Setting Your Space For Holotropic Breathwork

Setting Your Space For Holotropic Breathwork


It should come as no surprise that setting your space for holotropic breathwork needs to be thought out properly for an optimal experience. We want the mind to relax and drop into a meditative trance like state, dissolving the ego and transcending barriers or limits generally in place. The mind gets distracted when the room is too hot or too cold which.

When creating a safe space for yourself, this article can be a helpful reference, or if you plan to attend a group session, it can serve as an insight into what you might expect.

Lighting Considerations For Holotropic Breathwork Practice

Setting the ambience is essential for getting into the mood with so many intimate experiences we as humans enjoy.

Think about your favourite restaurant experiences and how they had set up the lighting.

Or the yoga and meditation class that keeps you returning.

Chances are they had given some serious planning and thought to their lighting setup.

You should too if you’d like the best experience.

Dimmer switches, lamps and low-level subdued lighting can make a big difference, as the glare and intensity of high lumen or un-dimmable lighting setups can be uncomfortable.

Whilst we’re big advocates of wearing eye masks or pillows to help dim the setting, getting the light right should be the starting point.

Especially true when you’re coming out the other side and have been wearing an eye mask for 60 minutes, two hours or even longer.

Additionally, eyes that have shed a tear or two are also more sensitive to intensely bright light; therefore, some work here beforehand can make a massive difference.

Setting The Temperature For A Comfortable Holotropic Breathwork Session

Given that most people tend to be comfortable between 18-21 degrees celsius, this is a handy reference point to aim for when setting up the space for a holotropic breathwork session. Although, depending on where you are in the world and the style of building you’re in, this could be easier said than done.

  • If it’s just you practising, go ahead and click the heating up a notch or two, open the window, or get the air conditioning turned on to suit.
  • Should it be a group session, consider the guidance range and adjust from there as you go.

Participants are encouraged to wrap up and get comfortable on the warmer side, and they can then remove items of clothing as they go.

Due to the nature of this activity, you may find that your temperature may fluctuate as you get the energy moving around the body throughout the session.

Airflow And Breezes

In addition to the previous point about temperature, if there is a breeze or draught in the space you can’t do anything about you should make it known, some people may prefer to be closer to it.

Flushing the space through before the session begins and opening up the windows to do the same at the end can assist in clearing the heavy, dense energy. Stale air full of released emotions, toxic splurges and dense energy can blow away into the ether.

Being Comfortable During Holotropic Breathwork Sessions

Laying on a hard wooden floor with nothing between you and the surface may not be the most comfortable for most people. Making use of yoga mats or layers of cushioning can make things more suitable for a long term, sustained position.

If you have joint problems, back complaints or anything else that may interfere, then some additional items may be required to ensure these don’t interfere with your experience.

Simple adjustments such as lower back support or cushion, pillows or props underneath the back of knees can be helpful.


Yoga blankets or similar items of soft and comfortable fabrics are essential to regulating temperature. Should they be too heavy or potentially itchy and irritable then they can be a hindrance more than a help. You’ll want to get snug and tucked in underneath one of these and should you get too warm during the session, you could remove it entirely or partially.

Pillows and Cushions

A pillow behind the head can help you keep the neck and upper body in a good position. If you try to cram too many behind you, it can tilt the head forwards and put a strain on the neck.

You want to avoid having your neck in an extreme state of flexion when doing breathwork as it can restrict your airways and breathing ability also.

Eye Masks

Another item that is generally considered essential is an eye mask. Wearing an eye mask stops you from looking around the room and help you switch off more quickly and get into the zone.

Adjustment on the fastening is needed to adapt to your head for optimum comfort as we don’t want it to be too tight or loose. Not having the clip at the back of your head is a small but relevant tip, especially with short hair, as it can become uncomfortable after a while.

The Perfect Playlist For Holotropic Breathwork

Curating an epic soundtrack that can transport you on a journey is one of the most significant factors in having a powerful experience. The right music can make your breathwork session and subsequent transformation and this selection of songs should not be taken lightly or left to chance.

You should plan, save and not place reliance on wireless technology too heavily to deliver your music. Ideally, download to an mp3 player such as an iPod, removing the wifi connectivity issues or buffering mid breath.

If you’ve decided to fish out the cd player from the museum, then double-check for scratches so as not to be distracted by jumping songs or jitteriness.

Since music is a personal preference, there is not a ‘one size fits all approach to selecting the fitting soundtrack. However, general consideration for the right style of music tend to have some of the following elements:

  • Drumming that can vary in tempo rhythmically, often increasing where the facilitator will encourage faster breath rates.
  • Vocals in a non-native tongue to the participaants, so you do not place too much meaning or focus on them. 
  • It has a tribal or ancestral kind of vibe, sounding familiar and spiritual in theme.
  • Melancholic beats, to bring about a chilled evocative feeling.
  • Volume to be ambient so that the host or facilitator can give instruction yet be loud enough to be immersive and get lost in the music.

Our YouTube Resources article would be worth checking out or a playlist like this one here on Spotify.

Fragrances And Personal Smells

As we’ve all encountered at least a few aromas which we deemed unpleasant or overwhelmingly strong. It is generally advised not to wear strong smelling perfumes or fragrances when doing breathwork as people have numerous sensitivities to these chemicals and the last thing needed if you’re to be stuck in the same room breathing heavily for upwards of an hour.

You’ll usually be advised of this beforehand, along with ensuring that you’re fresh and not likely to stink up the place with smelly socks.

Details like this are worth considering in advance as they too can have an impact on other participants experiences.

Placement Of Crystals In A Breathwork Space

The addition of some vibration raising crystals can be very beneficial within a healing space or sanctum; when strategically added to a breathwork environment, they are generally regarded as a worthwhile addition.

Working on multiple planes of existence, the energies given off by a large stone or geode can have a tangible presence and assist in the healing process. 

For the scope of this article, the two main ones worth mentioning are:

  • Amethyst 
  • Rose quartz 

Both are widely used and regarded for their properties and ability to help create a pleasant and harmonic space.If you’d like to read more about crystals, this website can be a good starting place.

Mobile Phones, WIFI And EMF’s During A Holotropic Breathwork Session

You are not usually permitted or advised to bring your phones into the space and should therefore hand this distraction device to the organizers at the start or leave it in the locker room, your car or a safe place. In the grand scheme of things and trying to provide an inviting space, we recommend turning off wifi and blocking EMF’s where possible.

Nobody needs to hear the chimes of your phone pinging away when trying to process their past, sure you could place on silent, but there’s always at least one who won’t.

Placing Participants During A Holotropic Breathwork Session

Every individual’s location within the room affects how they experience the breathwork session and should therefore be given sufficient allocation of time and thought. Over the duration of any session , you can expect to see movement, shaking, flicking and flailing limbs along with laughter, crying or yelling.

As a result, being a bit too close for comfort can disrupt the neighbouring participants. This is why we encourage sufficient spacing between people to avoid disruption. The last thing you need is a slap to the face or getting kicked mid memory recollection.

Not only will it be unwanted, but it could also abruptly snap you out of a profound process that you struggle to reconnect with. You objective is to sett up individuals with enough space to express themselves and let go of however they need without intruding on others or encroaching upon their space.

What To Do About Water During A Holotropic Breathwork Practice

Since spiritual and emotional work can become a thirsty endeavour having a bottle of water nearby is useful, so when you need to take a sip, it’s there for you. Glasses or vessels with no lid are not advisable as they are easily knocked over, which causes chaos and disruption.


With a bit of thought and consideration for the room and people attending, you can make a real difference to the outcomes by spending a little time beforehand setting up and clearing a space. While there is no generic one size everyone loves, but with some tweaking and refinements, these pointers will help to ensure a more prosperous and comfortable session.

Our Ultimate Psychedelics and Mental Wellness Guide offers a deep dive into the transformative potential of psychedelics and holotropic breathwork.

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Alan has been involved with marketing & content for the last decade, both for himself & helping others to level up their digital assets, where he now concentrates on writing copy & content he is passionate about.

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