Wim Hof Method: AKA “WTF???”
If you have subscribed to my YouTube channel or follow me on Snapchat (@skyler_irvine), then you already know: I have embarked on a 10 week journey known as the Wim Hof Method.
This is Wim Hof. The “Ice Man”. I first heard about him from Tim Ferriss. Then he went on Tim Ferriss’ podcast for an interview. He sounded crazy. I was intrigued.
Then I came across him again randomly (I think it was random) surfing YouTube. Kevin Rose, another Tim Ferriss connection, shared a video describing the benefits of the Wim Hof method that he had achieved in only a few weeks.
The last time something kept popping up in my life I ignored it far too long. It was meditation. To me, meditation was for hippies and yogis. I believed this despite many successful people, whom I admired and respected,sharing their stories of their success with meditation.
So I finally gave in. But not really. I tried it and it didn’t work for me and I chalked it up to my original perception that meditation is for hippies and yogis.
But then I tried it again. Only this time I committed. Combined with my Miracle Morning SAVERS, I downloaded the HeadSpace app and began the ten minutes for ten days free guided meditation.
I will never be the same.
This is why when the Wim Hof Method popped up in my life more than a couple times I decided not to hesitate. I signed up for his online 10-week course before I really did any research on it. What did I need to research anyway? Just an excuse not to do it of course.
Briefly explained: the Wim Hof Method so far comprises various breathing exercises involving holding your breath as long as you can, but only after exhaling all of your breath. My first attempt I lasted over 30 seconds.
Not bad right?
Soon after I passed one minute.
Like any muscle, training improves strength. So this makes sense. But the fact I saw such a drastic improvement so quickly is very interesting to me.
After the breathing, there is stretching and mild exercise. I am told the exercise increases in intensity as you proceed through the program.
Concluding the routine is a 30 second cold shower. Because time is relative, this 30 seconds is much longer than merely holding my breath the first time around.
In just three days I have to acknowledge that the greatest benefit of this method so far is its similarity to meditation.
I still struggle with meditation. I think I am too busy, I have too many thoughts and I just don’t have the time.
Yes, I even struggle with this KNOWING that mediation helps me.
With the Wim Hof Method, just a few minutes into the intense breathing exercises I feel the same amazing clarity that usually takes a lot longer with simple guided meditation.
I do not believe its a complete replacement yet, because its slightly different.
I am the best at meditating when I am exhausted. This is why I fell in love with Sumit Yoga. 90 minutes in intense heat knocks me on my ass. When this happens I stop thinking about stupid stuff and really find myself in the present. The Wim Hof Method does this also.
The deep and continuous breathing keeps you busy and gives you focus, preventing your mind from wandering.
Wim Hof Method = Speed Meditation. (So Far)
10 weeks from now I expect to be swimming under the ice in the Arctic catching fish with my mouth, but until then I have to admit there are many benefits to the experience even if cold showers aren’t pleasant.
Why Would You Put Yourself Through This Willingly?
Right now my life is as perfect as I could ever have imagined. I have a beautiful family and a wonderful house. I love my businesses and have many freedoms.
Our minds, unfortunately, need a sense of balance. You can’t have the good without the bad. If everything in your life is good then your brain will find something wrong. It has to.
Sometimes its anxiety or depression. Sometimes its picking a fight with your spouse or getting very angry at other drivers on the road. Sometimes its buying stuff you don’t need because its newer and better than the stuff you have.
I have found the best way to continually appreciate all the good things in my life is to remove certain advantages every once in a while.
Stoics, Buddhists and minimalists have very similar beliefs.
Additionally: “Why the hell not?”
Trying new things is fun. Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone, and the more uncomfortable situations you get yourself into the better you become at dealing with them.
What are some things in your life you think you can’t live without? What are some changes you could make, even temporarily, that would make you appreciate what you have.
Examples of things I have tried or heard others try:
- Using only public transportation for a week (bigger deal in some places more than others)
- Wearing the same clothes 7 straight days (washing them of course!)
- Getting rid of one thing every day for 2 months (Closes, objects, clutter)
- Spending less than $50 total for food in one week
- Not eating meat for 30 days (trust me, you will end up going much longer!)
- Unplugging your cable for one month or canceling it all together
There are a lot of things you can try. The best part is, no one is watching you. No one cares whether you do it or not. Because of this, you learn a lot about yourself.
Most of our problems derive from the fact that we cannot sit alone, quietly in a room for more than 10 minutes.