. The way Cielle and Jeffrey oriented and guided our work was gentle and masterful; their presence added another greater circle of containment, safety and permission. 

Hearing a bit about Stanislav Grof’s early work and his desire to find a way to enable his clients to experience the powerful transformational capacity that altered states of consciousness bring resonated with me. Though I have taken psychedelics in my life, being able to enter those states through this breathing technique supported with music was particularly welcome.

The music journeys were remarkable. As a 5-rhythms dancer, I have experienced the power of letting a series of musical pieces lead me on an inner journey. This was a similar experience with rhythms unique to this work. The capacity of the music to elicit aural hallucinations was particularly fascinating. During one piece while I was a breather, I could clearly “hear” the others in the room singing, even thinking I was distinguishing individual voices. I resisted opening my eyes until near the end of the piece but then peeked around the room and was surprised to see that no one was singing. 

Sharing this two day experience with others in my community was powerfully bonding. I look forward to more opportunities to “breathe” with Cielle and Jeffrey.

Joann Lee. Olympia, Washington