For the past years I have been training with a method invented by Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof, a Dutch man holding no less than 21 Guinness World Records. He has demonstrated extraordinary abilities, like climbing Mount Everest in shorts, running a marathon in the snow bare feet, or in the desert without drinking water. What is even more interesting is that he invited science to test his abilities and monitor his physique during these great feats and says everybody can learn to do this.
He went to set up a training method called the ‘Wim Hof Method’ where he shares his knowledge. The four pillars of the method are cold exposure, breathing, physical exercise and focus. The benefits I experience are clarity and peace of mind, softer skin and no more fat hair due to cold water, strong clean healthy feeling in my body, and not being afraid of the cold.
Vice made a beautiful documentary about Wim:
He explains the basic but very powerfull breathing exercise for free on his own website:
Step by step explanation breathing exercise.
1) Get comfortable
Sit in a meditation posture, whatever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you can expand your lungs freely without feeling any constriction. It is recommended to do this practice right after waking up since your stomach is still empty or before a meal.
2) 30 Power Breaths
Imagine you’re blowing up a balloon. Inhale through the nose or mouth and exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. Keep a steady pace and use your midriff fully. Close your eyes and do this around 30 times. Symptoms could be light-headedness, tingling sensations in the body.
3) The Hold, retention after exhalation
After the 30 rapid successions of breath cycles, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without using any force. Then let the air out and hold for as long as you can without force. Hold the breath until you experience the gasp reflex.
4) Recovery Breath
Inhale to full capacity. Feel your chest expanding. When you are at full capacity, hold the breath for around 10 seconds and this will be round one. The breathing exercise can be repeated 3 rounds after each other.
5) After having completed the breathing exercise take your time to enjoy the feeling afterward. This feeling will be more and more like a meditation.
Als his podcast with Joe Rogan is very great: