Tips to develop your own Wim Hof Method practice

24 May, 2020
By Innerfire

Millions of people have heard about Wim and hundreds of thousands of people make the Wim Hof Method part of their lives, every day.

Like you, every one of those people is different.

Like you, they had their own reason for starting the Wim Hof Method.

And, like you, their Wim Hof Method practice is individual to them.

That’s the beauty of the Wim Hof Method, there’s no one-size fits all. It gives you the ability to be your own guide. To discover and explore your inner power and to create a practice that is unique to you.

So, what does that look like?

We asked six people to share why they make the Wim Hof Method part of their life and what their practice looks like. Read what they had to say and share your practice in the comments below.

 


Jesse C
Vincennes, Indiana, USA

My daily Wim Hof Method practice is something that has evolved over the five years that I have been practicing. It isn’t always exactly the same, but here is what my average day looks like:

Breathwork:
I do my breathwork upon rising. I do a round or two sitting up, just to get warmed up. Then I lay down and I do between three and five rounds lying on my back. I never count my breaths anymore. I just focus on my breath and the feeling of air filling and leaving my lungs. I never time my retention, and I don’t time my recovery breath. I simply allow the feeling to guide me.

Cold Exposure:
After my breathwork, I eat breakfast with my family. Only after breakfast will I take a shower. This shower is not for the purpose of practicing cold exposure. It’s just for getting clean. I wash my hair with warm water, but I use cold water for the rest of the shower. I usually do my cold training in the evenings, around 7pm. These days, I will start with a short cold shower to clean my body; then I jump into my chest freezer cold plunge for about 2 minutes for my daily plunge.

I practice the Wim Hof Method because it is a simple way to feel great. It doesn’t take much time out of my day, and I always feel great as a result. I used to have year-round allergies and chronic ear and sinus infections before practicing Wim Hof Method, but now I don’t. It has been a huge change for the better in my life.

I encourage everyone to get into the Wim Hof Method. And don’t feel like you have to take an ice bath early on! You don’t even have to take an ice bath at all! I think the best way to approach the Wim Hof Method is to look at it as a life-long practice. So there is no need to get into a hurry! Just take your time and the benefits will come!

 


Emma E
Lake District, United Kingdom
 

Nature is so important to my inner balance, so I make sure “nature time” is part of my daily practice. I have been practising the Wim Hof Method since 2016 and I enjoy exploring new places for waterfalls, lakes, river dips or swims.

My summers and winters are much the same, except perhaps in the summer I spend a little longer in the water as I enjoy swimming. Nature reveals and takes away, there are some waterfalls I cannot visit in the winter, but I can in the summer and vice versa, so I enjoy all year around cold water dips.

My typical day will start with breathing warm up exercises, then 3 or 4 rounds of Wim Hof Method breathing. More often these days I listen to nature while I breathe (birds, flowing water or waterfalls), but sometimes I like to listen to my breathing playlist, or I finish with a mediation.

My breathwork comes in waves of powerful visuals, a journey, or feeling more energy. Either way, the life practice and relationship I have with my breath is one I am loving and am glad I have started. The Wim Hof Method gives me so much more than breathing and the cold, it’s a lifestyle for me.

As Wim says, “feeling is understanding”. Every time I am in nature, I feel a sense of belonging, humbled and part of a bigger picture. Although I may go into the same waterfalls, each time is unique and special. I practice the unknown. This requires inner trust and surrendering to what is and an awareness of the present moment.  

The cold water gives me an understanding of the physical relationship with my body as well as a spiritual one. After my swim or dip, the horse stance is key for me as I don’t carry a lot of kit with me and I feel it's powerful to warm up naturally. 

As I am walking back, I am grateful of where I am and I feel a huge sense of ‘awesomeness’. Sometimes I remember the Wim Hof Method podcasts and realise how incredible my body truly is for doing what it knows to do.

 


Sven K
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Over the past 4 years of breathwork, meditation & cold exposure experience, I’ve slowly been tweaking my morning routine!

I try to do the breathing every couple of days. Generally, 4 rounds of 40 breaths, sitting on my couch, under a blanket. I like to play some deeply immersive music (like this) through my noise-cancelling headphones. 

I found that breath meditations and Wim Hof Method breathing are a wonderful combination and a way to gently ease into breathwork. They’re also a lovely practice to stay with and cultivate the afterglow.

Personally, I do the practice to connect to my heart, expand my mind and get clarity, especially, with lingering or hidden emotions, finding or progressing towards resolution with unfinished topics, restlessness or hard decisions. By really feeling what is happening on the inside, I can continue my healing process and adjust how I take care of myself and navigate the day. The breathwork is also simply and powerfully, a daily instance of magic and a deep experiential connection with an altered state. And that magic is invaluable!

For cold exposure, I do one of two things. 1) I turn the shower handle, so it is at its coldest and jump straight into the cold. On days where I feel more resistance, I either start with my hands and feet first, then move towards my core, or start off warm. I always end with cold though, so my body has the reminder that it needs to be able to warm itself up. 2) Whenever possible, I go for a barefoot run near the sea and do a few icy ocean dips. I’ll often go in, calm myself and surrender, go out, jump or run around (or do a little weird dance) and go for a second or third round. There is a big difference between summer and winter. The sea can be rough, especially with the tide and cold wind. If the winter sea feels too much, I start off with a shower.

Remember, as you are working on progressively stepping outside of your comfort zone, be patient and kind to yourself. There have been long periods where I’ve done the breathing everyday, and others where I felt more resistance and did it less frequently. That’s okay. Listen to your body, your intuition and remember how it makes you feel when you’re done! Keep it up & stay wild!

 


Leah S
Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains, Australia

I have been practising the Wim Hof Method for nearly five years. It came into my life when I was in extreme anxiety, stress and depression after separating from my husband. Panic attacks, poor sleep and an overactive, distracted mind were common.

I knew from my very first breathing session lying in my bed, guided by Wim, that I had found a tool that would change my life. I used the Wim Hof Method mobile app regularly and researched the internet to deepen my practice. Nothing compared to simply feeling, navigating and getting to know my own body in this practice.

My morning starts with 3-5 rounds of breathing. I experience visuals, lights, colours, insights, feelings of euphoria. Afterward my internal state is calm and at peace. I follow this up with either yoga or a run. Then I’m ready to dive into the coldest river in Australia, the Thredbo River.
 
I once deeply feared the cold. I now see it as one of my greatest teachers in life. People usually identify with their thoughts and feelings and attach to their mind & body, but my Wim Hof Method practice teaches me to transcend those limitations. My mind & body are a home that I can come in and out of, rather than a prison that I’m stuck in.

Every day before entering the cold I observe my negative feelings, unpleasant emotions and distractive thoughts. The cold proves to me I can overcome suffering and become stronger from it. I choose to suffer in the cold so that when suffering in life chooses me, I am equipped to handle it.  My way of life has brought me great peace within. I enjoy living in the moment, with focus and clarity.

Through the Wim Hof Method I have found purpose in life, a connection to something larger than myself. I enjoy sharing with people that creating consistency in their Wim Hof Method practice will increase their performance, resilience and understanding of their own mind and body, and help them live in optimal health. Knowing I pass something on that has completely transformed my own life gives me great fulfilment.

To change your life, you have to change yourself. Fall in love with taking care of yourself, mind, body and spirit.

 


Samuel W
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

I started practicing the Wim Hof Method in 2015. As a former elite athlete, I was enjoying a newfound depth in understanding of the link between my body, mind and breath of a dedicated yoga practice, and the access to personal power and freedom it gave. When I first tried the Wim Hof Method breathing technique, it totally shifted my perspective of what we are capable of and drew me into a whole new sense of possibility. 

At first, I practiced the breathing regularly every morning, typically 3-4 rounds, followed by a cold shower, to gradually build up, following the guidance of the 10-week online course. It was exciting to feel a whole new sense of energy growing weekly through such a simple practice. 

What I began to experience was that this set of tools goes beyond the bounds of a yoga studio, practice or workout. It was something that I could do on my own, at home, whenever, or wherever I wanted. It felt liberating to do something that could provoke my senses, expand my mind and make me feel alive like never before. 

When you cultivate a daily practice and embody the three pillars, you commit yourself to nudging the needle of your own evolutionary potential. As Wim has always said, ‘your fitness it 100% mental, your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t take it’. In that sense, what I enjoy about this practice is that consistency compounds. It becomes a lifestyle, an awareness that you bring into every corner of your life. It teaches you how to adapt, regulate and humbly pioneer a resilient mind by strengthening the connection between brain and body. 

As the saying goes, the only thing that doesn’t change is change. Which is what makes this practice so exciting. Though the seasons change, I can adapt my practice to continue year round. There are times leading up to winter that I focus more on breathing to build up my energy and focus in preparation for a dip in a frozen river, barefoot snow walk or hike wearing minimal layers in the cold. In parallel, my cold exposure frequency changes from a non-negotiable once a week – to daily, just as breathing practice will range from short to long sessions, depending on the day. 

What lives in the heart of it all is growing awareness and connection to nature. Through commitment to practice and humility to respect the process without force, we awaken a confidence within to intuitively explore the possibilities of our own evolutionary potential. 

I wish you all the best in your learning, growth and development!

 


Jun L,
Taos, New Mexico, USA

First thing in the morning, I get out of bed and brush my teeth, then I open up my body with yoga, before stepping outside and going straight into 3-4 rounds of Wim Hof Method breathing. It sets the tone for the rest of my day physically and mentally, and it gets me to tune in spiritually with myself, nature and life. It’s a way to ‘reset’ and start my day fresh.

I’ve been practicing the Wim Hof Method since 2016. It has taken my yoga practice and meditation so much deeper and it continues to unfold, leaving me feeling energized, grounded, and inspired. 

In the summer, I do daily cold showers after my yoga and Wim Hof Method breathing, and ice baths whenever possible. In the winter, I still do daily cold showers, but add hiking to local rivers and lakes for cold dips in nature. Cold exposure in nature is very different than at home. All the elements - the beauty of the mountains, trees, snow and sky, the feel of the wind and cold earth and the sounds of nature - create an atmosphere that work synergistically with the Wim Hof Method. Working with cold in nature has been a big part of practicing the Wim Hof Method and feeling that energy within.

Things always look different after I practice the Wim Hof Method. Colors look brighter, sounds become sharper, and my mind is clearer. I find that ‘zero point’ of stillness that usually comes after a long meditation or yoga practice. And most of all, gratitude flows more easily and I feel connected and sovereign afterwards. I remember that life is a gift, and that somehow life is actually living me through me. 

Breathwork and cold water always help me change states. From tired to energized, irritated to calm, unmotivated to empowered, and from indifferent to humbled and grateful. My perspective expands. After a breathing session and cold dip, interfacing with myself through the breath, humming, and horse stance always puts me back in tune with my body and in alignment with my inner guidance. It has been a powerful way to course correct or get back ‘online’ whenever I feel off track.

I love to remember Wim’s indomitable spirit and big heart whenever I jump into a cold shower, deep into the breathing, or on one of those epic cold dips in nature. It usually puts a big smile on my face while I hear his words echo “BREATHE MOTHER#$@%*!”

 


Keen to learn more about the Wim Hof Method and develop & deepen your own practice?

There are plenty of ways to learn:

We love as many people as possible to learn about the power of the breathing, cold exposure and commitment techniques. How you choose to do that is up to you. Just take that first step.

With love,
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