Breathing is essential to stay alive, and since our body breathes on its own, we rarely give it a second thought.
You probably don’t realize how much your breathing patterns fluctuate throughout the day based on your mood, surroundings, and the time of day.
However, people have consciously controlled their breathing to create specific effects in the body for centuries — primarily through the practice of yoga and meditation.
I’ve shared my experiences on HMP in the past with using breathing techniques for stress relief and to reduce anxiety. It’s amazing how quickly breathing exercises work for these purposes.
During some of the most stressful times in life, I do 10 minutes of Kundalini Yoga a day, which is a form of meditation that involves deep breathing techniques. While I never adopted this practice as a lifestyle, I can attest that it’s a highly effective form of yoga if you are dealing with stress and anxiety.
Cold therapy is something I also discovered in college. Although I didn’t start taking cold showers until after college, I would do ice baths in college on occasion for the immune and metabolism boosting effects.
After experimenting with various types of breathing exercises and cold therapy over the course of about five to six years, you can imagine how intrigued I was when Wim Hof popped on the scene.
Like most people, I discovered Wim Hof when we went on the Joe Rogan podcast and his Vice documentary came out. If you’re wondering who he is and what he has to do with this article, I’ll explain.
Who is Wim Hof?
Wim Hof is one of the most interesting people I’ve discovered in the last several years. Rather than me trying to explain his story, you really need to see him and hear him speak for yourself.
Wim Hof has taken breathing exercises and cold therapy to the extreme, and as a result, he is breaking barriers in the area of mind-body connection.
Hof claims that his techniques will increase your energy, improve your immune system, reduce stress, help you sleep better, heighten your focus, strengthen your mental toughness, and enhance your creativity, among other benefits.
That all sounds great, but the amazing part is that scientists are putting him to the test — and the results continue to prove him right.
Once you experience the power of intentional breathing, you will be amazed that you overlooked it for so long.
Since most of us spend our days sitting in chairs, we have created a habit of shallow breathing that limits the amount of oxygen in our body. Sure, we get enough to live and stay relatively healthy, but we don’t get near as much as we could if we were seeking peak performance.
Out of the different breathing exercises I’ve done over the years, none have had such a profound effect in such a short amount of time as Wim Hof’s breathing technique.
You don’t even need to buy his course to learn it. Watch this video below to see him walk Lewis Howes through the process.
Breathing literally changes your body chemistry in a matter of minutes.
Heightened oxygen levels from Wim Hof’s breathing technique can:
- Increase energy
- Reduce stress levels
- Augment immune response to quickly fight pathogens
I can already imagine the skepticism you’re feeling, but don’t knock it until you try it. After all, what could you possibly lose from spending five minutes breathing?
The breathing exercises are the fun part of the Wim Hof method. However, most of his course focuses on cold therapy — which is more challenging.
If you’ve been taking cold showers already, you know what I mean. It’s very challenging at first because it’s uncomfortable. Fortunately, your body adapts and you get used to it.
The Benefits of Cold Shower Therapy Include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Increased immune function
- Increased metabolic rate (fat loss)
- Boost in testosterone levels
- Healthier skin and hair
- Decrease in inflammation in the body
- Increase in stress tolerance
Cold showers not only wake you up, they make you feel more alive!
Wim Hof takes cold shower therapy to a new level, challenging you to gradually expose yourself to colder and colder temperatures.
Although his course doesn’t get nearly as extreme as his personal practices, they will certainly push you beyond your normal comfort thresholds.
Watch his Vice documentary to see how far he’s pushed his own body using his techniques.
I truly believe the Wim Hof Method is one of the best courses for self-improvement available today. We’re going to see thousands of knockoffs of his work in the next few years, but there is only one Wim Hof and his spirit and energy are a big part of what makes his course so special.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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