We often view stress as something to be avoided. Those who’ve mastered life are said to carry themselves through the world with a protective shield, keeping their Zen at optimum levels. With each day, I continue to learn that this is not the case.
It’s true that modern culture is bringing everyone into states of dis-ease — causing the normal functionality of our bodies and minds to break down. Yet the solution can’t be found in avoiding these physical and emotional stressors.
A lasting state of ease is realized by fully embracing, acknowledging and relaxing into such stressors.
Without our tragedies and struggles, what would we do? Without gravity, how would this rich ecosystem of life be possible?
We need something to push against to help us maintain strength and health.
While many in Western society are beginning to embrace meditation with greater intensity and dedication, I constantly hear how much they struggle to empty their minds. The wheels turn relentlessly in their heads when they are trying to sleep, enjoy a vacation or just be present with their loved ones.
There’s too much noise stimulating our senses, filling our minds and bodies with an overwhelming amount of inputs to digest.
I’ve found that breathing techniques are the key to unlocking a state of profound mental clarity, allowing anyone to momentarily empty their mind. But it’s a skeleton key many scoff at.
They are stuck in disbelief that this could be so critical to changing their wellbeing.
We all take breathing for granted and hearing how significantly it has changed people’s lives leaves many skeptical. This is an email reply from someone sarcastically requesting breathwork advice from me:
“I have been breathing for lots of my life and plan to keep doing so. Is this advisable?”
I get it. It seems a far fetched notion that breathing needs to be taught or that breathing correctly could unlock our full potential on an individual level.
While these practices appear woo-woo to outsiders, scientific studies examining Wim Hof and those he teaches have left dubious skeptics baffled and in awe. Researchers across a wide range of disciplines have repeatedly stated the feats breathwork is enabling should not be physically possible:
- Voluntarily influencing the autonomic nervous system (consciously fighting off a neurotoxin)
- Climbing Everest in just shorts to 24,500 feet without an oxygen tank
Due to its efficacy, less esoteric disciplines have adopted breathwork practices. Navy seals, world champion boxers, leaders in the fitness industry and physicians take breathing techniques seriously, enabling them to reach peak fitness levels and instill profound mental, physical and spiritual healing.
Physicists are even entertaining the idea that breathing is at the core of the material world. Like the expansion of the lungs during inhalation, the universe is currently expanding at an accelerating rate. Conversely, the universe will eventually exhale, collapsing into itself — down to a single point. This is the Big Crunch that is theorized to lead into another Big Bang.
By using Wim Hof’s breathing methods, I’ve been able to tap into new states of consciousness and physical wellbeing I didn’t know were so readily available. These techniques empowered me to move on from a state of stagnation to a new chapter of growth and happiness.
In addition, I’ll share more about the rapid spiritual growth that prompted me to pull my old roots out of Phoenix, Arizona and begin growing new ones in Portland, Oregon.
Over the next two months, I’ll be taking Wim Hof’s Fundamentals course, learning how to deepen my practice. My goal is to empower others by teaching more advanced breathwork practices as I progress.
Along the way, I’ll continue sharing all the places this journey takes me.