Why we love Wim Hof

No doubt you’ve seen some crazy videos and posts of the VO crew getting chilly in some cold-water immersion.

It might seem counterintuitive- taking a cold shower first thing in the morning or jumping in nearly freezing ocean water. It certainly takes a bit of psyching yourself up and some serious mind control to surrender to the cold. However, once you understand the science behind cold-water immersion, there’s no denying its benefits.

We are STOKED to be partnering with Element Health in bringing Tauranga a full-day Wim Hof Immersion workshop[1]! In only 3-weeks time, you can get your chill on in some cold-as Kaimai mountain water.

What is the Wim Hof Method?

The Wim Hof method is a combination of breathwork and cold-water immersion. Sometimes, but not always practiced together, these two components are powerful modes of breath and mind control that boost your immunity, improve mental health, relieve stress, give you more energy, better sleep, and increase willpower.

The breathwork that goes alongside the Wim Hof Method is dope-(amine). Beyond taking you on a journey through your mind (perhaps even an altered state of consciousness), just 10-15 minutes of this practice leaves you tingling in a mild state of euphoria, just from the increased flow of oxygen through your body.

If you want to try it for yourself, this is a great beginners video[2] to follow along with!

This is one of our ultimate practices for self-care. Just like smoothies, it is minimum effort (beyond the mind games), and maximum benefit. Unlike a workout, meditation, or yoga session that takes a bit of time, cold-water therapy is instantaneous and releases a plethora of immune-boosting, heart-stimulating benefits that compare with no other.

Here’s a few reasons why we practice regular cold-water immersion, and why we encourage you to give it a go!

Boost your Immune System

A healthy immune system is essential for fighting sickness and disease. Diet (a smoothie a day), regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and minimizing stress are the building blocks of strong immunity.

In recent years, scientific studies have found a lot of benefits related to the Wim Hof Method, including a stronger immune response and a positive influence on hormone levels[3].

“During one study, subjects that were trained in the Wim Hof Method and control subjects were injected with a pathogen and monitored for symptoms. Compared to the control group, followers of the Wim Hof Method showed a stronger immune response and less symptoms related to the pathogen.”[4]

Open your mind

Every time I go through a Wim Hof breathwork session, I am alarmed at how long I can hold my breath for. Because it’s a series of powerful controlled breathing followed by suspension of the breath, it challenges you to find your edge. Without practicing the method, I could never hold my breath for 2-3 minutes, but after 10-15 minutes of sequenced practice, I can suspend the breath and allow oxygen already in my body to circulate. Personally, it feels like every cell in my body is alive, thriving, and fully in sync with my whole-body system.

Practices like this challenge me to question what else my body can do without, and ultimately open my eyes to the magnificent capacity of the human body. We are only beginning to understand the depth and breadth of what we are capable of, and the Wim Hof method has been a powerful tool for helping us explore this.

Improve Mental Health

Within our complex body systems, our mental health is determined by everything we do. Diet, physical fitness, sleep, stressors, relationships; humans are so emotionally sensitive to the world around us and it’s too easy to let emotions take control. The Wim Hof Method is an incredible tool to help re-center the mind and shift perception.

While cold water therapy helps the body produce endorphins that elevate mood, breathing techniques can help you reduce stress and bring more energy into your day.

The Wim Hof Method brings about “increase mental resilience, which allows you to deal better with daily stressors. It also increases your focus, concentration and willpower, which are all very important factors for good mental health.[5]

Besides the chemical reactions going on in your body, taking a few minutes to connect with your breath and challenge your mind to experience intense physical and psychological sensations is another way of connecting with yourself.

Upcoming Event

Want to try it for yourself? While we experiment with online videos, you may prefer trying the method with professional guidance. Lucky for you, the full-day immersion workshop in Tauranga is coming up July 14th, 2018! Click here for all the information you need to get involved.

Check out this video of the VO crew getting our Wim Hof on at Omanawa Falls!

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