Perinatal Healing with Holotropic Breathing

Perinatal Healing with Holotropic Breathwork

Journeys of transformation with breath and music

Who am I

I am Meena Iyer, coach, healer and breathwork facilitator. I am writing to share my experiences in the field of Holotropic Breathwork, Inner Child Healing and Addiction Recovery. 

Quick Intro and Disclaimer

I am Meena Iyer, coach, healer and breathwork facilitator. I have trained in counseling psychology, NLP, Hypnotherapy and breathwork facilitation. I have run my own de-addiction center in Gurgaon working individually and in groups with addicts, alcoholics and their families.I now offer one-on-one coaching and facilitate online and offline workshops/ retreats on Inner Child Healing and Breathwork. 

Here is a disclaimer too. As I share my knowledge, experience and skills, they are constantly evolving and transforming, keeping pace with my own growth. If you feel ready to embark on this journey taking responsibility for the outcomes, hop on. The information shared here is for educational purposes only and not meant to substitute any professional guidance. There could be material not from the public domain which has been used to illustrate or explain only and not for infringement of intellectual property rights. Pls do not copy or share in any manner and infringe intellectual property rights. Information here is as understood and applied by me. Pls use your discretion while applying the same.

Who is this post for (The Ultimate Guide to Holotropic Breathwork) 

Anyone and not limited to 

  • Those in therapy or coaching seeking to accelerate their healing 
  • Those actively seeking healing from significant emotional issues
  • Those dealing with loss – death of a loved one, divorce or a broken relationship
  • Those looking to work on chronic behavior patterns
  • Those seeking to strengthen spiritual connection
  • Practitioners of psychotherapeutic, energy healing modalities 
  • Those that are curious to journey into their psyche to enhance creativity
  • Those stuck or plateaued out in a life or work situation
  • Those facing chronic health issues (see contra-indications)

Why am I writing this post?

Holotropic Breathwork is a very powerful and deceptively simple healing process. I have found great benefits myself in participating in these sessions and certifying as a facilitator. I know that this technique works whether as a one off experiential session or taken in regular doses. It really speeds up trauma release from the body; sometimes without the effort needed to go into painful narratives. I am hosting workshops in different cities to reach a large audience. I am also in the process of  setting up  a training schedule for those who wish to get certified as facilitators. This blog is meant to reach those who are looking to participate and those who wish to train in  Holotropic Breathwork. I am writing this to distinguish Holotropic Breathwork from many other kinds of breathwork with or without the accompaniment of music. 

What am i going to cover ?

  1. Categories of Experiences in a Holotropic Breathwork session
  2. Definition and Impact of Perinatal Trauma
  3. The Four Perinatal Matrices
  4. How Holotropic Breathing supports healing Perinatal Trauma
  5. Benefits of Perinatal healing with Holotropic Breathwork 


Peri – Around

Natal – Birth 

Categories of Experiences in a Holotropic Breathwork session

Let us begin by looking at Dr Stanislav Grof’s categorization of likely experiences during a Holotropic Breathwork session – 

  1. Biographic – The psychodynamic material that emerges from the story of this life as we know it. These are experiences from birth till the present day and insights about them.
  2. Perinatal – Experiences around birth. These encompass what happened from conception to birth. 
  3. Transpersonal – Awareness, insights and learning from what is beyond this body and our present time and space paradigm.

In this post we are looking at the second category – perinatal. The time from conception till birth has a deep impact on human development. What happens during this phase can leave lasting impressions on a person’s psyche. It  often shapes their emotional and psychological well-being throughout life. Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful method for accessing and healing these deep-seated perinatal traumas that do not surface in conventional therapies. Understanding and healing our perinatal experience is a path to profound transformation and wholeness.

Definition and Impact of Perinatal Trauma

The perinatal period –  conception, pregnancy, birth, and the immediate postpartum time, is a profound and transformative experience. While we celebrate the miracle of new life, this period is difficult and unfamiliar and can hold hidden emotional complexities. Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful tool for healing these perinatal issues through a  powerful exploration of the unconscious mind.

Perinatal trauma is the distressing events and experiences occurring around birth. This can include physical complications during delivery, emotional stress experienced by the mother, or medical interventions that disrupt the natural birthing process. Such traumas can have an impact on the newborn’s psyche, and show up later in life as anxiety, depression, or difficulties in forming secure attachments.

The Four Perinatal Matrices

Stanislav Grof’s research highlights four stages of perinatal experiences, each of which he terms a Basic Perinatal Matrix (BPM):

  1. BPM I: The original state of unity and bliss within the womb.
  2. BPM II: The onset of labor, marked by feelings of entrapment and pressure as contractions begin.
  3. BPM III: The passage down the birth canal – struggling to be born in the face of intense physical and emotional stress.
  4. BPM IV: The actual birth, where the struggle ends in liberation and yet may carry residual pain and trauma.

Understanding these stages helps us recognize how perinatal experiences can leave lasting emotional and psychological imprints.

How Holotropic Breathing supports healing perinatal trauma

Re-experiencing and Releasing Trauma

During a Holotropic Breathwork session, participants may re-experience perinatal traumas as they arise in the non-ordinary state of consciousness. This re-experiencing is not just remembering but reliving the emotions and body sensations associated with the trauma. By fully feeling these feelings in the body in the safe set and setting, breathers can process and release the residual pain and fear, leading to profound emotional healing.

Receiving in-session support from sitters and facilitators

Holotropic Breathing sessions have the unique breather-sitter partnership in the background of every process that occurs. The breather has the unconditional support of their sitter, holding space for them ready to assist them when they need anything. Through the session, breathers can ask to be cared for, comforted. In a difficult perinatal sequence, breathers are kept safe by their sitters even if they tend to move vigorously. Any pain they feel in their body can be released by body work provided by facilitators. 


Emotional and Psychological Integration

Post-session integration is a critical component of the healing process. Participants make Mandala drawings to express their experiences through art. A sharing circle facilitated with no judgment, direction or diagnosis helps them hold the insights. Integrating these into their conscious awareness is a process that takes each person a different length of time. The process of integration brings about resolution of perinatal traumas, fostering a sense of wholeness and well-being.

Benefits of Perinatal Healing with Holotropic Breathwork

Enhanced Emotional Well-being

Healing perinatal traumas can bring about emotional well-being. Participants often see reduced anxiety, depression, and emotional reactivity, experiencing far more calm and balance in their day to day living.

Healthy Relationships

A difficult womb experience or trauma during long labor and birthing is a set up for insecure attachments and unresolved fear and anger. Resolving perinatal traumas can enhance one’s ability to form secure and healthy relationships. Individuals can develop more trusting and nurturing connections with others.

Spiritual Growth

Holotropic Breathwork often facilitates deep spiritual insights. Participants perceive the true sense of seemingly ordinary happenings in their lives either on their own or as messages received from their spiritual guides and masters. In the holotropic state they reconnect with a sense of oneness and transcendence, experience true compassion and love for all of humanity. They connect to the true purpose of their life. 

Physical Health Benefits

The physical act of deep, rhythmic breathing promotes reduced stress and tension. Often participants feel their sleep, digestion and other body systems are functioning better after breathwork. Clearing away the clutter of past trauma frees up energy for work, exercise and contemplation. 


Perinatal healing with Holotropic Breathwork offers a transformative path to addressing deep-seated traumas rooted in our earliest experiences. By accessing non-ordinary states of consciousness through breath and music, individuals can re-experience, process, and release perinatal traumas, leading to profound emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing. This method provides a safe and effective way to achieve greater well-being, enhanced relationships, and a deeper connection to one’s true self. Embrace the healing power of Holotropic Breathwork and embark on a journey towards wholeness and transformation.


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