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"Breathe Motherfucker!"

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"Breathe Motherfucker!"

Jayce Love-Attard

When asked by Tim Ferriss what one thing he would put on a billboard, the multiple World Record holder and flamboyant Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof said, “Breathe Motherfucker!” Wim has popularised ancient methods of using the breath to access or affect ones immune system and essentially taking control of the bodies temperature gauge. Despite views that Wim may have been an exception to the rule - a freak of nature, he has been able to scientifically prove otherwise and now showcases his methods on documentaries, an App that his son developed and in popular seminars around the world. I follow Wim’s breathing methods and practice them frequently with amazing results, purely perceived not scientifically tested results, but I get an unmistakable feeling that I am doing something better than I was before.

The idea of hacking my body discreetly, let alone having an almost immediate stronghold of your emotional state, headspace and body awareness is something that excites me a lot. Wim’s methods have without doubt become part of my daily practice and now one of the first few things I do as part of my morning routine.  If you have heard of the guy or not, he has a pretty deep story of how he came to his unique practice that’s worth listening to, but I’ll let you find out for yourself. The reason I’m writing about this moderniser of the breath is that what he has come forward with to the world is something that could easily better if not dramatically improve your life and I’m all for passing these hacks/ideas/tricks/tips/upgrades (call them what you want) on.

So here is the method behind the madness. And before you read on, be aware that you WILL experience some intense feelings due to the nature of what you are doing which is essentially controlled hyperventilation and breath holding. Some of the things I have documented feeling are:

-       Humming or vibrating teeth

-       Twitching that intensifies with each round

-       Euphoria

-       Warmth around chest and neck

-       Silence or ‘narrowing of hearing’

-       Mind empties

-       Tingling face

-       Jerking body

-       Deep meditation

-       Metallic taste in the mouth

The Method to the madness:

-       Sit in an upright position with legs crossed, just like you would picture a zen master in meditation. Or just lay down flat on the flaw with legs and arms spread out like your doing snow angels (this is how I prefer to do the practice).

-       Take a few levelling deep breathes to come into the space you are in.

-       Close your eyes.

-       Now take a deep full inhalation through the mouth before a sharp, shorter exhalation also through the mouth. Repeat this 30-40 times.

-       On the last breath exhale all the way out and hold. This is where the magic happens for me.

-       When you are overcome by the urge to breath take a full inhalation and hold for 15 seconds. That constitutes one round. I like to repeat this entire process from the start 3 or 4 times.

It might feel challenging but ride it out to at least three rounds as I find that the third and fourth round are really special and effective in terms of the length of your holds and the deep meditative state you enter. Wim also utilises a lot of cold water immersion as a complimentary practice to the breathing, “let the cold be your warm friend!”

Not something I have honestly tried much of apart from my morning cold water shower that proceeds the daily breathing practice but I do, however, truly believe in its efficacy.

So why should you try this? Well, the proven effects point to the technique offering benefits in all sorts of areas like oxygen retention, immune response to pathogens, brown fat levels (basically a type of ‘fat burning’ fat cell) when implementing the cold water therapy, influence over the autonomic nervous system and shifts in blood pH levels to name a couple. But, I most like the pure and simple effect of these practices reducing stress and giving you greater control over your monkey mind. To shift you from that elevated fight or flight state, however you might have come into it, you are able to slow down, find some silence behind the noise of life and think clearly and level headed - all for the cheap, cheap price of a few mindful breaths!

Find out for yourself!

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