Canberra local Leigh Ewin is returning from Finland, where he gave up the hot Aussie sun and immersed himself in learning how to use extreme cold as a method of healing and deepening his connection to nature. On April 19th, he will be joining us at our Hume gym to lead a workshop and pass along what he’s learned – known as the Wim Hof Method.
What is the Wim Hof Method?
Ever heard of the Iceman? Wim Hof earned himself this nickname after breaking many world records relating to cold exposure. Some of his many feats include running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle on bare feet, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, and swimming underneath ice for 66 metres.
While it may be tempting to label Hof as a superhuman, he believes that anyone is capable of embracing the cold and unlocking its benefits for the body and psyche. He created the Wim Hof Method (WHM) so others can achieve what he has. The method is made up of three pillars: cold therapy, breathing, and commitment. With these three building blocks, people practising the method can better manage their stress, find pain relief, increase their energy and athletic performance, improve their sleep, and more.
Here’s how Ewin describes it in an article with Out In Canberra: “The Wim Hof Method is a form of meditation that involves a breathing technique, cold exposure, and mindset – it’s quite easy to get a grasp of, yet scientifically proven to give health benefits.”
If this all sounds a bit hokey to you, our very own Rock Squad coach and route setter, Kale McCauley, has been practising the WHM and has experienced some of the benefits first hand. After an outdoor bouldering accident broke his ankle, Kale has been on a long recovery path that has involved a lot of pain.
Here’s what he had to say after taking the workshop with Ewin:
“Six and a half months on, and I was still not able to walk properly. I still had pain in the joint and a limp. After the workshop I literally walked out of the venue like a new person, minimal pain and next to no limp, revitalised and positive for the future. After using the cold regularly I’m seeing more improvements with my ankle every day.”
On April 19th, Ewin will be taking up to 20 participants through an all-day WHM workshop at our Hume gym. The workshop will challenge your beliefs and conditioning, whether you are looking to achieve a high level of performance, relieve symptoms related to an illness, or are just curious to find out what the WHM is about. The planned program is as follows (the ice bath is optional):
10:00 – Introduction
10:30 – Breath Mechanics/Physiology
11:30 – Deep Breathwork
12:30 – Small break
12:45 – Cold Exposure and Brown Fat Activation
13:45 – Ice Bath
15:00 – Sharing/Q&A
The workshop is suitable for everyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or confidence. Out of precaution, people with cardiovascular issues, or any other serious health conditions should always get in touch with the instructor and consult a medical professional before starting the WHM. People who are pregnant or have epilepsy are advised against participation.