Becoming an Ice Woman . . . .
The Wim Hof method (named after its' founder) is a seven week programme; a series of breathing exercises, yoga postures and cold exposure. Cold exposure?! It's always the last one that scares people. Friends have questioned why am I punishing myself......am I paying penitence for something?! But it is this third part that is really where the gold lies.....for me anyway.
On March 14th I spent a sunny spring day with 4 very inspiring people, Kepa, Tone, Roo and Woon, who are also London Real Academy members. That's Kepa and Tone in the photo......they both have a vibrant energy that shines out of them. Even in airports.
They completed the Wim Hof method and took me, Woon and Roo through some of the breathing exercises on the shore on the lake near my house in North London. 40 deep breaths......let it out and hold. We did this 3 times.....the final time we exhaled and held our breath birds squawked overhead, I opened my eyes to see swans and ducks were gazing at us......what are those crazy humans doing?!
I was able to hold my breath for much longer than I had anticipated. The Method is said to aid week digestion and increase focus and energy. These are all things that I am constantly seeking and the practice seems easy enough to give the technique a whirl, I thought.
I started The Method a week ago and I am already feeling strong effects.......more focus, a feeling of groundedness, greater positivity. On 2 consecutive mornings I woke up at 430am without an alarm.....and I felt great. Like I wanted to get out of bed and start doing stuff!!! I started The Method with my good friend and talented designer Lou....it helps to have this support so that we can discuss our parallel journeys and gee each other on if needed.
The practices can be hard at the beginning, especially the cold showers. I felt extreme pain in my head when the shower was spraying directly onto my head. I was concerned about this but after just 6 days that has gone. The breathing techniques can bring up some strong emotions and some physical effects; I have experienced a hand spasm and a foot spasm. These can be quite alarming as we are so used to being in control of our bodies. But each experience teaches me so much.......that I do not need to be in total control of everything......that discomfort is temporary.......that I can use techniques to face and manage discomfort.
If you are interested in the Wim Hof method click here to be taken to his site
You can see the YouTube channel of Tone Floreal here