Wim Hof markets a regimen, the Wim Hof Method (WHM), created alongside his son Enahm Hof. The method involves three “pillars”: cold therapy, breathing and meditation. It has similarities to Tibetan Tummo meditation and pranayama, both of which employ breathing techniques.
Breathing There are many variations of the breathing method. The basic version consists of three phases as follows:
Controlled hyperventilation: The first phase involves 30 cycles of breathing. Each cycle goes as follows: take a powerful breath in, fully filling the lungs. Breathe out by passively releasing the breath, but not forcefully. Repeat this cycle at a steady pace thirty times. Hof says that this form of hyperventilation may lead to tingling sensations or light-headedness. Exhalation: After completion of the 30 cycles of controlled hyperventilation, take another deep breath in, and let it out completely. Hold the breath (with lungs empty) for as long as possible. Breath retention: When strong urges to breathe occur, take a full deep breath in. Hold the breath for around 15 – 20 seconds and let it go. The body may experience a normal head-rush sensation. These three phases may be repeated for three consecutive rounds.
So what exactly does this Wim-Hof method entail?
A.Breathing This is the core of what makes the Wim-Hof method work. The idea behind the breathing is to do 30-40 reps of inhaling fully and exhaling partially. At the end of the 30-40 reps, you need to hold your breath. Do this cycle 3-4 times. On the 5th cycle, you continue with the breathing. This time, not only do you have to hold your breath, you also need to do push-ups. The breathing exercise fuels your body with oxygen. I would think sinus and migraine is somehow related to not having enough oxygen in your veins or blood vessels. This exercise trains you to breathe properly, as a result, you feel your body being a bit oxygenated. You can get a tingling sensation. If all this sounds a bit voodoo, try it for yourself, and see what it feels.
B.Yoga In the Wim-Hof method, yoga is a combination of stretching and strange poses. Well, that is generally the definition of yoga. The more you do it, the more you can stretch. The more you practice it, you will be training yourself to even do the complicated pose. While doing the yoga, you still need to continue with the breathing. Breathe deeply, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale. Focus on the point where the pain is while you are stretching and breathing. Somehow the breath helps alleviate the pain helping you stretch a bit further.
C.Meditation I don’t think I got this even after 10 weeks. He suggests you should see some white light during the 4-5th week. I did not see anything. I tried to focus on seeing something, but nothing. Meditation, I am not sure if it helps me or not, but trying to be patient for a few minutes, sitting still while focusing your mind on the forehead might have some impact. I just do not know what it is.
D.Cold Showers When it is snowing outside and you have to take cold showers, that require some willpower. There are medical benefits of having cold showers. For me, it was more of building the mental strength to withstand the cold for a few minutes. My tolerance to stay in the cold did increase a bit. I still have a long way to go.
So what have I learnt after completing the 10 weeks of the Wim-hof method? Was it some scam or it does help improve your nervous system? Am I different after the 10 weeks or it made no difference?
These are my top 13 things I learnt. And no, it is not a scam. Me being quite a skeptic, I would be the 1st to judge. This product sure delivers at a deep level if you follow it thoroughly.
No more shallow breathing. Start taking deep breaths. You start to utilise the full capacity of your lungs. Just by breathing deeply, you will be fuelling your body with more oxygen. The more oxygen you have, the more alert, the more energetic, and you feel good.
No more headaches and I can wear contact lens I have not had any headaches ever since starting the Wim-Hof method. This is a big one for me. Now, I can wear contact lens and feel at ease. My eyes hurt, but that is due to the contacts and my squint. Atleast this pain is not flowing all the way to my brain. It stops at the eyes.
I can do complex yoga poses. Who would have ever thought I am the most un-athletic person you will ever meet. When it comes to sports, yoga, endurance, I suck. So for me, going from some below average Joe to now executing yoga poses like GI I Joe’s is shocking.
Cold shower I would have never expected myself to dip in the cold. Especially when the temperature is 0degress and it is snowing outside. And yet, with focus, will-power and ‘just do it’ mentality I stuck to having cold showers for 7 weeks. I do switch between hot and cold when I feel uncomfortable. I also know that my tolerance for pain is improved. At least the tolerance of withstanding the cold.
Note: The last 3 weeks I stopped having cold showers
Discipline and accountability For you to stick with this program for 10 weeks, requires some level of accountability. Requires a bit of will-power and tolerance of pain. There will be days where you do not feel like getting up, you do not feel like doing anything, leave alone the Wim-Hof method. And yet you do it. After which you feel amazing; but in the moment it is painful to be disciplined. This is definitely a great way to train your mind to be consistent and disciplined.
More focus After the Wim-Hof method, I am able to concentrate for longer periods of time. I can software program for longer periods, get less distracted and get more work done. Sure the Wim-Hof method has trained my mind to have more focus. As a result, I can get more work done faster. With no headaches, more energy, more focus, I feel a bit limitless. Well, that is an exaggeration, but definitely, have improved on my focus.
Calmer and at ease Now, when I feel a bit anxious, I just do the breathing exercise. The breathing exercise is so simple; you can do it anywhere. The deeper your breath, the calmer you get. Being calm is not bad. It makes you think more clearly.
More motivated After being disciplined and having better focus, you automatically will feel more motivated. This just seems to be a side effect of the above results
Feel sharper and somehow my grasping power is improved. I am quite a dumb guy. Like quite dumb. If I feel I am learning something a bit quicker, I can FEEL IT. The other day, I was travelling to Miami. Every time you travel by air you are given a boarding pass which has your seat# and flight #. I rarely pay attention to those numbers. I tend to look at my boarding pass a million times to find my gate and to fill the immigration form. This time it was different. I was able to remember the numbers. I was paying attention to something I never would. That felt good but strange. I credit my increased grasping power to the Wim-Hof method.
Not to mention the things I am programming now. What I felt before as, “I don’t feel like learning or programming”, I am starting to think, what is it that I need to do now to get shit done. Leaving all my personal bias and preferences aside. As a result, I am able to do things what I previously thought was not my cup of tea. Like this template in which you are reading this blog. Programmed and designed in 2-3 days. Our new service that we are providing. Thought about it, designed and implemented in a week. More on how I am designing, go check out this blog. There are many other examples, only to name a few.
Increase speed of implementation, visualisation and thinking By just being more focused, sharper and increased grasping power, my speed of implementation is better than what it used to be. I can do things 3-4x times faster than before. I tend to take time visualizing what I am going to do before I execute on it. The more you visualise, the more vivid the information or task is, the easier it is to execute. The proof of my speed is in the work I am able to produce in the last few weeks. I now plan to up it up even more and get a lot more done quicker. Either be it programming, networking, blogging.
Powerful morning routine I have been doing the Wim-Hof method 1st thing in the morning. As a result, my day starts with a breathing exercise, yoga, meditation and cold showers. I then make my bed and start software programming or writing. This routine helps me get organised quickly. It builds my discipline muscle and what better way to start the day than by feeling more energetic.
Habit of recording your progress This is one of the most underestimated skills in personal development. Keeping track of your progress using pen and paper. In the Wim-Hof method, everything is tracked. How long is your retention, how many push-ups you can do, and you even need to record what and how you feel. As a result, this becomes a habit. I keep a stopwatch to record how long I have held my breath. I track how long I do push-ups and how many I do. I even track how long I do a particular yoga pose. What benefit does this have? There are a couple of benefits in my opinion.
You take the task more seriously.
You know where you were, and where you need to go. You are able to measure your progress.
The habit you cultivate can apply to other aspects of your life. You start to take feedback and reflect on how to improve your current situation.
These are micro-habits, but in the long run, they have profound effects.
Cultivating keystone habits If there is one thing this program has taught me, it is the ability to cultivate keystone habits. Think of keystone habits like dominos. You want to change a habit such that it affects all areas of your life, not just one thing. To fix my headache issue, I could be, don’t go under the sun, don’t run, don’t eat oily food, exercise more indoors. All of this are random habits to work on. With breathing, yoga meditation and cold showers, all of a sudden I can now run, walk in the sun, eat anything and not get headaches. Because the Wim-Hof method focuses on keystone habits. As a result, it impacts all other areas of your life profoundly.
What’s next? The last 3 weeks of the Wim-hof method, I did slack a bit. Because there was no instructional video for yoga. I did not know what to do. There is a 4min exercise and a 10-minute exercise. I will continue to do the 10-minute exercise. Now that I have completed the Wim-hof course, good chances I may do it again in the future, but now, I plan to focus on building more muscles. Next, I will be following the Tacfit Commando and Mass-Assault program. This is a completely different program and seems to fit well into what I need to do next.
I will also be attending the workshop in Vancouver. I will get to see him live in person and ask more about how to do the meditation properly.
Do these benefits seems promising? Would you consider doing the Wim-Hof method? I cannot tell you if it will work for you or not. For me, I got immense value from it. Share your comments if you have done the program or would like to do the program. No, I am not affiliated with Wim-Hof by any means.
The Method The Wim Hof Method is similar to Tummo (inner heat) Meditation and Pranayama (yogic breathing). Yet it is something else entirely. While Wim has studied yoga and meditation for many years, this technique primordially comes from what he terms ‘cold hard nature’. By subjecting himself to the bitter conditions of nature, he learned to withstand the extreme forces of cold, heat and fear. If you learn this method or technique correctly, it will empower you do to the same.
The first part is a breathing exercise which can be likened to controlled hyperventilation. This is, of course, an oxymoron. Hyperventilation is something which happens involuntarily. But just imagine the breathing part, without any of stress triggers that normally cause this way of breathing. The image will consist of rapid breathing that makes one languid, invigorates one, makes one high on oxygen. One mechanism of this practice is the complete oxygenation of your blood and cells.
Before you try this at home make sure that you don’t do this:
underwater while driving while standing up without approval of your medical caregiver Please be mindful that practicing this method is completely your own risk.
Get comfortable and close your eyes 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.
Warm Up Inhale deeply. Really draw the breath in until you feel a slight pressure from inside your chest on your solar plexus. Hold this for a moment and then exhale completely. Push the air out as much as you can. Hold this for a moment. Repeat this warm up round 15 times.
30 Power Breaths Imagine you’re blowing up a balloon. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. The belly is pulled inward when you are breathing out and is pulled outward when you are breathing in. Keep a steady pace and use your midriff fully. Close your eyes and do this around 30 times or until you feel your body is saturated with oxygen. Symptoms could be light-headedness, tingling sensations in the body, electrical surges of energy.
Scan your body During the 30 power breaths, delve into your body and become aware of it as possible. Trace your awareness up and down your body and use your intuition as to what parts lack energy and what parts are overflowing. Scan for any blockage between the two. Try to send energy/warmth to those blockages. Then release them deeper and deeper. Tremors, traumas and emotional releases can come up. It can be likened to kundalini rising. Feel the whole body fill up with warmth and love. Feel the negativity burn away.
Often people report swirling colors and other visual imagery during this exercise. Once you encounter them, go into them, embrace them, merge with them. Get to know this inner world and how it correlates to the feeling of tension or blockages in your body.
The Hold After the the 30 rapid succession of breath cycles, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without using too much force. Then push all of the air out and hold for as long as you can. Draw the chin in a bit so as to prevent air from coming in again. Really relax and open all energy channels in your body. Notice how all the oxygen is spreading around in your body. Hold the breath until you experience the gasp reflex on the top of your chest.
Recovery Breath Inhale to full capacity. Feel your chest expanding. Release any tension in the solar plexus. When you are at full capacity, hold the breath once more. Drop the chin to the chest and hold this for around 15 seconds. Notice that you can direct the energy with your awareness. Use this time to scan the body and see where there is no color, tension or blockages. Feel the edges of this tension, go into it, move the energy towards this black hole. Feel the constrictions burning away, the dark places fill with light. Relax the body deeper as you move further inward, let everything go. Your body knows better than you do. After 15 seconds you have completed the first round.
Start this practice with one or two rounds. Try to do it daily and add two more rounds in a few days. After you feel more comfortable with holding your breath you can start to add exercises and stretches. Work up to a minimum of 15 minutes or 6 rounds with exercises. You can do this practice for how long it pleases you.
If you feel dizziness or pain, get out of the posture and lie on your back. Breathe easily again and stop this practice session.
Reserve at least 5 minutes after this practice to relax and scan the body.
Summary 30 times balloon blowing Breathe in fully Breath out fully and hold until gasp reflex Inhale fully and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat until finished Take 5 minutes to relax and scan your body wim hof method coupon superhuman control your immune system
Use this link to do the Wim Hof method Fundamentals course. Bonus Power-ups Add push-ups or yoga poses during the time you are holding your breath until you wait for the gasp reflex. Notice that you are stronger without air than you would normally be if you could breathe! Charge the energy up the spine by holding moola banda, contract the rectum & sex organ and pull the navel inward towards the spine. Stand up in squat position and do the balloon breath. Try to breathe away the burn. (get seated again the moment you continue the cycle, you don’t want to be standing and faint) See if you can get the energy overtake the pain. Don’t give up easily and see how far you can go if you have the willpower! Cold Exposure After the body scan of the previous exercise you are ready let your body embrace the cold. It is very important to try to relax as much as you can, really be with the cold, only then can your body process the signals and start thermogenesis. As Wim says, “the cold is your warm friend!“
Cold Showers If you are new to cold exposure, start with cold showers. Begin with your feet and then follow with your legs, your stomach, shoulders, neck and back and finally your head. An initial shock, shivering and hyperventilation is normal. Try to remain calm and breathe easily. Close your eyes and really try to embrace the cold.
If you feel any strong physical uncomfortableness, like heavy shivering, numbness or pain, get your body warm again as soon as possible.
Once you are out of the shower, take a moment to do another slow body scan before you dry yourself.
Cold exposure works like weight lifting, you get stronger over time. There are little muscles around your veins that contract when they get into contact with the cold. After some time (only 1-2 weeks according to Wim) these become stronger, making your veins healthier and reducing the force that your heart has to use to pump blood around your body.
You can increase exposure over time. At one point the cold will feel just as comfortable as wearing your favorite pajamas and you can skip the warm shower completely. Notice how you feel amazing after a cold shower and sluggish after a warm one.
Ice Baths After a few weeks of cold showers you can up the ante to an ice bath. Get 2-3 bags of ice at your local convenience store and put them in a half-full bath tub. Wait until around two thirds is melted or that the water has reached your designated temperature (10 / 12 °C (50 / 59 °F)). You can throw in a couple of handfuls of salt to speed up this process.
As with the cold showers, try to relax as much as you can. Start out with around 10 minutes and increase exposure over time. If you feel uncomfortable or in doubt, get out. After this exercise make sure you do another body scan.
It is normal to feel extra cold after a small period of time after the ice bath. This is called the after-drop. Take a hot glass of raw coca and keep your blood flowing by talking a walk. You’ll feel amazing after!
Please be mindful that you are doing this exercises on your own risk. Using any of these exercises while driving or being immersed under water can be extremely dangerous. When in doubt, talk with your medical caregiver.
These exercises are extremely powerful when done consistently and with intent. Always make sure you are save and can’t harm yourself or anyone else in the process. Try them and out and report your findings in the comments below! Remember, the cold is your warm friend.