In a past blog I mentioned the person responsible for getting me interested in breath work again was Wim Hof. Today I want to introduce you to this eccentric man who began an entire movement around the power of the breath.
Known as “The Iceman” Wim Hof was born in the Netherlands in 1959. His nickname “The Iceman” comes from his many Guinness Book of World Record feats. These include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and parts of Everest in shorts. He also ran a half marathon barefoot above the arctic circle and spent 112 minutes in ice. 😳
Though interested in the cold at an earlier age he truly began practicing cold exposure as a means to help him cope with the loss of his wife. Through submersing himself in the cold for long periods of time and the study of Tummo Meditation he developed his breathing method that is now taught around the world.
The Wim Hod Method, or WHM, includes 3 aspects. They are breathing, cold exposure, and meditation with movement. The breathing method and cold exposure far out weigh the third pillar in practice. The breathing method includes breathing full big breaths in, but only exhaling 80-90% of the air out in a rhythmic fashion. After about 30 breaths the practitioner exhales their air and holds their breath. (Once used to the method they can easily hold the breath for 2:00 during this phase.) At the end of the hold they breathe in a full breath, hold for a few seconds, and begin the 30 breaths over again.
*Warning: Do NOT attempt this while swimming as it takes away the strong urge to breath
Exposure to the cold is done a little more gradually. If interested in getting in cold water the easiest way is to begin by ending your showers with cold water. You can increase the time you spend in the cold every few days until you can tolerate cold only showers. After this you will be ready to begin ice baths! 🥶
Wim Hof and these methods have taken the fitness and health world by storm to say the least. If interested in trying out the WHM or learning more check it out at https://www.wimhofmethod.com/