Monday, January 06, 2020


In July 2019 after ten years in a tumultuous relationship, I picked up the courage to walk out. I thought I would be devastated. I had loved him for more than a decade, he had rescued me after my first marriage completely broke down. It seemed to me that I desperately needed a man and needed love and intimacy and could not do without it. He was handsome, beyond my league in that way, and oh so manly. For ten years I  felt I would never find a match like him again in my life. He took my dependancy for granted and like some people do when you have someone dependant on you, he became complacent in his importance to me. His friends and alcoholism took precedence. I had tried many many times to leave him but the sheer gut-wrenching thought of not having him nearby and of being completely alone in this world as I thought, was terrifying, particularly for a lonely introvert like me.
But then one day I discovered Holotropic  Breathworks.


By Chandrika Gadiewasam

It is hard for me to describe Holotropic BreathworksTM to you. It is a system of breathing exercises which can send you into non-ordinary states of consciousness and expanded awareness leading you to find POWER WITHIN which you can harness. It reaches into hidden past trauma, and releases the pain, leading to much-needed catharsis, and unlike in meditation, there is nothing for you to actually DO (except breath!). You don’t have to sit in difficult postures. You can fall asleep if you want (most people don’t). You just have to release yourself, trustingly, to the loving Universe.

Well, honestly I can’t find the correct words to tell you how powerful it is. This isn’t a story about walking out of a relationship or breaking out of writer’s block, or banishing lifelong phobias, which all happened to me- this is about finding your inner strength, this like all self-improvement is about being able to fall in love with yourself. 

My own breathwork experience with only a one-day session, started basically with me not knowing what to expect, but trusting Sandy (my friend who introduced me to Breathworks) and the workshop facilitators and my sitter ( person looking after me) and allowing myself to let go control and go where the music takes me…
I think the key is in the breathing...we don’t usually breath so well and deep, allowing oxygen to go through our bodies so our brains etc ...the music supports that because we all naturally respond to these various drums, etc and are capable of soaring through music. The music is sourced from ancient cultures around the world, bringing together atavistic wisdom and healing.  This combination is magical
There were a number of things that changed in my life that day
I always had a fear of drowning but after the deep breathing my particular vision was of Swimming with whales and dolphins and I lost that fear of asphyxiation. in fact I stayed a long time without breathing at certain points and those moments were almost ecstatic! I had naturally the fear of mundane pain and suffering but this experience told me that I was strong enough to conquer anything physical and go something of an out-of-body experience. Yes, there were dark scary troughs into which I fell but I gained confidence that I could climb out of them when I wanted. There was a feeling of freedom, strength, love and of all my mundane worries falling away. This strength has lasted me to this day and I believe it will last much further. but im looking forward to a kind of re-charging of my breathwork energy in March when the next workshop comes to Colombo.

After the workshop, the 35 participants spoke of what visions they had seen. People of various faiths had religious experiences, similar to OBEs/NDEs. Except for one young woman all participants spoke of nature...mountains, valleys, trees, oceans, horses, jungles, birds, flower gardens..and comfort, healing and freedom. A feeling that the universe will look after you! I remember dolphins. I feel it just goes to show that humans miss nature, that’s why we are mentally and physically getting sick and stressed.
Another strange side effect was that the blocked artist in me who had struggled for self-expression for 30 years, buying paints and canvasses but being unable to paint, suddenly and miraculously burst into creative expression. Id always been a kind of copy cat, drawing from photographs and other peoples paintings but suddenly here was I composing my own visual dreams on canvas. I have to say without a doubt that it was the strength and power within discovered through breathwork that led me to this amazing exuberance.
To be honest you probably won’t see every participant bursting into song or uncontrollable creativity or taking very bold steps like walking away from stagnant relationships...but I know that many of the participants found that day immensely relaxing, cathartic and strengthening. Finally a word of warning too: Holotropic BreathworksTM is profound and powerful so sometimes it may cause temporary distress when you face your demons. 
My own theory is that the more trauma you may have behind you the more effective it becomes. In my case...after Breathworks: I am soaring. 

What is Holotropic BreathworksTM
Group Sessions are facilitated by certified practitioners who have completed the Grof Transpersonal Training program. With the aid of “evocative” music and occasional bodywork, participants are guided through breath exercises while lying down. This induces non-ordinary states of consciousness. Group sessions allow people to work in pairs and support each other’s processes. Sessions end with sharing and discussion so participants integrate what they have learned about themselves.  

How to participate in Sri Lanka: 

Next planned workshop dates: March 27, 28, 29 (2020) 
Venue: Community Education Centre,# 117, Talahena, Malabe
Fee: Rs.5000/ per day. Rs 15,000/for 3 days. Those who apply before 15th January will receive a discount of Rs 1000/ for each day. You can participate on 1 day, 2 days or 3 days.
Interested candidates should register before 31st January.Registration fee(advance): Rs 4000/

Who can benefit?
Breathworks can greatly benefit people suffering from: anxiety and depression, trauma, posttraumatic stress, and anger issues, grief and loss and the emotional effects of physical illness.
Holotropic BreathworksTM can be a universal healer. Breathworks is not particular to any religion but it can very well become a religious experience.
If there is one thing adventurous you want to do in 2020, I suggest you try this experience and I know you will not regret it. 
Much love and stay blessed! 

For more information about the workshop please contact:
Ms Sandy de Alwis | Email: | Tel: 0777683170
Sr.Janet Nethisinghe | Email: | Tel: 0714228358 /0772545870

Tikiri Finds the Sun - Chandrika Gadiewasam 2019

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