As a lifelong asthmatic, I am the least-likely person to win a breath-holding contest (which is great because it implies I am also the most likely to win the “coolest person you know” contest, since there is absolutely nothing more badass than getting winded after a light jog on a cold day). Thanks to a method of breathing meditation Ive been practicing for the previous couple of weeks, I feel ready to take on all challengers. (Except for David Blaine; lung capacity aside, he simply appears like a dick.).
Hofs breathing technique is based on alternating cycles of deep, circular breaths with periods of breath-holding to cause a meditative state. As Wim Hof puts it, “The amount of oxygen that we breathe in through our breathing, influences the amount of energy that is launched into our body cells.”.
If that sounds a little loose and too fast for you, different breath therapies have in fact been studied for their health advantages and shown to perhaps “activate body relaxation reactions and advantage both physical and psychological health.” And heres what Wim Hofs appear like:.
Naturally, breath-holding isnt really the intent of Hofs videos, but individuals in the discuss YouTube certainly love to boast about how theyve utilized his approaches to learn to go 5 minutes or more sans an inhalation. (Though Im looking askance at the person who humble-brags that hes up to 11 minutes of breath-holding.) The way the video above is structured– with three consecutive “rounds” of breathing and breath-holding– definitely includes an element of gamification into the mix that I enjoy.
Some die-hard Hoffers market experiencing physical feelings during their guided breathing sessions, varying from aural hallucinations to tingling in the feet and hands. The most I can report is that after Im completed, I always feel extremely unwinded and stimulated, no doubt because– offered my usually dreadful practice of slumping over my computer while working– my brain lastly has some extra O ₂ to work with after a day invested surviving on whatever it can eke out of my sluggish blood cells. Breathing benefits you; who understood?
The more intangible benefits of breathwork– relaxation, boosted energy levels, some individuals even think you can use controlled breathing to induce an imaginary state– aside, Win Hofs video has certainly assisted me discover how to hold my breath for a long-ass time (even as it has given me a fun excuse to say “In with peace, out with tension!” to my spouse in Hofs hypnotic accent; its sort of like going through an assisted meditation session led by Hans Landa). After practicing his strategies for just a couple of weeks, I can now easily hold my breath for as long as three minutes with minimal effort.
It comes to us from Dutch “extreme professional athlete” Wim Hof, who holds world records for swimming underwater in frigid temperature levels and running a half-marathon on ice, which practically recognizes him as my polar opposite, breathing-wise. On his website, Hof promotes his self-styled Wim Hof Method, “based upon the structure of 3 pillars; Breathing, Cold Therapy and Commitment.” As refreshing as “cold treatment” sounds at the height of this steamy Brooklyn summer season, Im primarily interested in the first of those. (As for commitment, eh, I can take it or leave it.).
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Thanks to an approach of breathing meditation Ive been practicing for the previous few weeks, I feel prepared to take on all challengers. Hofs breathing technique is based on alternating cycles of deep, circular breaths with periods of breath-holding to cause a meditative state. As Wim Hof puts it, “The amount of oxygen that we breathe in through our breathing, affects the quantity of energy that is launched into our body cells.”.
The way the video above is structured– with 3 consecutive “rounds” of breathing and breath-holding– certainly includes an element of gamification into the mix that I delight in.