The iceman wim hof on why breath is life, cold is god & feeling is understanding

A Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and human guinea pig, The Iceman is best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold

James Godwin

4 minute read

the iceman wim hof on why breath is life, cold is god & feeling is understanding

Head over to the the RichRoll website and check out the podcast with Wim Hof Meet Wim Hof, aka The Iceman. - Why Breath Is Life, Cold Is God & Feeling Is Understanding A Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and human guinea pig, _The Iceman _is best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold.

Perhaps more significant and compelling is his experimentation and experience with specific and teachable breathing techniques. Rooted in the ancient yogic tradition of pranayama and canonized for a modern audience as _The Wim Hof Method, _Wim asserts that he can “turn his own thermostat up” and consciously activate his sympathetic nervous system by using his mind through yoga. This may sound far-fetched. But get a grip on some of the crazy things this holder of more than 20 world records has accomplished:

  • shirtless adorned in nothing but shorts, Wim scaled above death zone altitude (22,000 ft) on Mount Everest;
  • barefoot, shirtless and again in nothing but shorts, Wim completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland;
  • he summited Kilimanjaro in less than 2 days, again in nothing but shorts;
  • above the polar circle, he swam a world record 66 meters under a meter of ice;
  • he can sit in an ice bath for almost 2 hours; and
  • in 2011, he ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water

But there’s more.

Under doctor supervision, In 2011 Wim voluntarily allowed himself to be injected with a poisonous E. coli endotoxin certain to make any human being very ill. The idea was to demonstrate that by using his meditation and breathing techniques he could effectively control his autonomic immune system response and nullify any deleterious health implications.

Wim did not get sick.

Beyond his countless feats of incredulity, he’s a long-time vegetarian who — for the last 30+ years — has refrained from eating any food before 6pm. All of this is seemingly insane.

But Wim is hardly a carnival sideshow act — the physical stunts merely a means of attracting scientific community attention for purposes of study and documentation. Ask Wim and he will tell you that he is nothing special.

He declares his feats replicable and his methods teachable — a curriculum that holds the potential to unlock a battery of human superpowers that extend well beyond extreme temperature tolerance to include control over a wide array of sympathetic nervous system and metabolic ‘reptilian brain’ functions previously thought to be beyond conscious manipulation. Case in point? After a mere 4 days of instruction, Wim led a group of brave, volunteering students through his endotoxin exposure experiment (again, under doctor supervision and scientific observation). Not one of them got sick. And he now routinely takes groups of students – most of which you would characterize as non-athletes — up Kilamanjaro.

In nothing but shorts of course. An absolutely fascinating guy with charm and charisma for miles, my conversation with Wim is less about human biology than it is about about belief systems. It’s an exploration of dormant biological and mental potential. It’s about yoga, grief, depression, change and the nature of consciousness. And it’s about the ever expanding event horizon of human potential that should push and challenge and nudge you out of your comfort zone to call into question the unnecessary limits we self-impose upon ourselves daily. Specific topics explored include:

  • how to awaken inner dormant ability
  • how to control metabolic pathways
  • the science behind the Wim Hof Method
  • surviving grief — catalyst for change & exploration
  • delving deeper into consciousness
  • furthering the message with 26 world records
  • being of service and in tune with nature
  • voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system
  • breathing & extreme cold
  • pH levels: acidosis vs. alkalosis
  • voluntary E. coli endotoxin injection
  • Mount Kilimanjaro ascent
  • pain management & inflammation studies
  • reversing chronic conditions
  • combatting depression, grief & addiction
  • intermittent hypoxic training
  • spiritual, environmental, ethical, and health crises
  • the primal path
  • typical day with Wim Hof

I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’