Breathe your way back to health
Take a belly-full of air, and just hold onto it. Feel that? Do you feel the stretch in your muscles, the warm flow of oxygen through your body, the oddly peaceful sensation of not exhaling? Just chill with your breath instead. Now embrace your inner balloon and release the air. Deflate all the way into a space of calm.
Breathing is life, and life simply won’t do without breathing! They’re a package deal, and something that most of us have been pretty good at since we were born. But, could there be a better way to breathe? Is there a method that embraces science and practice for the best breathing experience possible? Can you breathe your way back to health?
Well, not to boast, but we’ve found someone who can help you do just that! Who is it? Allow us to introduce to you Wim Hof (aka The Ice Man).
While Wim was doing extreme things like climbing Mount Kili in just a pair of shorts and running barefoot above the Arctic Circle, he created the Wim Hof Method. It uses breathing exercises, cold therapy, patience and dedication to create wellbeing and optimal functioning within the body.
The breathing technique is divided into 4 steps. Ready? Let’s try it:
Step 1 is easy – get comfortable, either lying down or sitting in a meditation position.
Step 2 is where we get breathy – inhale fully, and exhale fully whilst clearing your mind and becoming totally aware of your breathing. You can repeat this about 30-40 times. Don’t get nervous about the tingling in your fingers – it’s all part of the process.
Step 3 stop breathing (what?!). After your 40th exhalation, breathe in super-deeply and then let the air out and stop breathing. Hold it like this until you need to breathe again.
Step 4 BREATHE… fill your lungs with as much air as possible, feeling your ribs and your belly expand, and then hold it for 15 seconds. Then let it go. Now that you’ve finished round 1 of the breathing exercises, you can repeat it another 3 times.
Wim’s method also teaches cold water therapy. Imagine taking a shower in icy cold water. Brrr… That’s the idea, and apparently, it’s amazing for reducing inflammation, swelling and sore muscles. The last pillar of the method ties the breathwork and the cold therapy together: patience and discipline. Wim says that you just won’t get the same benefits without it.
Speaking of benefits, these are some of the amazing advantages of breathwork and cold water therapy:
Improved mental health
Help with depression
Boosted endorphin release
A peaceful mind
We Grow SA has a range of breathwork courses that will help soothe your senses and bring you back to health with the power of breathing.
Breathwork Bootcamp is a complete course that helps you to take your health into your own hands. You’ll learn practical breathwork techniques, how to regulate your stress response, even boost your immunity and decrease inflammation! All from breathing? That’s like magic!
Another one of We Grow SA’s fantastic breathwork programmes is the Breathwork - Master your mind and emotions in 21 days course. The course is designed to boost your energy levels and bring you to a meditative state. You’ll learn to exhale stress and anxiety, and inhale peace as you improve your overall breathing ability. Doesn’t that sound just lovely?
Either of these courses sound like they are for you? Redeem a Udemy course coupon from WGSA and get up to R500 off your next course!
Have you ever tried any breathwork techniques? Let us know in the comments below if you did, and how it made you feel.