I’ve written previously about Wim Hof — Dutch world record breaker and adventurer, also known as the iceman, who is able to control his immune system, run marathons barefoot in snow and lie for extended periods on ice. I’m now going to be dedicating a series of articles to my experience of practising the Wim Hof Method.
For the next 10 weeks, I’m going to be doing the Wim Hof Method online video course and documenting my experiences on ThoughtBrick.
The Wim Hof Method is essentially about inner power and being able to control your body’s immune system and temperature by doing certain breathing techniques, mixed with physical and cold exercises.
About the Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method has been scientifically proven to influence the Autonomic Nervous System and the innate immune response.
Over time, we, as humans have developed a different attitude towards nature around us and we actually forgot one thing, “inner power.” This is the relationship by our physiological mechanisms to adapt and survive within our natural environment, which is direct and effective.
Because we wear clothes and control the temperatures at home and work, we have changed the stimulation on our body, thus the old mechanisms related to survive and function. As these deeper physiological layers are not stimulated anymore we have become alienated from them, and so our bodies have weakened and we are no longer in touch with this inner power. The inner power is a force accumulated by full awakened physiological processes. It also influences the very core of our DNA. — Wim Hof , Wim Hof Method
- Wim Hof can stay immersed in ice for 1 hour 13 minutes
- He can reach the top of Kilimanjaro barefoot wearing just shorts, in only two days.
- He also completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland where the temperature was as low as -20 degrees, dressed in only shorts.
Wim Hof is able to do all of the above using a practice he’s now called the Wim Hof Method. Hof is essentially able to “turn his own thermostat up” using his mind and gain control of his autonomic nervous system using certain breathing techniques and exercises.
Wim Hof Method — first impressions
I’ve just finished day one of the Wim Hof Method and can say that after doing the initial breathing and physical exercises, I feel quite exhilarated. A lot of meditation techniques help to relax you, but with this one — it seems to both relax you whilst also giving you loads more energy.
On the course, you get given a workbook, so you can record your progress each day. Before doing any of the exercises, I answered a series of questions such as ‘How is your mindfulness during the day?’, ‘How is your sleep in general?’ and ‘Do you experience cold hands and feet?’
I also had to record how many press-ups I could do with proper form and how long I could hold my breath before it became uncomfortable. Initially I was able to do 10 press-ups and hold my breath for a minute before it stopped being comfortable.
After some of the Wim Hof Method breathing exercises, however, in just day one, I was able to hold my breath comfortably with no initial air in my lungs, for 2:11 minutes. I figured this was pretty good considering I only really do breath retentions in yoga for up to a minute and a half.
Wim Hof exercises
You can check out some of the Wim Hof breathing exercises here and try the course for yourself.
Finally, I’m a Wim Hof Method affiliate. This means that if you buy the Wim Hof course through my site I will make a commission which will go towards my yoga education.