I had always wanted to meet a real life Jedi, someone who would totally inspire me, show me things I thought were impossible and be on such a high frequency, well after 30 years I finally got to meet such a man, his name is Wim Hof.
Known as the Ice man Wim holds 21 Guinness World Records when it comes to controlling his body and exposure to the cold. Wim is an autodidact and taught himself how to control his heart rate, breathing and blood circulation. All these functions are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Science tells us that the autonomic nervous system cannot be influenced by your own will, yet Wim manages to, by steering his hypothalamus (area of the brain that regulates the body temperature). Whereas the body temperature of an untrained person drops dangerously after exposure to extreme cold, Wim is able to maintain his core temperature constantly at around 37 degrees Celsius. Even after sitting 1 hour and 52 minutes in ice, Wim’s core temperature stayed the same! Now that is some real super hero abilities.
It was after watching a Vice documentary that I was instantly captured by Wim and what he was able to achieve, I literally said that I am going to meet that guy and train with him. I didnt know how, where or when but I knew I would do it. A couple of months later I was on my way to Amsterdam with my wife and two good friends Mat and Jake. Wim is from the Netherlands and if you have not yet had the chance to visit I totally recommend it. I have traveled around the world and I have to say that the Netherlands is up there with my favourite places to visit and spend time. People are so chilled and friendly, I love that everyone rides bikes, you just see signs of forward thinking everywhere and this appeals to me big time.
So what did i get from doing this day long workshop with a Jedi master? Real understanding of the most important energy channel in existence, breath. I always felt that breathing and meditation were at the epicentre of all true ability and Wim took it and put it right under my nose =))
We all sat in the room waiting for it to fill up, taking our own time to be present in the room, Wim with guitar in hand started to strum and freestyle, I loved it, I could see he was just so at peace in his body, content and happy with life and who he was and why he was there. His songs were all about presence, consciousness, being connected to ourselves and mother nature our great teacher. If he was selling those CD's at the end I would have brought them haha! mainly because it was just so real.
The room filled and he started to spill his heart, sharing his knowledge and telling us how everything he does is incredible and proven by scientists that monitor and study him. This helped the more sceptical of people in the room feel at ease, knowing what they were about to learn was the real deal.
After a good heart to heart we jumped straight in. Laying on our backs and doing the breathing exercises. 30 full breaths in, focusing on the origin of the breath coming from the lower abdomen then filling the chest and finally reaching the head area, releasing the breath to atmosphere, meaning just letting it out, not forcing it out just letting it go and not pushing past a comfortable release point. After your first 30 you exhale to atmosphere and hold your breath gently. In this space I started to feel so good, very relaxed and calm, when you feel you need air take another deep breath in and hold it at the top for 45 seconds and then repeat 30 reps with breath holds 3 times.
After the second set you start to feel a tingling around your body, sometimes in the head, arms, stomach, legs and it feels great, you feel light and floaty. I felt like time stopped and I was really existing in the moment. By the 3rd set I was floating away, so light in my body I could feel diss-atachment from the physical and myself traveling towards the astral. I know it sounds far out but it was amazing, and it was simply because I was fully oxygenating my body from head to toe, cramming in that life force energy, Prana or Chi as some call it. After I do 3 sets im just drifting, feeling so present and in touch, I feel incredible. When I come out of the state which usually lasts anywhere from 30-50 minutes im so peaceful and chilled. Like I just had a gentle magic mushroom trip or something =)
After our breathing and learning how to tune into our inner workings we went and did an Ice bath session, it was freezing cold as you can imagine but Wim was talking us through how to manage it, how to connect to that place above our autonomic reaction. If your reading this you probably know and agree that the mind is so powerful, it can do impossible things, we just need to program it to see the possibilities and no failure. Wim told us how singing a song can totally take your mind off of the fact your sitting in an ice bath and he is right it did help.
So to bring this story to an end, your probably thinking why should I bother trying it? Well its all about gradual exposure to the cold, (training) to build the bodies natural immune system, to strengthen our blood vessels, and all those tiny capillaries to do their job better, pumping fresh blood around the body. The health of this system is the foundation of our well being, fresh blood and oxygen makes us tick literally. So we go to the gym and work out our arms, because we can see them, so why not train our inner systems. Im now taking cold showers almost every day, I go to fresh cold streams and do cold submersion on a very regular basis and I am finding my cold tolerance has massively increased! Cold is also an anti inflammatory so always good for athletes and its exposure helps our bodies burn fat!
Other massive health benefits, Wim Hoff method has been scientifically shown to alkalise the blood, we know that illness and disease love to exist in an acidic environment and Wim's breathing techniques do the exact opposite and turn the blood slightly alkaline! This is epic news for anyone living with a disease and looking for ways to naturally cure themselves. I totally recommend trying this for 6 weeks every single day and watch your health and wellness return to how it should be.
This website and blog is dedicated to those things I learn in life and will carry them with me to my grave, those Life Level Ups, and for me this is up there! I have integrated his meditation method and cold water training into my every day life and I am really so happy I found Wim and went to meet the master.
To recap on the Wim Hoff Method (WHM)
30 Deep breaths starting from the stomach rising to the lungs and flowing up to the head.
Exhaling to atmosphere, (dont feel yourself squeezing the air).
At the end of each 30 reps exhale and hold your breath and relax, try to feel and not think.
Once you need air take a big breath in and hold at the top of your breath for 45 seconds aprox.
Repeat 30 reps for 3 sets, sometimes I like to do 4 sets or increase the reps just to experiment.
I can now hold my breath for 3 minutes and 45 seconds, I had never even thought about how long I could hold my breath until I started training WHM and felt I was holding my breath for ages! So there is another proven benefit.
I hope you enjoy this training and Life Level Up as much I do. Please do let me know how your experience goes, check out Wim's videos online and his website if you choose to do some training with the big man himself.