WHM Fundamentals: Going Deeper


Upon completing the first official training course in the Wim Hof Method over in Wales a couple of weeks ago, I received an email with a 40% discount inviting me to sign up for the ten week fundamentals course.

I was already thinking about signing up for it before the course, but something (or someone hitherto unseen) was telling me to hold off. So purchase it I did and and last week I started “Hoffing”, the results from which are tracked below.

In short, the first week has been nothing less than transformative and even at the ripe old age of “nearly fifty”, I find myself learning new things about my own physiology, how the human mind and body works as a machine and that there is a hitherto (there’s that HP Lovecraft word again) unseen element that lurks beyond the four that we are accustomed to (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), waiting for the opportunity to introduce itself, given the right set of circumstances and desires of cosmic adventurers. This invisible element goes by many names; Aether, Quintessence, Chi or simply Energy.

To quote the late, great Bill Hicks (again!) “Today a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather”.

So if we are made up of energy, how is it that we can tap into that hidden energy, that hidden universe which lies beyond the five senses, and perhaps more importantly why would we want to?

We have options. We can of course choose the psychedelic route, an express train to an Esotericville, an alien world which may give answers to the questions we have been longing to know.

Alternatively, we can practice going into our own minds through yoga, breath work, and meditation, using our own physiology to experience the quintessence that binds the whole universe together, the outcome perhaps ending at the same destination as the “day tripper”, using that energy to bring health, strength and happiness to our mortal coils, without the use of substances to get us there. There is some evidence to suggest that the deepest meditation and yogic practices releases DMT (dimethyl tryptamine) from the pineal gland into the brain, so I guess why pay for drugs when you can generate them for free! Get high on your own supply as The Iceman says.

All of this leaves me to conclude that the materialistic world (with all of its trappings) is by and large meaningless, which is a complete polar extreme to the materialists view of the whole universe, in that it is simply coincidence and meaningless.

By seeking out peace, love and harmony, we find out who we really are and what is really important. That introspective look is a critical process, as it leaches out physical and meta-physical maladies, it leaches out those flaws in our personalities and gives us a real opportunity for personal growth and sharing what we have learned with others.

And it is in that clarity that I have already found opportunities for self-improvement. No longer do I eat meat, gluten or wheat – my body operates without inflammation. No longer do I consume alcohol – no more hangovers. No longer do I suffer from work-related stress – no more conflict-induced anxieties. No longer do I feel lethargic – no more procrastinating.

That is why, in such a short space of time, the Wim Hof Method is working for me, transformative even. This is not a sell, nor do I have shares in the company, it’s an honest observation on a practice which is very simple (when compared to others), a practice which is free (unless you choose to go deeper like I am) and most importantly perhaps, a practice that is quick to deliver results to keep one on track.

Clearly after experimenting with the free stuff that’s out there on the Wim Hof website, app and YouTube channel, and after attending the one day course, and after week one of the fundamentals course, it’s safe to say that I’ve embedded the component parts into my daily life pretty well so far and I’m seeing the benefits, but by no means am I there yet. As the daily digest below reveals, there is still a lot of work to do.

Week 1: Go Deep!

Monday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Yoga: Sun. Swan. Sun. Swan. Plank. Cobra. Cobra. Dog. Walking dog. Sun. Swan Butterfly

Notes: Good start, all completed. Wanted it today. Printed manual and bound it to a folder. Breathing could be better, too much faff with the free videos that come with the course, I’ll stick to the WHM app on the watch, much better. Wasn’t comfortable on the floor, sore back, need better support.

Tuesday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 😐

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: Straight on it today, no hesitation. Morning stretches without the video, but need ms improving as the flow and accuracy wasn’t fully there. Still a little pain in the lower back due to the floor but will be fine once son buggers off back to University and I have the spare room back. Retention ok, not feeling the capability to comfortably go past 3 minutes yet but that’s ok. Took 5 min cold plunge instead of a shower in the outdoor “pool”, was much better. Will do that every day and do an ice bath once per week. If every day started like to day I’ll be happy. Autonomy is the key! Back a little sore still after stretches, means it’s working muscle groups I’m not used to moving so all good. Energy levels dropped in the afternoon / evening, probably too much effort at work. Micro-snooze in the evening before swim and sauna/cold showers. Ended with pack of Aero chocolate bubbles, naughty but nice!

Wednesday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 😐

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: 10 mins cold therapy (8 in pool, 2 in shower). Did stretches and breath work in the evening after a session in the hot tub, stretches felt much better (after false start) and the swan dive was deeper already. Held the butterfly for over 5 minutes and it felt good, no pain in the back. Did 3 rounds of breathing, 2 mins, 2.5 mins then 4.5 mins. The last retention was amazing, I worked up from the feet, up through the legs then up through each chakra, physically putting pressure on each nexus point, pulling in my root and holding my crown with my hands, I felt a surge of energy uncoil from my stomach, which made its way up each chakra (releasing what can only be described as sexual energy) and into my head, where I began to see colours and shapes. It wasn’t a psychedelic experience but it was something visual I’d not seen during meditation before and could be as close to a kundalini experience I’ve had so far. Very interesting, breath clock stopped at 4.5 mins and felt I didn’t need to do another round tonight. Will try the same method tomorrow for each retention. Now for sleep, wonder what my dreams will be like!

Thursday

◦ Stretches 🤬

◦ Breathing 🤬

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 😐

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: 8 mins in the cold tub in the morning before work. Had every intention on doing the meds in the evening but an experiment in inflammatory foods went wrong. I’ve not had a lot of food which inflames the body in a while, but the bread, fried potatoes and tempura vegetables mixed with the alcohol-free beer really bloated my stomach, to the extent where I found it uncomfortable breathing deeply. So I decided to skip yoga and breath work and go “fully in” in the morning. Trying not to beat myself up too much as I hadn’t seen my friends in a long time, it was enough not getting drunk with them, and the training isn’t a competition, I’ve already learned a lot this week from the stretches and the deeper level of breath work. Even my sleep was shorter and still felt very bloated in the morning (even my pee came out at a slower rate). Good lessons, time to write that inflammation blog! Will fast today.

Friday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 🤢

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: 11am after food inflammation gone. Just 3 rounds. 2:30, 3:30, 4:30. That kundalini experience is back too, even stronger than yesterday. 5 mins cold shower, which is now warm not cold! Body is getting acclimatised to the temperatures, even though it’s not ice cold. As the plunge pool is a pain in the arse to keep clean, I’ll take cold showers in the week and ice baths at the weekends. Really enjoying the stretches and I think it’s the first time ever I’ve stuck to yoga daily since I stared almost ten years ago. As each day passes, the practice becomes more mechanical. Mindful that my busy life may get in the way sometimes but I’m down with that, so if I skip a day or a breath work round, it’s OK. Tinnitus is still a concern as it’s bad today, I wonder if it will hinder my progress as an instructor, time will tell I guess but my stress levels in work are literally gone, even though the high pitched noise is still there. Pizza base (presumably containing gluten and wheat) gave me gip this afternoon, seems anything bready or wheat is starting to play havoc on my insides, time to ditch it for good.

Saturday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 😐

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 🤢

✓ Energy Level 🤢

✓ Mood 🤢

Notes: 5 min cold shower. Good stretches, will keep these too going into next week as warm up. Felt stoned afterwards, really great feeling. With three sets of tennis in the morning (even getting hammered 0-3 didn’t put me in a bad mood), silent disco in the afternoon (dancing like a crazy person through the streets of Liverpool with fifty other people, sober!) and shopping (retail therapy for my ladies), two breathing rounds was all I could muster! 20k steps, 17km completed, no wonder I’m knackered!

Sunday

✓ Stretches 🤢

✓ Breathing 😐

✓ Cold Therapy 🤢

✓ Sleep Quality 🤢

✓ Stress Level 😐

✓ Energy Level 😐

✓ Mood 😐

Notes: Ice bath day! 10 mins. Water a lot colder but 1 bag of ice not cold enough, need at least two, will make own (via new ice making machine) and see how many small bags I need. Good stretches and horse stance after the ice bath. Energy levels took a dip due to exercise day before as did mood/stress due to a less than enjoyable kayak trip out with the wife. Taking the positives out of everything, my wife needed help and I got annoyed at her, as the help she was asking for was basic and I thought she could do it herself. If I was to take that attitude with future Hoffers under my tutelage, then I wouldn’t last long at all. No breathing as far too exhausted to do anything at the end of the day, may need to change my routine if this is common. Slightly disappointing end to what was a strong week (no breath work , that said it was a public holiday and had lots of fun so again won’t beat myself up too much about it. Whilst I completely nailed stress at work, clearly I need to do it at home too. Next week is stress control, looks like a timely reminder!

One week down, nine to go. Week one was about going deeper, and I think I’ve done that clearly.

Week two is stress control, time to replicate the process that has worked well at work in the home too, see if I can be a nicer and more tolerating husband!

3 thoughts on “WHM Fundamentals: Going Deeper

  1. Very interesting, your progress. Would that I had the discipline to follow something similar. Your comment re psychedelics is apt – it is indeed a shortcut. But they also seem to bring about profound change and to deepen one’s meditation and change one’s attitude to life. Or, rather, to push one’s thoughts much further in the direction they were going anyway. Alan Watts said they are a doorway and once entered you do not need to continue with the drugs. That seems to be the case – a top up every few months is all that may be necessary and even then, that necessity probably goes way eventually.

    As to healthy eating and lifestyle, although I do not have the discipline and commitment for Wim Hof, I have certainly found it an essential part of my progress. As is exercise and endless, if informal meditation.

    I guess its each to his own. I may not follow such a rigid discipline but there are definite similarities in our lifestyles and the end results seem to be very similar.

    I have reached the stage where I am determined to prioritize this aspect of my life (spiritual growth – if I have to use that awful phrase).

    I admire your efforts to do the same, especially when you are holding down a taxing job. Like Candide, I am merely tilling my own garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    • On psychedelics, I have taken them when I was young, of course for completely different reasons than if I took them today.

      There is always a risk element in life, and it does take courage to open the door of perception. For me at present, there are a few things holding me back, potential dope tests at work, being a responsible parent, having at times acute tinnitus and perhaps the biggest risk is the history of mental instability in my genetic code (although on reflection I feel stronger than most who I’m related too).

      I’m sure there will come a time when all of the above no longer applies, and it will be then when I truly take the leap of faith, through Watts’s portal, perhaps not the “heroic dose” the brothers McKenna took!

      Liked by 1 person

      • As you probably recall, my psychedelic journey began for medical reasons – lifelong depression. Unipolar mercifully although my father was diagnosed variously with schizophrenia and bipolar depression.

        I too was nervous therefore that I would be sent catapulting over some edge and into an even worse place. Oddly, fascinating though the actual experiences were, the real benefit has come long after. I’m in a better and more reflective place, more or less permanently.

        As a mature adult, as you say, the benefits will undoubtedly be different and greater should you try this route again.

        Liked by 1 person

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