Wim Hof, aka, The Iceman, is an extreme athlete with 21 official world records. He climbed Mount Everest in shorts, sat in a bucket of ice for almost two hours, and ran a half marathon above the Arctic Circle in his bare feet, just to name a few.
In a recent episode of ON Purpose with Jay Shetty, Wim Hof sits down with Jay Shetty to discuss some of his impressive feats and talks about how he believes everyone can tap into this kind of potential without investing a decade's worth of study or the travel and the daring he has.
Hof developed the Wim Hof Method, a natural path to an optimal state of body and mind. It consists of cold exposure, breathing techniques and mindset commitment. This method is used to influence the autonomic nervous and immune systems and is taught worldwide by Hoff. You can also experience his teachings in his book, The Wim Hof Method.
The Wim Hof Method applies to more than just the physical body. Have you ever felt the desire to connect with yourself on a deeper level? Hof sits down with Jay Shetty to explain how his techniques help connect body, mind and soul.
Tapping Into Your Inner Capabilities
The influences of the outside world can detour you from your true purpose.
Wim Hof believes we are schooled in something that provides products for a system that is broken. This system is not in tune with the immune system or our health, happiness, or people’s strengths. Instead, the system plays into the national product, the economy, and money.
This leads to a loss of creativity and identity. When you don’t know your purpose, you become sick, depressed, and live aside from your authentic core, which contains happiness, strength, and health.
Hof is working on a study with top researchers in San Francisco to break down human DNA in an effort to influence a person’s lifespan. Is it possible? Hof believes it is, and he also believes our ancestors have given us an encrypted genetic code.
“We are built to solve the problems of the past ancestors, and with that comes enlightenment,” Hof explains to Jay Shetty.
Realigning and Connecting Through Breath
There is power in the breath. Hof teaches that breathing is the life force that can help change any situation. When you learn to control your breath, you can realign and connect with yourself. Any deep breathing technique that allows you to deal with the stress of your individual world is the right one.
“We have internal networks, neurological networks, making us able to deal with mental, physical, emotional, and bacterial or viral issues,” Hof explains to Jay Shetty. “But we have never been schooled (on) how to use those resources.”
Hof’s goal is to show through meditation and breathing, how you can tap into these internal neurological networks. One of the methods he uses is a deep breathing technique he learned through submerging himself in icy cold water.
“The cold doesn't show through words, it shows through a power, through the aggressive impact of a thousand needles, how to be not a big cushion,” Hof tells Jay Shetty. “It teaches you to be in control and change the chemistry and connect. Being able to connect consciously, you can create the right chemistry that allows you to connect with all the neurological pathways and to learn to influence and to control them.”
Standard control over brain function is generally around sixteen percent. The breathing technique experiment in the cold resulted in increased brain control with numbers in the hundreds, indicating that people can change their brain chemistry and neurology.
When you embrace the mindset that you want to realign yourself with your soul and use one hundred percent of your mind’s capacity, then your soul can respond. You will feel the stress melt away.
The Power of the Mind
The focus of the world is on production. More is always better. Thinking has moved away from love and caring and turned to production, pollution, and exploitation. This focus does not serve humanity well, and our society is at a crossroads. We need to change and help people find their purpose.
“Everybody is born to be more than normal. People are born to be great,” Hof shares with Jay Shetty. “The mind is great. The mind is unlimited in its power.”
Hof also believes we are built with a doctor within and that we all have healing power – we’re just never taught how to use it. Society has learned to follow the paradigm of dependency on doctors and professors, science, pills, medications, and hospitals, but not the real investigative spirit.
The real investigative nature is about the soul and how to be healthy, happy, strong, and equally divide people’s power. A happy person is not making war and is not going in grasping for money and power. A happy person is unconditionally present, but that paradigm doesn't exist right now.
“People need to eliminate the old paradigm of dependency and get into the freedom of your capacity to enter in the hole of your mind,” Hof explains to Jay Shetty. “That is freedom. That is power. And with that, you can realize through your creative power, the life force, who you are, what you are, then the soul is happy, strong and healthy.”
Hof climbed Mount Everest with no guide, wearing only a pair of shorts and shoes. At 18,000 feet, he found himself lost in whiteout blizzard conditions without a road or path to follow. He somehow found a camp three hours later. The lesson Hof took away from that experience was that when you are faced with a test or stress in your life, if you follow your gut, you can take it on. The challenge will prepare you for the next stage.
When you put your body and mind to the test, you get a full-blown realization of who you are. You push past fear and any blockage that may hold you back. The challenge gives you knowledge and purpose. You become one with it all, healthy, happy and strong.
Happy, Healthy, Strong
What can you do to be happy, strong and healthy? Believe that you are made to be happy, strong and healthy!
When you wake up, don’t give any thought to life’s stresses. Those are not your burdens to bear. Connect with yourself to find your happiness, health and strength. Let go of the outside noise and things that cause a disconnect within. Self-connections spawn the energy for you to live your purpose. You don’t need to climb Mount Everest or run a marathon with no water to find out who you are. Jay Shetty urges listeners to apply Wim Hof’s methods to everyday situations.
Yoga is also something that Hof enjoys and uses to center himself. He believes it is the silencing of the brain’s modifications that allows the seer to appear. The seer is who we are. It's done through simple breathing exercises and gives you the ability to change who you are and what you are at will.
Jay Shetty agrees with Hof and explains we need to continually remind ourselves that the noise that builds up tells us the opposite of what is real. We tell ourselves we are tired, stressed, overwhelmed or pressured. We need to replace those thoughts and emotions with something positive that will push us in the right direction.
“We can enter into that neural activity in any part of our brain and then get to know who we are,” Hof explains to Jay Shetty. “We let in the creative power, the lifeforce, the breath. Our consciousness is electricity, is light, and it gets in there and finds exactly the way that needs to be done to ancestrally solve the matters of the encrypted code of our ancestors. Then we become enlightened. It’s effortless. This is everybody's ability.”
Wim Hof’s method is simple yet powerful. When you focus on cold exposure, breathing techniques, and mindset commitment, you give yourself the power to unlock a myriad of benefits and potential in relation to managing inflammation, pain, brain activity, stress resilience, mental health issues, and more. Jay Shetty agrees.
“This isn't just a mindset shift. It's a physical shift, but it's also a soul shift,” Jay Shetty shares with Hof. “When you have shifts in all three areas that align at the same time, that's when you see change.”
Wim Hof and Jay Shetty agree the truth is simple. Enlightenment is simple, health is simple, and wisdom is simple. No matter what language you speak or where you are from, the truth is relevant and accessible to each person, no matter your intellectual background. The truth of breath is something everyone possesses from the beginning of their life. It is very much our own. It is a gift we all have.
When the world says mind over matter does not work, Wim Hof shows you how it can. Apply “The Wim Hof Method to” your life to tap into your capabilities and to realign and connect your soul through the use of breathing techniques. Explore the power of your mind and learn how to live a happy, strong, healthy life.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode with Wim Hof ON “Connecting Mind, Body and Soul to Create a More Harmonious Life” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.