“We are so successful at being comfortable that comfort is becoming the enemy of success.”
Today we dive into the deep end of higher consciousness. We challenge the limits of human potential. And we explore the power of the mind to unlock superhuman capabilities.
Our instrument for this week’s fantastic voyage is Wim Hof — aka The Iceman.
Dropping in for his second podcast appearance — his first being RRP 231 from June 2016 — Wim is a Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and human guinea pig best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold.
More significant is Wim’s experimentation with specific and teachable breathing techniques. Rooted in the ancient yogic tradition of pranayama and canonized for a modern audience as The Wim Hof Method, Wim asserts that through such breath techniques he can turn up his internal thermostat and activate his sympathetic nervous system — abilities conventionally believed beyond conscious control.
Understanding the far-fetched nature of his claims, Wim put his contentions to the test. Among his twenty world-record setting feats of otherworldly insanity, Wim has:
- scaled above death zone altitude (22,000 ft) on Mount Everest shirtless adorned in nothing but shorts;
- completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland barefoot and again shirtless and in shorts;
- summited Kilimanjaro in less than 2 days, again in nothing but shorts;
- swam a world record 66 meters under a meter of ice above the polar circle;
- sat in an ice bath for almost two hours straight;
- ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water; and
- remained asymptomatic after a poisonous E. coli endotoxin injection certain to make any human being very ill
All of this is seemingly insane. But Wim declares his feats not only replicable but entirely teachable — a curriculum that holds the potential to unlock a battery of human superpowers that extend well beyond extreme temperature tolerance to metabolic ‘reptilian brain’ functions previously thought beyond conscious manipulation.
Picking up where we left off in RRP 231, this conversation focuses less on Wim’s feats of incredulity and more on the nature of consciousness and the primacy of its elevation. We discuss our current crisis of awareness. The importance of challenging long-held, status quo beliefs. And the warrior’s path required to live fully actualized.
Wild, calm, powerful and gentle all at the same time, Wim is undoubtedly one of the most compelling and unique people I have ever met — a man who will shock you out of your comfort zone and call into question the countless unnecessary limits we impose upon ourselves daily.
This journey begins with the breath. It extends to service, compassion, and gratitude. And it culminates in love.
Disclaimer: Never practice breathing exercises before/during any activities where a loss of consciousness may prove life threatening. The breathing methods discussed may have a profound effect and should be practiced exactly as explained and always in a safe environment. Wim strongly advises you to gradually build up your exposure to the cold. Always train without force and listen to your body carefully. If not practiced responsibly, you risk hypothermia or worse. And finally, always consult your doctor first before beginning any exercise program.
Online Course Discount: Wim was kind enough to offer my listeners 35% off his 10-week online course when you enter the code Rich35 at checkout before December 2, 2018 (this is Wim’s gift – I do not profit from this in any way). To learn more and signup, visit: wimhofmethod.com/elearning/fundamentals
Inhale deeply, and please enjoy this roller-coaster thrill ride with The Iceman.
Peace + Plants,
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Thanks to this week’s sponsors
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Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect With Wim: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
- Mobile App: Wim Hof Method: Apple | Google Play
- Instructional Breathing video with Rich: bit.ly/wimteachesrich
- Non-profit: The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation
- VICE: Inside The Superhuman World of The Iceman
- TEDxAmsterdam: Wim Hof
- GQ: How To Build Your Immune System by Ross Edgley
- Rolling Stone: Wim Hof Says He Holds the Key to a Healthy Life – But Will Anyone Listen? by Erik Hedegaard
- Smithsonian Magazine: Science Explains How the Iceman Resists Extreme Cold by Joshua Rapp Learn
- Smithsonian Magazine: Breathing Deeply May Actually Boost Your Body’s Immune System by Colin Schultz
- Discover Magazine: Can Breathing Like Wim Hof Make Us Superhuman? by Nathaniel Scharping
- Science Daily: Brain mechanisms that give The Iceman unusual resistance to cold
- PNAS: Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans
- ScienceDaily: Research on ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof suggests it may be possible to influence autonomic nervous system and immune response
- HighExistence: The Wim Hof Method *Revealed* – How to Consciously Control Your Immune System
- Entrepreneur: A Mad Method by an ‘Iceman’ That Can Strengthen Your Mind and Body by Andrew Medal
- TheGuardian: Can the cold make you stronger? by Sophie Knight
- FreedomandFulfilment: Wim Hof Method Review: Deep Breathing & Cold Exposure to Supercharge Your Mind, Body & Spirit
- DailyMail: Wim Hof Sets World Record for Climbing Everest In Just His Shorts
- Lifehack: 9 Reasons Why Everyone Should Know Who Wim Hof Is
Books Referenced & Recommended:
- Becoming the Iceman* by Wim Hof
- What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength* by Scott Carney
- The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer* by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
- Breathing Life: Yogi Coudoux’s Pranayama Techniques* by Yogi Coudoux
- One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits* by Adam Skolnick
Notable People Discussed:
- Elissa Epel PhD: Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, at University of California, San Francisco, Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center, and the Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study, & Treatment
Joseph Campbell: was an American Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #231: ‘The Iceman’ Wim Hof On Why Breath is Life & Cold is God
- RRP #218:Adam Skolnick’s One Breath: The Spiritual Allure Of Freediving Through The Life & Death Of Nick Mevoli, America’s Greatest Talent
- RRP #384: Live Life Awake: The Art & Science Of Ayurveda And Chinese Medicine
- RRP #019:Brian Mackenzie On Slaying The Sacred Cows Of Endurance
- RRP #209:Rhonda Patrick On Longevity, Epigenetics, Microbiome Health & The Difference Between Eating For Long-Term Wellness Versus Performance
Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes. Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics. Interstitial music performed by Wim Hof. Portraits by Reece Robinson. Theme music by Ana Leimma.
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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