I don’t know about you but as a Startup I am always interested in how to increase my mental and physical resilience. There has been a lot of hype in the valley around a guy called Wim Hof who is also famously known as the “Iceman”. If you have not heard of Wim: he is a Dutch adventurer who holds something like 20 odd world records. He has immersed himself in blocks of ice for almost 2 hours and climbed the Kilimanjaro in record time without showing any signs of mountain sickness.
Wim has developed a specific program which consists of a certain breathing technique, exposure to the cold by applying daily cold showers and Yoga poses as well as meditation. Wim claims that he can endure sub-zero temperatures because of his capability to ‘turn his own thermostat up’ by using his mind. He also claims that he has not been sick for 30+ years.
In a scientific experiment “Iceman” Wim Hof suggests that he can influence his autonomic nervous system and immune response through meditation and breathing techniques.
The researchers found out that Wim Hof is able display control over his immune system, which was not thought possible. You can find more information here: but essentially in the study twelve healthy volunteers were trained in the Wim Hof Method and twelve others were part of a control group and were not trained. They all got an injection of an endotoxin from the Escherichia coli bacteria. In a normal situation, the body responds quite strongly, but the trained research subjects could keep the body’s reaction at a minimal and only really experienced a small headache compared to their untrained peers.
So, I got curious and started the Wim Hof program about 8 weeks ago (you can just download an app or do the more extensive online course). At first I was sceptic but then I read this book by Scott Carney, a New York journalist, who has debunked a lot of “super-human” claims. It is still early days but so far, the results have been impressive. I have more than doubled the amount of push ups and my personal best now stands at 80. I also have exposed myself to 10 minutes long ice cold showers and managed to jump into the local river in Munich (Isar) at around 0–1 degrees (Celsius) without any major problems.
I now do free headstands and am still trying to tackle a challenging Yoga pose called Peacock. You can see the current Canadian prime minister exercising the pose in a board room. I am still trying 🙂
Wim Hof Breathing workshop for mental and physical strength
At our next festival “Year of the Rooster” on the 27th of April in Munich we have one of Wim’s best trainers Richard Ayling, conducting a workshop to give you the basics of the Wim Hof techniques. Having overcome a debilitating autoimmune disease through the the Wim Hof method, it is his passion to help people overcome any obstacles blocking them from living their most fulfilled life.