The effect of breathwork & cold showers on body & mind


A couple of days ago I watched an episode of the tv series Goop Lab on Netflix. Goop is a natural health company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow. Each episode members of team Goop themselves explore and experience the effects of different healing methodologies such as energy healing, psychedelic drugs and cold therapy.


The Wim Hof Method

I was intrigued by the breathwork and cold therapy episode with Wim Hof. After watching the transformational effects on the team members of Goop that participated in a breathwork session, yoga in the the snow and jumping into an ice cold lake, I decided to do some further research about his method.


On his website www.wimhofmethod.com I found a free mini-series where he teaches you the basics of the power of breathing, the power of cold showers and the power of your mind. I signed up and started playing the first episode.


The effects of breathwork on my body & mind

I was lying down on my yoga mat, a pillow under my head and covered with a blanket. I started to follow the instructions in the video of the power of breathing, taking full deep breaths in through my nose, then releasing out through my mouth. As I kept going I started to feel tingling all over my body, especially in my hands and feet. I also felt a little light-headed, but Wim Hof said that it was normal and to breathe towards those sensations. After about 30 rounds of breathing I took one more deep breath in, let it all out and held my breath. It was remarkable how long I could hold my breath for.


Wim Hof recommended to do this three times and so I did it again. The second round the tingling got more intense and so did the light headedness, yet it felt good. By the time I finished around 30 repetitions I could hold my breath a lot longer than the first time.


I thought, if this is what I experience after two rounds, I'd better try another round. During the third round of 30 breaths and held my breath again. This time I could not longer actually feel my body and my mind went completely still. Even the sound in the room changed, all went still. It was a feeling of complete presence and awareness. I had no idea how long I was holding my breath for. It took some time to come back to the room, that's how I realised how deep I had gone with this exercise. Afterwards I felt amazing! I had no idea our body & mind could to this.


Do you dare to take a cold shower?

In the second video Wim Hof talks about the power of cold showers. If anyone knows me personally, I hate the cold. One of the things I miss most about Australia is the weather! And as it's mid-winter in the Netherlands at the moment so all I crave is a nice warm shower.


But hé, Wim Hof convinced me in his video's of the health benefits of taking a cold one for both body & mind. So this week I set myself the goal to turn the tap to cold at the end of my shower. Right before I go under, I do his 'horse stance' breathing technique and when I feel ready, I immerse myself in the cold water for 10 seconds. Afterwards it's like I feel on top of the world! I feel awake, energised and happy that I was able to overwin the small voice in my head saying 'I don't have to do it'.


This last step is most important for me. Ignoring that small voice in my mind, to keep breathing whilst having the cold water run over my body and to challenge myself. That is where the growth occurs. You realise it's all in the mind.


I dare you to set yourself the goal of taking a cold shower every morning for one week and see the effects it has for you on your body & mind. I also recommend signing up for the free mini-series from Wim Hof on his website www.wimhofmethod.com.


Let me know how you go!


Love, Morrin x

Bio: Morrin O’Shea has an interest in the connection between body, mind and spirit. She has a background in occupational therapy and is an integrative nutrition health & mindset coach. Her aim is to empower woman by embracing their true selves and consciously creating the life they want. She is also the founder of Wholism.


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