This weekend I am training with Wim Hof, the IceMan. Wim Hof’s instruction is meant to help you strengthen your immune system, will power, and ability to connect with spiritual secrets. He has studied the yoga sutras, met the Dali Lama (if I am remembering correctly), and holds numerous world records for submersion in ice water, marathon running in the desert with no shoes or water, and all types of amazing things.
Wim has taken the yoga, physiological, and spiritual secrets he has learned, and made them accessible for the average (imperfect) person. Although there are many benefits from his techniques, his number one goal, per my understanding, is to spread the physical healing benefits to every day people, particularly those who are not able to get medical treatment. He is passionate in his quest to help people overcome the injustices going on in the pharmaceutical and medical industries.
Wim is an approachable, humble, down-to-earth guy. He makes people feel comfortable and accepted. Not only is Wim a great guy, but every other person there in the small group was amazing! Many attendees were healers and all were very spiritual. We even had a genuine Tibetan Monk there! The moment I saw him I knew he was a Monk. Later, when I talked to him I found he grew up in a monastery in Tibet but was no longer an official Monk. Nevertheless, he still carried a positive energy with him that you could feel immediately.
But back to the training – we started with a brief introduction. I was not there on the first day – Friday – so I missed a bit. After an update on Wim and the techniques, one of the hosts played the Didgeridoo while we did toning. Toning is a way of raising vibrations through sound, and using the human voice instrument in particular. We just followed our intuition and started in as soon as we felt comfortable. The sound was beautiful and reminded me of times I have been on pow-wow weekends that were also as harmonious. On the other spectrum, I have been at events where we never seemed to raise the harmony and vibrations.
After maybe 30 – 60 minutes of toning we started in with Wim’s special breathing technique. I was sitting front row, center and watching Wim like an admiring hawk. Whenever he took a breath I took one. Whenever he held a breath I did too. I figured if I tried to mimic him exactly I would have the best chance of getting this breath down properly so I could do it on my own. I think we did the breathing for about an hour.
Next we did playful yoga on the grass. It was so fun and exactly the opposite of the part of the US where I live. Basically, Wim would demonstrate a fun, cool, and/or kooky yoga pose and then ask us to try it too. He would also ask, “Who else has one? Who else has one?” At one point I think we even walked around on all fours like a bear. It was a quite awesome practice and I am using the “fun, playful” theme in all of my yoga classes this week.
After yoga we had a break for lunch, rest, and to change for….YIKES!!!!… ICE WATER SUBMERSION!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t sign up for this!!!
Oh, wait. Yes, I did.
When I initially made arrangements to attend I did not know about the ice water part. Sure Wim does that, but advanced yogis do all kinds of things. It does not mean I have to do it at a training. I thought we would be learning easy secret techniques like advanced yogic breathing, metamorphosis, and levitation. Once I found out about the water part I had a private scream inside and then decided to give it my best.
The others had already tried a practice water immersion on Friday. They went into the ocean and did Wim’s breathing technique. Today’s event was taking place in a tub filled with ice and water. I felt particularly alarmed because I could not understand what we were supposed to be doing and what the “trick” was to make the water warm. Each time I would ask someone what we were supposed to do they would tell me something totally different. Most confusing to me was that apparently we were NOT supposed to use the breathing. The whole time we were practising the breathing I thought that is what it was for. Also, so many people had told me they used the breathing when they were in the ocean the day before. Super confusing!! Well, I kept moving to the back of the ice water line, stalling the moment of ice entry, watching each person before me with rapt attention. It sounds like a trivial thing, but I was scared to go in the ice water. You can read about my first “jump” into the ice water and find out about the secret “trick” to ice water submersion in this entry (link will be added momentarily).
Afterwards, we all talked for a while. I think no one wanted to leave the good feeling. Also, we were all hanging on to every last word from Wim – trying to soak in the wisdom. Finally, we went home with plans to return the next day for… PART TWO – UNDER THE ICE WATER FOR A SECOND TIME – The training with Wim Hof, the IceMan, continues…