Wim Hof, Shamanic Breathing and reconnecting with Maximus
I have this friend. She is a rock star facilitator, coach and team alignment specialist. I have done a number of events with her, and her true superpower is attention to detail in planning. Prep, in other words. She goes by several aliases on social media, for the purposes of this article lets call her Linky.
Linky came back from a global entrepreneurship conference in Hamburg last year, and I asked her over a glass of perfectly chilled Sauvignon Blanc what her highlight was. With no hesitation, she cited the keynote speaker: Wim Hof.
Now here's the funny thing - when I asked her why, she was unable to articulate exactly why. He pissed her off, because he seemed quite unprepared for his talk (this is completely contrary how she shows up in the world), but at the same time he was... inspirational. And had a deep effect on all the delegates.
Intrigued by this dichotomous feedback, I decided to dive deeper. For my birthday last year, I attend a bio-hacking retreat at Bodhi Kaya near Stanford - and Wim Hof technique was the main attraction. Ie deep breath work, and sitting in an ice bath for 10 minutes. I am simplifying, but once you start googling this cat, you'll find he is quite famous. I mean there's even a Youtube video of Novak Djokovic interviewing him!
My main takeaway from the weekend was the big hack. See, I can never meditate. Channeling my best Elizabeth Gilbert by way of Julia Roberts inner dialogue, my mind is all over the place. Even 10 minutes is a stretch. But with Wim Hof breathing, because the breath work is so... DELIBERATE... you have to be present. Your mind goes, you don't get the buzz. And the buzz, after only fifteen minutes, is real. I have found it great for curing hangovers too.
So I do the 15 minute practice most mornings for the last year as part of my 10-10-10 checkin (Download the tool for the holistic practice here), and it has really been an anchor. Especially during this COVID nonsense. Wim's top trick for battling Corona boredom - learn how to juggle. So I did.
Once you start on this breathing story, its almost like buying a new car. That model is literally everywhere! Suddenly every second Tim Ferris podcast/article has an element of it. You do a virtual team build in the EO and the dude from Bali is leading Shamanic breathwork. Your mates from Canada start introducing you to the local Cape Town chap who also has a practice, and you join a couple of his shamanic breathing sessions. And they put you on such a trip that you wonder why you didn't get into it before.
Speaking about Volker, I have now done two Sunday sessions with him over Zoom. I have found it incredibly powerful both times, but the first was the most impactful. Maybe because it was a harder mouth breathing session, and this last weekend was more of a regulated breathing exercise. What I really did like, though, was the music especially in session one - as he ended up playing the theme song from Gladiator. I have been a fan of this tune since my mate Deon's bride to be walked down the aisle to it, like a blonde amazon coming to do battle with life as two Virgos.
Here it is. I have now put it on my own playlist, and its a great one to end of the sessions if you are flying solo. I am going to incorporate this stuff into my first Shoshin Walks retreat at Boesmanskloof, launching hopefully this July! I encourage you to go look for Wim Hof on Youtube, and give it a go. And if you want to give up two hours of your life to a cool trip over Zoom - I'll hook you up with Volker. Have a great week, peeps...