New Year, New Challenge – The Wim Hof Method (WHM)

Wim Hof Method

One of my New Year’s challenges is to try out the Wim Hof Method (WHM) to see what is does for me, what I can learn from it and how it relates to stuff I already know about and/ or practice.

My first impressions are very positive – effective breathing, meditation and energizing. I’ll write a series of blogs about my experiences as they develop.

So, here is the first one;

Wim Hof Breathing

I do like this. It takes me around 10 minutes to do the simple breathing exercises (3 sets) and then another 10 to 15 minutes meditating afterwards.

My approach to this was to follow Wim’s recommendations of breathing into my abdomen deeply (lying down), then into my chest and then feel as though I was breathing into my head. Then letting go with my body and breathing out relatively heavily.

He recommends to practice this cycle 30 (optionally to 40) times. Then to breathe out and hold your breath for as long as you can. I can manage around 60-70 seconds reasonably easily.

Then after this to take a deep breath in and hold it for another 10 to 15 seconds. The 30 breath cycles, expired breath holding and inspired breath holding, forming one complete set.

After 3 sets I do feel very chilled and ready to meditate, but I’ll describe that part in my next post.

For me the breathing session is about double the time I would normally practice and engages the upper chest more than I would normally do.

Mindfully Connected Method

Adding in the Mindfully Connected Method (MCM): I use structured abdominal breathing to emphasise the depth of abdominal breathing, following that with a wave of MCM structured upper chest breathing and then MCM Vertical Head Line Expansion.

Adding in the MCM components definitely enhances the WHM breathing approach for me.

Systema Breathing Trick

There is also a trick from Systema breathing that allows you to hold your breath for longer: You will notice that after 30 or 40 seconds you’ll start to get a tightness in your chest and a panic desire to breathe. Try and ‘swallow’ this feeling. At first you’ll only be able to swallow this panic feeling once or twice. After a bit of practice you can get to swallowing it for 5 or more times and your breath hold will then go past the one minute mark relatively easily.

So Far, So Good.

I like the extended breathing approach, I can relate well to it and I can feel it is doing me good. I can also enhance it will a few additions from my current practice.

Next Post: Meditation stage