Last week I attended a very powerful and fun Wim Hof Fundamentals workshop lead by Laura Hof.
The two focal points were breathing and cold exposure in an ice bath to strengthen your body and mind.
Breathing is the most powerful tool we have to elevate our state, mood and health. As babies and young children we know how to breathe incredibly well, taking deep belly breaths. After a while we disconnect from it and most of us forget how to breathe properly, especially when under stress. It is so essential though that it should be a mastery course all the way from elementary school throughout our lives!
Breath is the essence of our lives, not just in a literal sense, but it actually determines the quality of our lives. And anyone can do it.
Wim Hof breathing ensures optimal use of oxygen, which determines the amount of energy that reaches our cells and influences the chemical and physiological activities in our body. It helps regulate our nervous system, strengthens our immune system and helps maintain homeostasis.
It also increases neurotransmitters such as the happy hormones serotonin and dopamine.
During the workshop we did a series of fast and deep breaths, breathing in through the belly and circulating the air through the lungs towards the exhale. Then we held our breath for a while. I experienced such a powerful, blissful state of being.
At one point I just WAS, no thoughts, no mind, just pure bliss, deep relaxation and a natural high. I felt strong emotions of happiness and gratitude.
It's amazing how quickly and simply you can feel so much better and calmer by adjusting your breath.
After this special experience I knew that I want to keep integrating this in my life, it just feels so good! I now do the breathing exercises daily and plan to continue doing so.
The ice bath afterwards was very transformative. By completely surrendering to the circumstances, letting go of my resistance and being present, the cold soon felt less intense. Our thoughts are so strong and the great thing is we can completely reprogram them. By stretching yourself through your own resistance, you continue to grow.
Previously I always considered myself as someone not made for the cold, living for years in tropical places in Latin America and in the Middle East. And when I was in the Netherlands, I made sure that I spent at least part of the winter somewhere warm. The story I told myself was “Cold is not for me” which strengthened this belief. Sometime last year more and more people around me were consciously involved in cold immersion: a friend who does these breathing exercises every day and then takes a long dip in the canals, even in the winter. Another friend who swims in De Nieuwe Meer near the Amsterdam forest. People taking cold showers.
At that time I was in the Canary Islands for a while and started swimming in the cold winter sea. The huge resistance I initially felt before diving into the water turned into a sensation of vibrancy, happiness, focus and energy within seconds. It felt so good! After that I slowly started to integrate it and now I take a cold shower almost daily.
The health benefits are immense: from a stronger immune system, more energy, a stronger, clear mind, support for your heart, hormones, nerves, muscles to an improved sleep cycle etc.
I am very grateful to have been part of this transformative experience and have learned so much.
Laura is an amazing woman with a beautiful heart and energy, full of wisdom and a passion to support people to live their best lives.
As the daughter of Wim Hof, she has been shaped by this powerful way of living from an early age and as a WHM instructor she organizes all kinds of workshops and events in the Netherlands and abroad. She is a Holistic coach, nutritionist, passionate Biohacker and co-founder of the Ice Women Community.
If you feel called to experience for yourself what this breathing and ice bath can do for you, I really recommend doing this with Laura.
More information on her website.
For the daily breathing exercises I like to do these guided, because it helps me to go deeper, so I listen to Wim Hof in this guided audio and you can also download the free app.