I was in Poland with WIM HOF - the "Iceman"! ...
As many of you asked to share my experiences of the Wim Hof Winter Expedition in Poland, I decided to write another blog post.
First of all: it was an amazing experience and totally worth the money!
If you wonder to go there: GO THERE!
Read the full text below
Hi! - I'm writing about my 1-week experience with "the Iceman" in Poland in the middle of winter.
This is for everybody, who’s interested. I hope you like it and are inspired to also try out the Wim Hof Method.
I’m a German native speaker, so thanks for your understanding, if anything is unclear, grammatically incorrect or misspelled.
So as you can read in my previous blog post, I already practiced this method for about one year. During this year I always wondered If absolute beginners would be able to go through the experiences of the winter expedition. And when I arrived there, I found out there were LOTS of beginners. Some have NEVER done anything like this before and had no idea what this WHM was all about (which wondered me why they even came there).
But literally they were all able to go through the steps the instructors showed them. I am totally impressed by these people, because this was not easy at all! The strength of your mind is just unbelievable!
So what did we actually do there in Poland?
On the first official day, after our nightly arrival with a warm welcome soup and the assignment of the rooms, we found out „the plan is: there is no plan!“
This information confused most of the participants, but we soon found out, why this made sense and that it’s absolutely no problem to have no plan.
So basically we were about 80 people, divided into 4 groups with 2 WimHof instructors on each group. Most of us stayed in a hotel, the rest stayed at Wim‘s house, which was about 10 min away by foot.
We were told, that from time to time Wim will come over and we’ll do something together. That was not such a precise description again, but we all soon understood, that this was the most precise description the instructors could give us.
Because Wim is a very spontaneous guy, who likes to talk. A lot! And, as he described himself: he’s not good in answering questions. So it was always a happening, when Wim showed up. Nobody knew what would happen. Not even Wim himself.
Like I said: this was no problem. Everybody was spontaneous and everybody adapted very quickly to the new circumstances (like it’s meant to be in nature).
What we experienced:
I will not make a protocol of the activities we did in order, because you might have a totally different order and other exercises.
One group for example had just 2 ice baths, another had them every day. Also the time of staying in the ice was quite different (not over 5 min though, as far as I know).
Here are some of my experiences:
Hands under water
The water was a bit frozen on the surface. We stood at the edge of the river, squatted down and put fingers and hands into the water. We stayed focused, tried to slow down our breath and waited for the command to pull them back out again. When it came after about a minute, we first stayed in the squat and watched at our hands.
By looking at the hands, the brain knows, that they are still there. Sounds funny, but it actually makes sense, as you really can’t feel them in that moment. By breathing slowly and deeply, we focused on the blood stream to go back to the hands.
After a couple of minutes we put them back under water again. Approximately another minute. After pulling them out and looking at them again, we stood up and gathered in a circle.
After everybody was fine, we put our gloves on and walked back into the warm hotel. As soon as the warmth came also from the outside, my fingers and finger joints started to hurt a lot. It was a burning and pressure feeling. It was not nice, but after a couple of minutes the pain disappeared and all felt normal again.
When I did ice baths just for my extremities at home I got some white fingers and toes. This did not happen in Poland (although the temperature of the water was probably colder). Which already was an amazing result.
Barefoot walks & standing bare feet in the snow
Sure it hurts after a bit, but not as much as I expected. And as we stood bare feet in the snow for almost half an hour just in shorts, we did lots of silly stuff and had lots of fun. So the smiling & laughing as well as some warm up exercises kept us warm.
Also feeling and experiencing the energy of Wim personally was something special.
In the river - that’s where we started.
it stung & tingled at every part of my body at the same time. It wasn’t painful, but just unpleasant.
It was at dawn and no problem at all. I was focused perfectly and stayed longer inside. Also I dipped my face under water. That was amazing!
under the frozen waterfall in the early morning at minus 11 degrees Celsius.
Our instructor had to crush the ice with an axe. He stood in for approximately 10 min!
I got undressed, focused, did some warming up exercises and went in as one of the 1st ones. - Meaning I had to stay in longer as there was only one way in&out.
For me that was no problem at all. I didn’t even feel the cold.
Really! It was no problem.
Just after getting out. (As it was always the hardest part!) Then we had to do our warm-up exercises, out of the bathing suits and into our warm clothes. As the fingers were really cold and numb, it was always a challenge putting on cloths, socks and shoes.
But we always managed to do so and got warm eventually.
On the last day in Poland, after the waterfall ice bath in the morning, we had some more hot/cold exposure. We visited Wim’s house and went to his personal ice bath and sauna. His personal ice bath is fantastic! We just had to pay attention to not freeze to the ground around the bath, as it was very icy.
Walking in shorts
We hiked in shorts (without shirt) for 1,5 hours the day before we went up the mountain. Both hikes were manageable. There was not much wind and it was sunny and dry. Otherwise it would have been way more intense.
On the hike to the mountain my arms got quite cold and I enjoyed the sunbeams, as soon as we got out of the forest.
But as long as we stayed focused, it was all manageable. That’s why we also were informed, that taking pics and selfies would be a bad idea, as we would loose focus and get cold very quickly. Some of course didn’t follow that information and started shivering.
It’s very true that „where your focus goes, your energy flows“! (- Tony Robbins)
Breathing & Meditation
Although I did both, the online fundamentals and 10 weeks course, there was so much I was able to learn about the breathing techniques and meditation. Also the scientific backgrounds were very informative and well explained.
So I changed the way I do my breathing exercises and also don’t care much about the times anymore (how often do I breath, how long did I hold breath, etc.) because again: „where your focus goes, your energy flows“
I will not write about this in more detail here, because I’m not an instructor and don’t want anything to be misunderstood.
But I love, that Wim’s method is being analyzed and investigated currently further and further. There were already some studies and there are more to come. This way science will explore even more, how and why it all works. Also there is scientific proof about the results.
Check out this astounding "Michigan Study"
All good things to become healthy, strong and happy.
Again I’ll not explain any of those here. I just want to mention, that we learned different techniques, so we can choose, which works best for us. There were some really impressive ones. Also a lot, I never explored before. They were not talked about in the online courses and also I never heard about such techniques. Obviously they were not invented by Wim or his team, but they were collected wisely and taught well. They work!
One secret I can tell you is: Smile! 😀
And you really need those after an ice bath or any other cold exposure. The hard thing is not to stay in the cold longer. The hard thing is to get warm again - and this without any external help is just a magical invention by nature!
I loved the experience, all exercises we did and of course the group experience, which created a strong bond between all of us. It was a great thing feeling the others during their meditations or other drills we did. I’ve already met some of the group after our experience and am in contact on a weekly basis. It’s been a strong experience, which made us grow! In a group and as an individual.
Thanks to Wim and his amazing team.
I encourage everyone, who reads this to also go there and have this amazing once in a Lifetime experience.
May all of us be strong, happy and healthy.
There's one more thing...
P.S.: If you didn’t know: The WHM Method is not only about cold exposure and breathing.
By exercising it, you can heal several diseases.
You can heal several diseases with inflammation in your body, you can heal depression, anxiety and several other nasty stuff.
So go ahead and start by downloading the app. Right now.
Have fun and enjoy the journey.