For some reason I had been extra agitated, easily annoyed and irritated and more controlling than I’d been for a long time when we arrived at the seminar in Gold Coast, Queensland. It was like I had no control over my emotions and that scared me (The reality is that I was going to get my period and my hormones was playing pranks on me). The night before we had argued and I almost didn’t feel like going to the seminar that I had looked forward to since I bought Adrian and myself the tickets in November. Leaving it I was overwhelmed with love and excitement to live.
Wim Hof and his method is starting to get more and more known and used all over the world. In fact Wim shared with us that one day he had been called up by Beyoncé’s assistant to come and help her get well for a concert later the same day. “Just breath, bitch” he had told her, with a twinkle in his eye, as he laid down on the floor next to Jay-Z and Beyoncé and guided them through the breathing method. Beyoncé cured her illness that session and could go on and do her best performance ever, according to Wim, later that night, and Wim himself kept going on spreading love and health in this world like he had never been snuggling with Jay Z.
Let out emotions
In a overfull room with 480 people we started breathing in to our stomach, up to our chest and into our brains to then let it go. We repeated that same movement maybe 40 times until we let it all out and held our breaths with no air in the lungs left. Slowly my hands started cramping and I felt this tingling sensation pulsing through my body. People started screaming, laughing, crying and shivering all around us. Towards the end we were basically laying on top of each other as if we were a human knitting.
Everyone’s response to this method is different but it has been shown to help people let out emotions that have been holding them back, some emotions that you might not even be aware that you are carrying around. One time I couldn’t stop crying when I was breathing at home by myself. It was a freeing cry though, as if I could finally let something go. You perform the cycle of 30-40 breaths at least 3 times in a row with a breath hold in between and every time you are able to hold your breath for longer.
What happens to the body when you perform this breathing technique is that you provide all your inner organs and cells with oxygen, which make them recharge. You also alkaline your body, which helps it to deal with all the acidity that we are exposed to on a daily basis.
The whole way Wim acts and speaks is… raw and honest. He doesn’t care about perfection, he isn’t sticking to a PR written program where he tries to maximise sales of his method, he cares about love. And he cares about the truth and about actual people. He wants to show the world that anything is possible if you just put your mind into it. He has proven that he can raise his body temperature whilst sitting covered in ice just by focus on producing heat. He has proven that anyone can learn how to breathe out a virus from his or her system; A university did a study where a group of people got injected with a dead e coli virus where half the group got taught Wims breathing and cold exposure method. The other half were used as a control group. Non of the people who practised the breathing and focusing after being injected with the virus showed any symptoms of illness while the whole control group were shivering, had fever and felt very ill for a couple of days after being injected.
We have gotten too comfortable
What I love about him is that he doesn’t travel the world screaming “look at me and what I can do” even though he is holding 26 world records where he mostly has exposed himself to extreme conditions. He doesn’t travel the world trying to make people buy his product in a sales-y kind of way. He travels the world with an invitation to anyone to explore and break down their own limitations and barriers. He push you to realise that you can do anything that you put your mind and body into. He has done all the things he has done so that scientists can study him in order to prove to the world that what he is doing is nothing impossible or special. Impossible is just a limitation in our brains and in our society and he wants to show that those limits doesn’t really exist.
The fact is that we have just gotten too comfortable. We put heaters on when we are cold and air-condition when it’s hot. Our bodies have never learned how to adjust to temperatures because we haven’t conditioned it to do so. Our bodies are spoilt, and you know what that means…. It has no patience and calm.
Don’t take everything so serious, he said, because life is serious enough anyway. In one way we have over complicated everything, and in another we have been making it too easy for us to live. We live in a reality where there are so many rights and wrongs and where the end goal seams to be to be as comfortable as possible. In one way I want my life to be comfortable, you know, I want to have the freedom of traveling to see my family whenever I want and not having to plan and save up the whole year in order to do so. And I love having a nice home and a comfortable bed.
But in another way we have gotten so comfortable that we have neglected and disconnected ourselves from the real life. I mean, we can, if we are not careful, end up living life without actually living it. When we do things just because we think that that is the way “society works” without questioning it, like putting aside our true passions in order to have time to get a “real” job, or eating easy assessable, cheap and processed food and not using our bodies to travel around with. That is the easiest way to live in the western society, that’s the norm, but are we happy and healthy? Do we feel as if we are fulfilling life? Some might say yes, but I’ve learnt for myself that living like the norm doesn’t make me happy, or healthy.
So, what did I learn from Wim Hof?
I learnt that if I believe and have true faith in my body that I can do whatever I want. The limitations and the power are all in my head.
I learnt that life is not to be taken so serious by the social standards today.
I learnt that cold and pain is just an emotion that can be controlled and soothed by the mind through breathing.
I learnt that perfection isn’t as charming, welcoming and loving as the reality – so never try to fake things in order to make it perfect.
And I learnt that depression, illnesses and limitations can be healed and broken through the power of your own body and mind.
“Just breathe motherfuckers”. Wim Hof.