Meet the Team Behind the Magic of BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System®

Jun 30, 2023

Giten & our core lead faculty share in a mini-interview what led them to BBTRS® and why they felt so inspired to share it supporting others on their path to embodiment.

Meet Giten Tonkov, Founder of BBTRS®

1. As the founder and creator of the Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release System® (BBTRS®), what was the initial inspiration behind developing this unique modality? And how has your vision evolved over the years?

The initial inspiration for BBTRS® came from studying a different breathwork modality and having a background as a massage therapist. I saw how powerful breathwork can be. But with my background as a massage therapist and bodyworker, I realized how the combination of both can produce the most incredible results. The first two elements out of the six biodynamic breathwork elements were originally breath and bodywork. This inspiration came simply by observing how the body responds to the breath and how bodywork helped people to go deeper into that opening. As I continued to explore, it became apparent to me that movement was also important and it became the third main element of this modality.

Over the years, my vision evolved as I continued working with the first three elements that I created with breath, movement, and touch (bodywork). I became more and more interested in how this work was impacting people. And began to wonder what new elements needed to come in to allow people to go even deeper. The inspiration came from observing what was happening in front of me while working individually and with groups. It evolved simply by noticing what needed to happen next. Noticing the direction that the work was taking and being attuned to what elements would support that direction, allowed it all to flow through almost effortlessly. That was the beauty of the development – it evolved simply through experience.


2. Your training in various body-oriented therapies is extensive, ranging from massage therapy to breath and body-oriented therapy. How have these different approaches influenced the development of BBTRS®, and how do you integrate them into your practice and teaching?

I would not have developed BBTRS® if I was not fully trained in these modalities that I have practiced for years. I became a massage therapist in 1994 and it was my main practice. And for at least 15 to 20 years, I exclusively practiced massage therapy in medical and rehabilitation settings. This gave me a strong basis for understanding the physical workings of the body, how the body responds to touch, and how the body responds to various aspects of touch. This helped me to get clear on the effects of bodywork in combination with breath, and on the physical experience of a person who’s been working with it. Biodynamic Breathwork is an amalgamation of several healing modalities that I practiced and studied including massage therapy, breathwork, body-oriented psychology, trauma-informed practices, and family constellations. All of that gave me a set of tools to bring into creating Biodynamic Breathwork and its six elements of breath, touch, movement, sound, meditation, and emotions.


3. Having lived and worked in various parts of the world, such as Ukraine, New York, Italy, India, and California, how have these diverse cultures and experiences influenced your approach to breathwork and trauma release?

Living and working in different parts of the world has certainly exposed me to a multitude of cultural, familial, and religious conditions, all of which people carry into their individual and group sessions. What we aim to uncover in our work, however, is that beneath all these layers of conditioning, we are fundamentally the same. Our essence does not pertain to any particular culture, family, sexual orientation, or identity. It is a neutral, divine nature that all of us possess, often concealed by various belief systems, identities, and affiliations.

The core objective of our work, particularly with BBTRS®, is to reveal this essence, this unifying force within humankind. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to release trauma, to let go of the tension we’re holding, to remove everything blocking this divine essence from flowing freely and allowing us to truly see each other. It’s a beautiful journey, and it’s deeply gratifying to guide people through this process of healing and self-discovery!

Watch below Giten sharing his first experience:

Click to watch.

Meet Nisarga Eryk Dobosz, BBTRS® Practitioner, Founder of Integral Body Institute

1. Your journey began with practicing Pranayama in Warsaw, Poland and has since spanned diverse traditions across different parts of the world. Could you share how these varied influences have contributed to your understanding and practice of the Biodynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System®?

The practice of Pranayama and yoga has brought a profound understanding of body awareness into my life, greatly influencing my work with Biodynamic Breathwork. Through these practices, I have cultivated a deep connection with my own breath and learned to harness its transformative power. This heightened body awareness has allowed me to guide others on their own self-discovery journeys through the breathwork modality. By helping individuals attune to their breath, I assist them in accessing hidden emotions, releasing physical tension, and expanding their capacity for healing. The integration of Pranayama and yoga into my work has not only deepened my understanding of the interconnectedness between the body, mind, and spirit but has also provided a powerful tool for facilitating profound transformation in others.

2. You’ve recently completed Dr. Gabor Mate’s Compassionate Inquiry training. How has this influenced your work, and how do you see it integrating with the other therapeutic techniques you employ, such as Biodynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System®, Myofascial Energetic Release bodywork, and Lomi Lomi Nui massage?

The training in Compassionate Inquiry (CI) by Gabor Mate has had a profound and powerful influence on my work with Biodynamic Breathwork, Massage, Myofascial Energetic Release bodywork, and Lomi Lomi Nui massage. The CI training was a deeply transformative experience that has enriched my therapeutic practice in countless ways. One of the main takeaways from CI is the ability to connect with my clients on a deeper level, guiding them to access their feelings from a space of embodiment and present witness.

Through CI, I have learned that there is nothing quite as impactful as a well-asked question delivered at the right moment. The art of inquiry allows me to gently guide my clients to explore the depths of their experiences, unraveling the layers that may be blocking their growth and healing. This skill has not only enhanced my ability to facilitate profound transformation in my clients but has also deepened my own understanding of the human psyche. With CI as a powerful tool in my toolkit, I feel more confident and capable of supporting others on their journey towards wholeness and self-discovery.

Watch insights from Nisarga on the effects of BBTRS®:

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Meet Prema McKeever, BBTRS® & Somatic Therapist

1. Your bio mentions that Zen Buddhism, earth-based wisdom, and the power of plant medicines played a significant role in your early spiritual journey. Can you share how these experiences shaped your approach to Biodynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release, and how they continue to inform your practice? 

Meditation, connection to the earth, and plant spirit medicine have not only taught me so much about how trauma is held in our bodies but have also shown me who we are beyond our trauma. Knowing and seeing our wholeness helps me to recognize each person’s resilience and resources, which is very important in BBTRS® for working with trauma in a safe and titrated way. These practices have also supported me in being connected to my own body, which is essential for resonance with people when they are in a BBTRS® session.

2. Having extensive experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Somatic Experiencing®, how do you think these methodologies integrate with Biodynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release in treating trauma and promoting wellness? 

I feel both modalities integrate very well with BBTRS®. From TCM, we understand how energy moves in the body and BBTRS® students learn about key acupuncture points that they can use in breathwork sessions to support their clients. Students also learn about the energetics of emotions from TCM and how they impact different organ systems and areas of the body.

Somatic Experiencing® has taught the field of trauma healing about the importance of working with smaller, more easily digestible pieces of activation rather than trying to push into cathartic emotional release, and BBTRS® has taken that understanding into the world of breathwork. These modalities have informed BBTRS®  and are part of the reason why it is such an effective and holistic modality for trauma release.

Watch below Prema sharing on Trauma Healing:

Click to watch.

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The BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System® 6-Element approach empowers your body’s natural process for healing.

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Terms and Confidentiality Agreement

Please make sure that you read the full text and that you agree with every detail mentioned here. It is very important that you confirm this agreement before attending any of our events.

By registering, I understand that I am required to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of demo clients and my fellow participant’s attendance regarding anything they’ve shared or processed.

By registering, I agree this will be a safe space of openness where cultural, historical, generational, societal, and personal differences are respected without verbal or physical judgment, criticism, or harm.

By registering, I am aware that recording equipment maybe be present during this workshop. If I ask a question my voice will be recorded and I may appear on video. This video may be posted on the Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release™ website, YouTube, FaceBook, and other media outlets.
If I do not want to appear on video it is my responsibility to inform the course facilitators at the beginning of course. In this case I will not be videoed.

By registering, I understand that I may be presented with the opportunity to participate in a recorded demonstration session in front of the class. I understand that my participation is voluntary. We may pause or discontinue my participation at my discretion or the discretion of BBTRI course facilitator or another Faculty member. I acknowledge that demonstration sessions may include questions about my personal trauma history and/or my emotional and psychological states. My decision to reveal such information is entirely voluntary. I am under no obligation to share anything I do not want to.

II understand that the BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release Workshop & Training can be physically and emotionally intense. By registering, I agree that neither Alexander ‘Giten’ Tonkov, Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release™ Institute, nor any of its staff, coordinators, assistants, faculty members, technicians, affiliates, the venue, or representatives have any responsibility or liability for physical or emotional harm, property loss or damage that may result from attendance at or travel to and from the Workshop and I hereby release them from all claims in connection with my attendance of this workshop.

I acknowledge that I am required to inform the staff about relevant psychiatric history, infectious diseases, drug use, and all present health conditions before participation in the training. I understand that no refunds are provided under any circumstance after the beginning of the workshop. I understand that BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release Institute (BBTRI) Staff reserve the right to request termination of my participation if I have not complied with all of the above guidelines, and/or if BioDynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release Institute’s staff deems it not suitable for me to continue at any point in the workshop.