Have you ever heard of a man break 20 Guinness world records? Not surprised yet? Okay, how about running across the desert in 50 degrees Celsius without breaking for food or water? That’s just some of the many unbelievable feats that have been accomplished by Wim Hof.
Who is Wim Hof?
Wim Hof is a Dutch born daredevil also known as the “Iceman”. This name is attributed to his unique ability to withstand extremely low temperatures. As part of his many feats, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with no clothes on but shoes and shorts. As if it wasn’t enough he went on and did the same on Mount Everest.
So how does the legendary Wim Hof manage to accomplish these superhuman tasks? Well, it’s all down to a technique he calls the Wim Hof method. It centers on controlling your breathing making you able to take charge of the various body systems.
That is not the half of it. One surprising benefit of the method is the capacity to control your immune system. Imagine if you could switch on the body’s defenses at will. You would have an edge against any disease that would normally leave you off duty.
By regulating and controlling your breathing, Wim Hof states that anyone can do what he does. All it needs is practice. Let’s take a look at what it entails and find out how we can use it to our advantage.
The Wim Hof Method: an introduction
This is a brief introduction to a basic Wim Hof technique, you should get the book for the full explanation and instructions. Here’s a video if you’d rather watch that:
This technique has many similarities with other yoga and meditation breathing styles. However, it is unique in its own special way. Wim states that he learnt it through exposing his body to the extremes that only nature can provide. By doing so, fear, cold, and heat become something that can be overcome.
The first step is understanding the breathing part. You need to do it rapidly similar to what happens when you area hyperventilating. The result of this is a feeling of invigoration, as well as boosting the oxygen levels in your body. Your cells and blood will receive a huge dose of oxygen.
Step 1: Get in The Right Position
The right position in this case is one that allows your lungs to expand to their fullest capacity. The best is the meditation pose where you are sitting comfortably. It’s even better when the stomach is empty as there will be no constriction.
Step 2: Warming Up
Take a slow but deep breath. Continue inhaling until you’ve reached your full capacity and you are feeling pressure on the solar plexus. Take a few seconds to hold the air in the lungs and then slowly exhale. When doing this, ensure you have pushed out all the air from your lungs. Do this for a maximum of 15 minutes to get yourself into the right state.
Step 3: Power Breathing
Imitating the motions of blowing a balloon, take a strong deep breathe through your nose and exhale through the mouth. During this time, your belly will be fully extended during inhalation and will contract to the inside when exhaling.
Do this repeatedly for 30 times. You should start having tingling sensations, being a bit lightheaded or as if you’ve had a slight electric charge run through you. These are good signs and show that your body is full of oxygen.
Step 4: Pay Close Attention
As you take the 30 power breaths, you should also be listening to what your body is telling you. Pay attention to the changes that are occurring. Be aware. If you are attentive, you can tell which parts of your body have more energy than others.
Notice any barriers that create the difference in energy levels and send energy to them. You might experience tremors and traumas. At this time, your body will start being full of warmth and the negativity will start to fade away.
Once people enter this phase, they report colorful images that swirl round and round. This is your chance to understand how such visions relate to how your body is feeling. Embrace the experience.
Step 5: Time to Hold
Once you have completed the 30 power breaths, take one last deep breathe. Fill the lungs to full capacity and ensure you don’t use force. Hen, exhale all the air till you feel there’s nothing left. Hold this position for as long as possible.
Continue to hold and try as much as possible not to breathe in. during this time, you should feel your body transfer the oxygen all across. Try as much as possible to relax. Do not breathe until you get the reflex to breathe also known as the gasp reflex.
Step 6: Take Another Breath
Take one deep breath and fill up your lungs to maximum capacity. Then hold the air in for around 15 seconds. This is the time to check how your body is feeling. Is there any tension, if so where is it located? Once you have identified these places, send energy to them and release the tension or blockage.
Continue to send this energy further into the body. Notice any dark areas that will fill up with light. Let go of everything else and move deeper into your body. Do this for 15 seconds and you will be done.
As with any other process practice is key. You will need to do this again everyday to get the hang of it and soon you will be a pro. You can also increase your practice to two times a day. In case you experience headaches or pain, stop immediately and breathe normally.
Learn more about the Wim Hof method!
To learn more about this method you should check out his books and learn as much as you can. This is an incredible man who’s accomplished some great things. More than that, he’s pushing the boundaries of what we can do as humans.