I’ve recently been hearing a lot about this guy called Wim Hof, known as “The Iceman”. You might have already heard of him, but if not you will now.
He is the holder of 26 Guinness World Records including climbing – and almost summiting – Everest in just a pair of boots and a pair of shorts, swimming under the ice above the arctic circle for longer than anyone else, and running a marathon in the Namib desert without drinking any water. He has also been injected with an endotoxin by doctors in The Netherlands under laboratory conditions and was able to control his auto-immune system to avoid any ill effects. His feats of physiological control and endurance have all been verified by the scientific community, and they are beginning to re-write the text-books based on what he has shown to be possible.
He seems like some kind of Superhuman right? He maintains, however, that he can teach anyone how to control their physiology so that they could achieve the same thing. In fact, twelve of his students were also able to negate the effects of the injection of the endotoxin in the same clinical trial in The Netherlands, and he has brought two groups up Kilimanjaro in just boots and shorts, and in record time!
So how does he do it?
The answer is basically through pranayama.
He has, on his own, discovered a breathing technique which, when combined with a kind of cold water therapy allows the practitioner to fully control their endocrine and immune systems.
I have read a lot over the years about yogis who could withstand poison (Ram Das for example writes about giving an enormous dose of LSD to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, with no effect) or slow down their heartbeats to zero (Krishnamacharya was said to be able to do this). But none have ever really been tested by the scientific method. It seems like Wim Hof, without having ever had a teacher, has discovered how to unlock untapped reserves of human potential and has made it his mission for it to be verified by science, so that he can share it with the world.
I could go on and on about it but I want you to see and/or hear him yourself.
He appears on two recent podcasts which you can find
But maybe it would be best just to watch the documentary below first.
I’d be interested to know what you all think of him. Personally I think he’s a modern-day, real-life, legit yogi (even if he wouldn’t call himself that).