The Wim Hof Method Fundamentals Workshop
Soon your Wim Hof Method workshop will start. In order to prepare yourself for the workshop, the following information is provided. Here, you find a short explanation of the method, as well as a 20-day cold shower challenge in preparation of the workshop.
What to bring to the workshop:
an open mind to learn.
a yoga mat, a blanket and comfy clothes for the breathing.
Swimwear for the Ice bath
Format for the day:
1. Welcome and registration
2. Introduction to the Wim Hof Method
3. Breathing Exercises
4. Movement and Breathing
5. Focus and Horse Stance
6. Ice Bath
7. A hot cuppa tea and chat to close off.
All about the Workshop
Wim Hof has developed a method characterized by simplicity and effectiveness. The effects and applicability of this method are being investigated by various scientific institutes, including Radboud University. Initial results have shown that the method affect the autonomic nervous system and the immune system. This means that application of the Wim Hof Method (WHM) may be of particular importance in the fields of public health, sports and at many other levels.
The method is based on three components that reinforce each other. These three components include: breathing techniques, the training of mindset/focus, and gradual exposure to the cold. Although there are various methods that separately deal with either breathing techniques, the training of mindset/concentration or exposure to the cold, no other technique, as far as we know, is based on the interactive basis between these components. It is the very interaction of these components that appear to provide proof of the positive effects on the body, as shown by several scientific studies (Kamler, 2009; Groothuis et al., 2010; Kox et al., 2012; Kox et al., 2014). During the workshop, the theory behind each of the components will be discussed and the importance of the interaction between the components will be explained. Next, you will experience the method by practicing the techniques, based on the philosophy of Wim:
‘Feeling is understanding’
The three components are briefly explained below. During the workshop, the theory will be explained in more detail.
Regulated by the autonomic nervous system, inhaling oxygen is an unconscious process. Fortunately it’s an unconscious praxis, otherwise we simply wouldn’t have a break, as we’d have to deal with it incessantly. The amount of oxygen that we inhale through our breathing influences the amount of energy that is released into our body cells. On a molecular level, this progresses via various chemical and physiological processes. Breathing is the easiest and most instrumental part of the autonomic nervous system to control and navigate. In fact, the way you breathe strongly affects the chemical and physiological activities in your body. Throughout the years, Wim Hof has developed special breathing exertions that keep his body in optimal condition and in complete control in the most extreme conditions. The breathing technique is first and foremost premised on inhaling deeply and exhaling without any use of force.
‘by not breathing out entirely, you come to a point where a residual of air remains in the lungs’.
After doing this thirty times, you exhale again without any use of force. This time though, you don’t immediately inhale again, but wait with inhaling until you sense your body needs new oxygen. After this, the whole process starts again. While you start to have sensations of lightness, laxity and tingling, these rounds are repeated a number of times.
During the workshop, you will learn and experience the breathing technique.
Training of mindset & focus
It is generally known that a strong mindset can be an important weapon when it comes to thinking, doing and achieving. In the WHM, a strong mindset is important to realize your inner strength. Concentration/meditation is an important part of this. This concentration is required for what you wish to achieve for certain purposes. If Wim Hof would not concentrate, for example, he would feel just as cold as everyone else. Focus is thus very important. The technique of Wim Hof differs from other meditation/concentration techniques. The Hof technique is not primarily aimed at putting the body into a relaxed state, but rather into an active state. Wim Hof thus has a strong mindset and makes use of his (trained) concentration to achieve certain goals.
Gradual exposure to the cold
Exposure to cold is a less common but very effective technique. When heating systems were first developed in Greek antiquity, cold baths were still thought to have health benefits. In our society, we are used to turning up the heat or putting on an extra jersey as it gets colder. We are used to this comfort and there is nothing wrong with this. However, in the WHM the cold is an essential force involved in accessing the autonomic nervous system (and the associated immune system). Already within ten days of gradual exposure to the cold, a drop in blood pressure occurs. This is due to a better functioning cardiovascular system. Furthermore, your immune system improves which diminishes the risk of illness. To strengthen your body and get used to the cold, you can train yourself at home. With the 20-day cold shower challenge, you will train your body by ending your shower with cold water.
Lastly, please fill out the health declaration form and remember to bring this to the workshop. We strongly advise against participating in the workshop when you are pregnant or have epilepsy. If you have cardiovascular health issues or any other (serious) health condition, ask your medical doctor for advice before practicing the WHM.
Have fun at the workshop!
Leo Daniel Ryan
Certified Wim Hof Instructor
Founder & Head Coach