A man who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in nothing but shorts, believes his power to achieve feats that are usually deemed unachievable lies in the simple task of breathing.
For context, Mount Kilimanjaro temperatures average at freezing point, while the summit is in the glacial zone of -6°C.
Say hello to extreme athlete, Wim Hof, aka ‘The Iceman’.
Not only has he stripped off for mountain expeditions to prove his point, he has also run a half marathon above the Arctic Circle barefoot and ‘out-Blained’ David Blaine by standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for more than 112 minutes.
With Mother Nature as his muse, Wim’s training has enabled him to learn to control his breathing, heart rate, and blood circulation to withstand extreme temperatures.
Now, the 61-year-old guru – who holds 21 Guinness World Records – is inviting us to join his mission and practice his breathwork to make the impossible, possible.
The self-titled Wim Hof Method (WHM) events usually combine cold exposure, breathing techniques, and meditation for participants who take part in face-to-face sessions.
However, being in quarantine has rejigged life a little.
Instead, the Dutchman has a free guided breathing exercise available to introduce the public to his methods. There is also a free series of online classes to learn the basics.
In these classes, students are taught how breathing affects physiology, as well as learning new techniques to significantly improve energy levels, detox the body, relieve stress and tension, and strengthen the immune system.
And just because Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t accessible right now, don’t assume you’ll be getting away without a taste of the cold!
People will also be encouraged to try gradual cold exposure, through chilly showers which gives our vascular system a workout by helping to burn fat and increase the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain.
And lastly, the importance of the mind-body connection will also be explored as Wim teaches the power of intention and how to use what you’ve learnt to take back control.
While sceptics might wonder how breathing alone has the power to influence the mind, several studies have taken place to illustrate the Wim Hof Method.
In particular, one study in 2018 showed how WHM activated regions in the brain responsible for pain suppression, suggesting humans are capable of creating their own painkillers.
It has also been proven that the breathwork can wilfully influence the nervous system (relating to the immune response), something that was previously unknown to science.
For more info, click here: Wim Hof.