1) Imagine if you could learn to use your mind and body to strengthen your immune system, control your autonomic nervous system, and cultivate more happiness, strength and health?
2) And what if learning to do this cost not a single cent, and took only 20 minutes of daily practice in the privacy, comfort and convenience of your own home or workplace?
Welcome to the Wim Hof Method.
BREATHWORK: DUTCH SUPERMAN STYLE
Dutchman Wim Hof, popularly known as “The Iceman,” claims to hold 27 world records, including running a marathon in the high Himalayas wearing only shorts, hanging on a high tension wire by one finger over a giant abyss longer than any human, and swimming under a frozen glacier the length of a football field using only a single breath wearing nothing more than goggles and a swimsuit. (And yes, Wim’s retinas both froze shut upon entry – fortunately he had counted the number of strokes needed to make his way to the exit hole.)
After years of exploring the limits of the human mind and body, “The Iceman” is bringing his “Wim Hof Method” to the world, transforming thousands of human lives for the better and rewriting scientific textbooks (literally!) as laboratory researchers confirm ancient secrets that Hof has rediscovered; basic neurophysiological wisdom that allow all of us – regardless of race, gender, color, caste, creed, or age – to become more resilient human beings. Wim writes about his adventures in this brand new book – well worth a read for insights into one of #TeamHuman’s most remarkable individuals.
Following years of Wim Hof training, Lindsey and Rob, our two Peak Flow co-founders – became certified WHM instructors during winter 2021. The Hoffing community is an emerging global one, fellow humans from all around the world pursuing greater resilience through a method consisting of three simple “pillars” which “The Iceman” explains with characteristic whim and verve in his new book entitled The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential.
WIM HOF BREATH EXERCISES – AND BEYOND!
For the curious and the questing, the WHM’s three pillars are:
Pillar 1 – Mindset/Commitment
The easiest of the three pillars to understand, and yet the most difficult of the three to master. Can we cultivate enough focus and commitment to invest twenty minutes daily to deepen the power of our minds and the strength of our bodies? “Energy flows where focus goes,” Hoffers like to explain.
Pillar 2 – The Breath
Some of us pursue a daily breathing practice, while many pay little attention to breathing – our most fundamental human activity. Wim Hof breathing involves lying down, getting comfortable, and pursuing a several rounds of deep inhalations and exhalations, punctuated by a short “breath hold” at the end of each. Done daily and repeatedly, this hypoxic breathing protocol, designed to exert a titrated dose of voluntary stress on the body and mind, unlocks more energy in our body, provides more clarity for our mind, and over time, reduces stress and increases our immune response to pathogens. Sound too good to be true? “Get high on your own supply,” as Hoffers like to say.
Pillar 3 – The Cold
“The cold is a teacher – merciless, yet righteous,” explains “The Iceman.” Indeed, immersing ourselves in cold water – be it a bowl of ice into which we gingerly place our hands or feet, 30-60 seconds of cold water immersion at a hot shower’s end, or a meditative dip into a cold mountain lake or river (be safe – work up to this, please, and always ice bathe with resilient friends) triggers a whole host of health benefits, including the release of epinephrine, the building of “brown fat,” more balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality, and lower levels of stress over time. “Cold is Gold,” Hoffers point out, and “Ice is Nice.”
Big picture – the Wim Hof Method is built around a simple neurophysiological concept called “hormesis” – each of us can induce “positive stress” through simple breathing and cold-water immersion protocols which, when done daily, catalyzes a host of health benefits.
BREATHING + FOR HORMETIC HUMAN RESILIENCE
For skeptics, Hof’s new book features an introduction by Elissa Epel, M.D. “The true story is that Wim has shown us what we all can do,” Epel observes. “The underlying method requires something uniquely human – the power of belief in ourselves, the power of strong intention combined with directed attention, the unique dialectical state of relaxing into physical discomfort and pain – of ice, of cold water, of breath-holding – I find this to be a remarkable state.”
Rather than jumping right in to the Wim Hof Method, we encourage a gradual strategic approach, with safety first and foremost. Peak Flow offers Level 1 Wim Hof Method fundamentals workshops – a 4 hour adventure which serves as a beautiful introduction to Hoffing. For the curious, we suggest perusing the Wim Hof web site, the free WHM app, and related free resources. Additionally, Hof has been featured on Joe Rogan, Vice, Netflix’s “The Goop Lab,” and a host of other news and documentary programs – search for Wim online and enjoy his unique energy even as you contemplate Hoffing yourself.
Interested in bringing the Wim Hof Method to your community, fitness organization, or board room?
Contact us here at Peak Flow – we teach WHM workshops all over the world.
Together, we’ll teach you to “get high on your own supply!”