Becoming an Ice Woman – Week One of Practicing the Wim Hof Method
I say becoming the ice woman in jest in the title as ever since 2011 and a run in with hypothermia after World’s Toughest Mudder my tolerance to cold has never been the same. For about 7 months my partner has been into Wim Hof aka The Ice Man and his breathing practiced named – The Wim Hof Method. If you have never heard of Wim Hof the Vice Documentary below is great.
It took me a while to get on board with the breathing and teachings of Wim Hof. The guy has over 20 World Records but most seem like that of a freak of nature. Wim can withstand the cold like a champ and has shown over and over how he has mastered the control of his breathing and body temperature control. However, after watching and listening to enough interviews with Wim I realized, “okay maybe there is something to this”. It only took me a year and a half to get onboard fully since hearing him the first time. This interview with Dr. Rhonda Patrick is great to talk about how the body adapts to the breathing.
I first watched the videos on YouTube of Wim showing others how they could control their own breathing and alkaline their body and did try it a few times. But never got very far. I work much better when I have a teacher (thus why I always failed at yoga in my house). So I went ahead and purchased the Wim Hof Method 10-Week Course around the holidays with the 30% off discount that was promoted online.
After going through the first round of breathing and stretching I realized it was a good purchase (for me). Basically, so far (as the other weeks aren’t unlocked yet) Wim gives you a series of videos where he takes you through the breathing exercises and talks you through them (I like a lot) and then takes you through a series of stretches. The stretches are pretty standard and anyone remotely interested in yoga will see a lot of similarities in the breathing and stretching. You couple the work in the video repeating it daily with ending your showers with 30-seconds of cold water. One of my practices condensed down to less than a minute.
So, How is it working? I mean that is the question, right?
So for me, as someone who once practiced yoga for an hour and a half 2-3 days a week for a couple years, a lot of the practice is relatable to yoga. For those familiar with Box Breathing you will find it similar. Do you need to buy the 10-week course to work on this? Nope, but for me, it’s helpful to have the videos and the accountability of the program. Now that I have spent the money, would I do it again? Yes, absolutely. Also, my partner and I can do the breathing together, which is nice.
In terms of holding my breath, well the longest I have gone so far is over two minutes and the average is more around 1:30-1:40. I can feel the movement of the breath through my body and for me if nothing else 30 minutes of practice doing this breathing and stretching gives me the same euphoric feeling I would get from an hour and a half of yoga.
So for now, I soldier on with more breathing this week and practicing ending showers in the cold. Look for an update next week on how week 2 is going.