Hey! It's Dan from Incense Falls. You may already know that I'm a yoga instructor, but what you might not know is that I'm also a Wim Hof Method Instructor.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Wim Hof Method, you're really in for a treat. For those of you familiar, I recommend reading the whole blog post to make sure that you're doing it correctly.
Although it is simple, there are a few mechanics that can really enhance your experience with the breathing. I'll only go over the breathing in this blog post, in another I'll explain the ice bath component.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT practice the breathing while standing up, driving, or in or around water. You may lose consciousness.
What is the Wim Hof Method?
Put simply, the Wim Hof Method (WHM) is a daily habit that anybody can incorporate into their daily routine to boost their strength, health, & happiness.
It is composed of three pillars:
- A Committed Mindset
- Breathing Exercise
- Gradual Cold Exposure
It was developed by a Dutch athlete named Wim Hof. For over 30 years, he was ridiculed by the scientific community due to his claims that his method can influence and steer the autonomic nervous system. This includes the endocrine system, cardiovasular system, and immune system.
In the last 4 years, science has caught up to Wim, and there are now dozens of studies confirming his claims. It is revolutionary and changing textbooks. People are using this method to help manage chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances, and much more.
Now, let's get into the breathing mechanics.
How to Breathe Properly While Practicing the WHM
You may think, "I know how to breathe, I do it every day." Well, you might know how to breathe, but you probably aren't doing it efficiently. It's simple and easy to do, it just takes some time to truly master.
1. Breathe from the belly, then the chest, then the head, then release
- This is challenging for a lot of people, but easy to master. As you inhale, push your belly out. The mechanics of this is that you're pulling your diaphragm down.
- Then, breathe through your chest by pushing that out.
- Next, bring that air up to your head for a moment.
- Finally, just release the breath. Don't exhale fully, just release. Imagine like you're dropping a ball from your hand.
- Bringing this all together, try to imagine a wave beginning at your belly, moving up to your chest, ending at your head, and just releasing the breath.
- Repeat the pattern of belly, chest, head, letting go. Belly, chest, head, letting go.
2. Inhale more than you exhale
- As mentioned above, you want to take a full inhale in, then gently letting go.
- The goal here is to take in a lot of oxygen, and blow off some CO2.
- Keep your shoulders back and down
- You may feel tempted to shrug your shoulders up as you take that big breath in, but don't. You're using your accessory muscles that will tire you out, and you will burn Oxygen unnecessarily.
- Lie down or sit comfortably
- Again, don't do this standing up, driving, or in or around water.
The Breathing Protocol
Okay, now that you properly know how to breathe, let's run thru the breathing protocol. Don't worry, it's really simple.
- Breathe 30 breaths using the mechanics as explained above.
- You might feel lightheaded, tingling in your fingers or toes, face tightening, cramps; it's all okay. These are natural physiological responses to the breathing.
- On the 30th exhale, hold the breath for as long as you can.
- When you really feel like you have to inhale, take a big inhale in, and hold the inhale for 10 seconds.
- Release the inhale, and repeat two more times for a total of 3 rounds of breathing.
That's it! If you incorporate this simple 10 minute breathing exercise into your daily morning routine, you'll feel clear, energized, and ready to take on your day.
Questions? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. Aromatherapy is known to greatly enhance the effects of breathing exercises, especially Lavender.
When combined with our Little Monk Incense Burner, you'll feel a multitude of benefits that will bring your breathing practice to the next level.