How I Do The Wim Hof Method: Breathing

Bryan Winchell
10 min readJan 23, 2022

Note: This is part one of a three-part series where an average, middle-aged dude — me — tells you my step-by-step method for how I do each of the three aspects of the Wim Hof Method. This post is focused on breathing, part two is about meditation and part three is about cold exposure.

The park bench underneath wintry trees where I often do my Wim Hof Breathwork. (Photo: Author)

Spring, 2019: I’m 46 years old and, over the past few years, starting to notice my age more. My stamina isn’t what it used to be, nor is my natural energy. Such is life; none of us are immune to the aging process.

That said, I’ve seen too many people who are older than me who seemed in better health. How did they do it? I wanted to know.

This is when I remembered seeing one such person, a wacky, extremely energetic Dutchman who I remembered only as The Ice Man and who I’d heard on a podcast with Russell Brand (also a man whose energy I admire and wish to emulate!). It had been over a year since I heard this, so I went to the archive and found it. The man’s name is Wim Hof and, at the start of the podcast, they spoke about how they had both just returned from a dip in the River Thames and I could tell Russell was even more energized than usual (and that’s saying something!).

But what struck me more was this guy was older than Russell yet he was the rare guest who had more energy than the impish comedian does.

And so it was that, after listening to him explain his “Wim Hof technique,” talk about his and many others’ experience of using it to improve their health and share the science supporting it, that I decided to give it a go. After all, it was free, it didn’t require any special equipment and, if it didn’t work, it was a natural, safe remedy which has been used by mankind in related forms for thousands of years, so what was the harm in trying?

Since I made that decision in May 2019, if my math is correct, I’ve done the Wim Hof Method just shy of 1,000 times. By no means does this make me an expert. The expert is Wim Hof himself. However, it does mean I’ve done it enough times to confidently say that if you want to improve your daily health in an efficient and free way, the method works.

Since I started using it, I haven’t been sick once. Now, my previous 46 years weren’t sickly ones, but I don’t remember one year in which I…

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Bryan Winchell

A Serious Fool who writes about: Personal/collective growth, politics, love of Nature/Humanity, Japan, podcasting, humor, and being a hippie in Service to Life.