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Wim Hof Breathing

Updated: May 1, 2023

I came across Wim Hof Breathing when my friend Rob showed me his podcast episode with Joe Rogan and told me to start taking cold showers and jumping in the freezing cold Lake Michigan.

Wim Hof smiling and sitting on a couch with a brown dog

Wim Hof immediately caught my attention.

His goals for himself were extremely similar to mine… hard to define though.

Basically about listening to your heart, getting back to who we were back in the day when we lived a natural life, and living a life full of love.

But… that is not the reason he caught my attention.

He caught my attention because he was extremely unique, authentic, and he was a practitioner.

Wim Hof went down a traumatic life and found this way naturally. He just came across his method through trial and error.

  • Unique: His method is his own and it is claiming things no one claims.

  • Authentic: Just listen to him speak… he lives his method. I had a chance to talk with his son, CEO of the Wim Hof Method company, and his son said Wim Hof does nothing for the business besides (a) live the method and (b) talk about the method.

  • Practitioner: From the way he founded this method, to the way he lives now, he is not speculating one bit. He is only sharing his experiences and the experiences he creates for others.

What is still the most impressive thing of all… he is open to scrutiny and scientific studies. I can write another book on this (or you can just read his books on this!) but he makes a claim, prove it, and then opens himself up to anyone trying to debunk him!

That… is confidence.

What is the Wim Hof Method?

man sitting on the end a dock looking out onto a river and mountain pass

I do not want to explain something Wim Hof can better explain, so if you are interested, check him out. But for those who don't know, this is the basics of the method.

  • Breathing: Deep, focused, belly breathing followed by retaining your breath for as long as you can.

  • Cold Exposure: Ice baths, cold showers, any way to get immersed in the cold!

  • Mental Focus: Mindfulness exercises and practices to help

Why I do it…

The Wim Hof Method was proven to be the cultivation of several major priorities of mine.

  • Meditation & Mindfulness

  • Breathing Exercises

  • Discipline Building… Cold Exposures!

  • Plus… the benefits of the exercise itself (anti-inflammation, increased conditioning, and more!)

Today… March 2nd, 2022

Today I rose at 4:15 am like every day and drank 32oz of water and got right into my Wim Hof. WITHOUT LOOKING AT MY PHONE FIRST!

I started with round one of breathing. For about 25 breathes I took the biggest (but calmest) inhalation I could, and then let it go fully. While breathing in, I focused entirely on filling my belly, then my chest, and finally my head. All the way to the top of my head.

I find keeping myself calm with a low heart rate, will do this extreme inhalation aids in my enjoyment of the practice, as well as my performance.

As I continue, I start to find it easier to focus, but my mind wonders of course.

Then, when I get lightheaded and tingly after 25 breathes, I hold my breath.

Here is where the fun starts. If you use the app Wim starts to guide you through his thought process here. But regardless, if you can quiet your mind and become aware of the sensation in your body, you will have a fun experience.

Tingling. Electricity in your fingers and toes. And minimal thoughts crossing your mind.

You will soon start to get a feeling, an urge to breathe. But remain calm. The body can and will adapt.

Overcoming that urge and remaining calm is one of the most powerful aspects of this practice. The will to do that will influence your body to operate without that inhale. You will start to control the autonomic nervous system.

This is why I mentioned staying calm while breathing will pay dividends.

I believe the “goal” if there was one, is to get to a point where your curiosity about the sensory experience overcomes your need to breathe.

This is when you become one in control.

Then once you can hold your breath any more - take a big inhale and squeeze your core while holding your breath once more. The rush you will get is extreme.

Repeating this 3 to 8 times is how I start my day.

When I am done - I feel light, clear-headed, and very energetic.

Discipline of Happiness

This is building your mental resilience. It brings you out of the subconscious thought process when we just breathe because we feel the urge to, and into the conscious. We become the one in control.

The best part is there is a way to measure this, by trying to increase your retention time.

This is not a competition with others. Not even yourself really. But the body adapts to what you do.

If you improve your discipline, focus, awareness, conditioning, and breathing, the body will adapt with longer retention.

I hope to inspire someone or pique their curiosity to try this out for a week or two and see what happens.

Work case, you fall asleep meditation and get some naps in.

Also, check out one of my latest articles, "Guilt: My Limiting Belief."

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