AP 22 • Wim Hof • The Man Beyond Fear

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“Breathe, motherfucker.” Wim Hof

In this episode of the Ascend podcast we are joined by Wim Hof.  Wim Hof (@Iceman_Hof) is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold. He is the creator of the Wim Hof Method and holds more than 20 world records. Wim routinely asks scientists to scrutinize and validate his feats. Here are just a few examples:

  • In 2007, he climbed past the “death zone” altitude on Mount Everest (~7,500 meters) wearing nothing but shorts.
  • In 2009, Hof completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F). Dressed in nothing but shorts, Hof finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes.
  • Hof holds the current Guinness World Record for the longest ice bath, now set at 1 hour 53 minutes and 12 seconds.

But it’s not just cold.

  • In 2011, he ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. The run was performed under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels. He can also run at altitude without suffering from altitude sickness.
  • In the same year, he was injected with toxins under doctor supervision and demonstrated that he could effectively control his autonomic immune response. Wim was able to raise his cortisol levels and lower his blood concentrations of cytokines (inflammatory mediators) using solely his meditation and prep techniques.

Not only this, but he was able to train others to achieve the same effect… with only 4 days of training!

We dig into all this and more.  We loved this conversation and hope you do, too…

**WARNING: AS I’VE EMPHASIZED BEFORE, NEVER DO BREATHING EXERCISES IN WATER OR BEFORE TRAINING IN WATER. SHALLOW-WATER BLACKOUTS CAN BE FATAL.**

EPISODE BREAKDOWN:

  • No social dogmas and religion 
  • The moment were Wim met the cold.
  • How can a man from the Amastdam  teach the whole world about human pisholgy
  • Wims most challenging cold exposer,
  • Officially swam under ice for 66 meters, unofficially swam under ice for 120 meters with one breath
  • Ran a full marathon in the Desert without water and how he lowered his body temperature in the hot climate and how did you train yourself to endure the high temperatures ?
  • Hanging on one finger at an altitude of 2000 meters
  • 7. The power of your mind and.What goes on in the mind of wim hoff when he faces these challenges
  •  Fear 
  •  The Methods you use to get people in states like this.
  •  Does Wim release more DMT during his breath work
  •  How Wim controlled stress hormones and his immune response when he was injected with an endotoxin at the Radboud University 
  • The activities Wim took his subjects through on the first day of training to control their immune response to being injected with an endotoxin 
  • The breathing exercises he put his subjects through, how are they used to control their immune response?
  • When wim was injected with the endotoxin what was he thinking in his mind?
  • Our own intuition and wim journey along the way when no one really understood the path he was on ?
  •  Why Does wim think no one else figured this out or told us this  
  •  Wim ends this podcast and talks us through a breathing practice

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The Wim Hoff Method  

**WARNING: AS I’VE EMPHASIZED BEFORE, NEVER DO BREATHING EXERCISES IN WATER**

 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.

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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

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!

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Wim's Free Online Breathing Course

CONNECT WITH WIM:

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PODCAST MUSIC:

Special thanks to Marcus Warner  for podcast intro and outro If Elephants Could Fly  connect with Marcus at his website marcuswarnermusic.com Please check out his amazing work such a talented young Composer

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