You know how it goes, New Year, new you? Well, in 2019 that resolution could actually come true with an interesting workshop coming to Canberra on Saturday 5 January; the Wim Hof Fundamentals Workshop.
We thought Canberra was cooooold but Leigh Ewin packed up his life in ACT and headed to Finland to learn the 3 pillars of the Wim Hof Method: Breathing Technique, Cold Exposure & Commitment.
If you thought, you were in touch with your body and mind then move over! Leigh Ewin is the guru of the Wim Hof method. Leigh will be coming back to his roots to run workshops in Canberra and Sydney to share techniques he has learnt to live a happy and healthy life.
The Wim Hof Method can improve mental or physical performance, control your nervous system, circulatory system and hormones. These workshops offer something for everyone.
Be prepared to get a little icy. ***ice baths optional***
We chat to Leigh on how he ‘geeked out’ on breathing and led him to all sorts of interesting people and places.
Did growing up in the Canberra cold have anything to do with your fascination of extreme colds now days?
As a youngster in Canberra, I honestly didn’t mind the cold at all. Canberra has its fair share of frosty mornings that’s for sure! But it wasn’t until I moved to Finland that I adapted to the cold and then began to “train” in the cold and understand its healing properties and the health benefits.
What is the easiest way to describe what the Wim Hof Method is?
The Wim Hof Method is a form of meditation that involves a breathing technique, cold exposure (ice bath) and mindset – it’s quite easy to get a grasp of, yet scientifically proven to give health benefits.
What first appealed to you about he who they call the Ice-Man?
Honestly, the cold drew me towards Wim Hof. I had no idea that there were people out there testing the limits of human physiology and was fascinated by his 26 Guinness book of records – almost all to do with cold exposure. Then I decided to train with him and his method.
What extraordinary achievements have you made of your own?
I have stayed in close to freezing water (running snow melt water – which is coldest) for twelve minutes, and my other super power is speaking Finnish.
How do you translate training in freezing climates to workshops here?
In my workshops I use an ice bath to simulate the cold waters of the north. It’s also much safer than natural waters as nature is always unpredictable.
What can people expect/ learn from your workshop?
I guide people on how to control their nervous system (fear response), circulatory system, endocrine system (hormones) and how to combat stress. In my workshops, we use breathwork and the cold to create “happy hormones” in the body and suppress the innate immune response – which leads to a strengthened immune system and an overall feeling of happiness and achievement.
What is the core of your teachings?
I teach people to get outside of their comfort zones. There is a reason why the phrase “growth only occurs outside the comfort zone” is a cliché – because it’s true! On a cellular level, our bodies get stronger only under a controlled burst of stress. Cold (ice bath), heat (sauna), fasting (lack of food), breath holding, HIIT/resistance training provide the right kinds of stress for us to grow stronger and spark a hormonal and cellular response.
How can breathing (as you teach) benefit our day-to-day life?
I believe that you breathe how you want to live. Most stressful situations, you find yourself breathing irregularly and out of control. Conscious breathing allows for control of your reactions in life – which is huge as we are bombarded with stress in modern life. Taking a deep breath is indeed a powerful tool to control your physiology and calm your nerves. Breathing faster in a controlled manner can also give energy and wake us up too.
Are there any common misconceptions about what you do/ why?
Not in Finland, but I could see why people in warmer climates might not yet understand this. There is an ancient wisdom and knowledge in both the breathing and cold exposure and it’s why tribes of people in Northern Europe have survived and lived long over centuries and have strong genetics. The main difference is that we now have the science to understand the health benefits. Plus, people are now catching on to stepping outside of their comfort zones as a way to have fun and experience health benefits.