What Is The Difference Between Neurodynamic Breathwork & Holotropic Breathwork?

holotropic breathwork vs Neurodynamic Breathwork

During our Neurodynamic Breathwork sessions, we sometimes get asked: What is the difference between Neurodynamic and Holotropic breathwork? Below we will outline key ways in which they differ and also highlight two fundamental similarities.

What is Holotropic Breathwork?

Holotropic Breathwork (HB) is a modality that was created by Dr. Stan Grof. A Holotropic Breathwork Workshop is an all-day event where participants pair up and have two separate roles during the day – Sitter and Breather. The “Sitter” is considered to be integral to the experience. The cost of the event is generally about $175.00 – $250.00. Holotropic Breathwork must be done in person with one trained facilitator available for approx. every 8 to 10 participants. 

As a breather, the participant lays down with the sitter beside him/her, and engages in deeper, faster breathing for approximately 3 hours (it needs to be a minimum of 2 1/2 hours long, for it to be called Holotropic Breathwork). During that time, the sitter holds space, hands the breather tissues, water, etc. The sitter does not interfere in the breather’s process in any way unless specifically asked to do so. 

After the breathing session, there is a mandala drawing as part of the integration process. Then, the two people switch roles and there is another 3-hour breathing session. After both people have breathed, there is a sharing circle and then an integration talk to close the day. The sharing circle is designed whereby participants share their experiences and the facilitator and other breathers just listen and hold space. There are no comments or feedback allowed with the shares.

What is Neurodynamic Breathwork (NDB)?

Neurodynamic Breathwork (NDB) was created by Michael Stone. Michaël comes from a science background and he started out as a Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator himself. He created NDB in order to make breathwork more accessible. He wanted to allow people from around the world to experience the benefits of regular breathwork sessions in a convenient, low-cost format. 

NDB can be done in-person or online, in a group or as a private session. Neurodynamic Breathwork Workshops generally take about 2-2.5 hours if done online and about 3-4 hours if done in person. They include an intro talk, a 60-minute breathing session with everybody breathing at the same time, a sharing circle, and an integration talk. 

The purpose of the sharing circle (whether in-person or online) is not just for participants to self-express as in Holotropic Breathwork, it is to allow the facilitator to actively support the breather in interpreting and framing their experience, so that they can bring the full benefits of their experience into their lives. Artwork as an integration tool is optional. In our online sessions, although there is not a facilitator physically present, there is always a facilitator available during the session via private chat if a breather needs or wants support.

Live facilitated online sessions are currently available 5 times per week (you can try out a free online session by clicking here). This is the first time ever that a facilitated, live breathwork modality has been available in a structure where participants can breathe multiple times per week if they choose to. A regular breathwork practice is beneficial because it is a proven principle in neuroscience that “the neurons that fire together, wire together.”

After participating on a regular basis for a period of time, our breathers have reported much better access to their “inner intelligence” as their neural pathways strengthen from regular use. “Inner Intelligence” or “higher self” or “future self” is that part of the psyche that is connected to the universal unconscious which already has all the answers. Our breathwork subscribers who join regularly are also resolving issues more quickly, self-controlling their emotional states more efficiently, and report better access to their creative impulses. Moreover, 89% of regular NDB participants with anxiety, 67% with depression, and 84% with trauma experience a notable relief of symptoms.

Key Differences Between Neurodynamic Breathwork & Holotropic Breathwork

  • NDB can be safely done online. Holotropic Breathwork must be done in-person.

  • NDB sessions last 2-2.5 hours, while Holotropic Breathwork workshops last 10 hours.

  • NDB can be done as a regular practice, with all the resultant benefits because 20 live sessions are available every month. Holotropic Breathwork workshops are generally available only once per month maximum.

  • NDB is much more affordable.

  • NDB can be done from the comfort of your own home, so there is no need to get in your car and drive home after the session.

  • NDB participants are not distracted by other things going on in the room since it is online and they are in their own space.

  • Michael discovered that just one hour of breathing enabled individuals to attain deep, expanded states of awareness online. This shorter duration of NDB makes it accessible even to busy individuals who may struggle with the typical day-long sessions necessitated in Holotropic Breathwork.

  • Anybody, anywhere in the world can participate in NDB, they just need an internet connection. In Holotropic Breathwork, you have to find a facilitator, potentially fly to where the person is, get a hotel room, have the experience, and then find your way back home. Even if there is a facilitator in your hometown, you still need to get up quite early, drive to a venue, and then drive home after an all-day session.

  • The purpose of our sharing circle is not just to allow participants to share their experience but to allow the facilitator to actively support the breather in bringing the benefits of their experience into their lives and support them in interpreting and framing it. In Holotropic Breathwork, the sharing circle does not include feedback from a facilitator – it is only for the participants to share about their experiences.

Similarities Between Neurodynamic Breathwork & Holotropic Breathwork

Both modalities share a core belief in the existence of an inherent “inner intelligence” within every individual. This underlying principle asserts that answers reside within oneself, and the facilitator’s role is to establish a secure and nurturing environment, enabling participants to tap into their inner wisdom and attain the specific experience they require in the present moment. Additionally, there is a notable similarity in the breathing techniques employed in both modalities.

Join Our Global NDB Community with a FREE Month Subscription

Over 35,000 individuals hailing from 120 diverse countries have embraced the transformative power of Neurodynamic Breathwork. Our online sessions are affordable and accessible with several classes on offer every week. If you would like to join our transformational sessions, and partake in faster, deeper breathing to transcend your ego, cultivate deep healing, and step into your fullest potential, we invite you to register for free! After your first free session, you’ll receive an email with access to a whole month of free online facilitated breathwork.

Once your one month free trial is up, you can continue your journey with our incredibly affordable subscription plans, which grant you unlimited access to our live sessions throughout the month. The price of the subscription is just $57.00/month or $497/year. For couples eager to embark on this journey together, we provide a special discount of only $67.00 for both of you, making NDB an incredibly accessible and enriching experience for pairs.

Click here to find out more about our online breathwork process.

©2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Related Articles

Subscribe to our mail-list!

Join Breathwork Online’s 65,000+ subscribers and receive news, special offers, invitations to free breathwork sessions, events and conferences, and inspirational material on breathwork, healing and personal development. Become radically self-empowered with us. Unsubscribe at any time.