Ideas, Training

The Wim Hof method

Why I take a cold shower every day, and spend fifteen to twenty minutes doing breathing exercises?

Wim Hof figured out how to tap into our immune system and control it. While taking a cold shower there is no time to think only feel. It is all about breathing deeply, being in the moment and being present. It takes our busy minds off the million things we ponder around every day, for those three or four minutes the mind stands still. The colder the water, the more our immune system fires up and starts working for us. There is no actual immediate threat, so we prime our body to fight and prepare for real everyday life.

The same thing is happening while doing breath work. After about thirty deep breaths, comes the exhale and hold. First two rounds in my experience go over two minutes and the third & fourth usually over three. Each round gives me more stillness and flow, then after four rounds I am calm. Ready to tackle the day and everything that comes with it.

Here is the why:

Wim Hof breath work is as simple as a task can get. Thirty deep breaths and after the last one exhale, hold and relax. When you feel like you need to, take a deep breath in, and hold for fifteen seconds. Breathe out and slowly start again. Here is a guided session for you to follow, when you do it for the first time.

This is the How:

Now comes the cold showers, which we are all very hesitant on doing in the beginning. Easiest way to start? Take a normal shower, like you always do, crank up the heat as much as you want. Once you are ready, finish it off with 15 seconds of cold shower. Anyone can take fifteen seconds of cold shower, especially if you prime it with a couple deep breaths and get mentally ready for it. Commit and go all the way, as cold as your shower gets. Then next time go for twenty, then thirty seconds and so on. The trick is not to fight the cold, but embrace it. Let it go and relax, stay present. The cold teaches us to be in the moment. Once you are confident enough, start with the cold from the beginning. If it is too much all at once, spray that cold water over your feet, then arms and follow with your entire body.

For me it is way easier to go for a long cold shower after a workout. Once my body is already warm from an activity, it is like starting with a hot shower and warming up your body that way. In the end it is all in your head, so see what works for you and do that. My advice is, never skip a day doing a cold shower though. Even if you are already doing two or three minute long showers, days come when you ask yourself, can’t I just relax today and enjoy a hot shower? On those days I usually end the hot shower, with at least a fifteen second cold one. Once I start, I realize how good it feels and usually keep going.

Digging deeper:

Whenever I get into something new, I like to understand everything surrounding the How and especially the Why. If you would like to know more about both these questions I recommend you check out this interview. Russel Brand, in my opinion, has a very unique and awesome perspective on life. He asks the right questions and this is by far the best interview with Wim Hof I have seen to date.

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