Inspired by Wim Hof, aka ‘The Iceman’, Esther offers a routine that will help strengthen your core and give you radiant health.
In this article I’d like to discuss and outline a routine, inspired by the Dutch ‘Iceman’, Wim Hof and his cold training method. This simple routine involves Pranayama, a few yoga asanas (postures) and a cold shower. The Pranayama and cold shower should be done first thing in the morning but the yoga part of the routine can be done at any time of the day. They will, in a short time, make a significant, positive difference to your core strength and overall health and energy levels.
Of course my goal is spreading the love and inspiring you to join me in this lifestyle change! So let’s start with my personal experience in the hope that it will motivate you to join in.
After practicing this routine every day for the past month, I have much more energy and feel a lot happier overall, I’m more present and my sleep has improved. My core is noticeably much stronger (this is solely down to the Pranayama and cold showers) and my digestive system – which has been my biggest “health” issue for past few years – has never been as good! I’m even able to digest the occasional gluten meal (pizza!!) again. Of course that doesn’t mean it will solve digestive issues for everyone, but perhaps it’s worth a try… Last but not least, I’m not suffering as much from the cold.
I have a lot more energy and feel happier overall, I’m more present and my sleep has improved. My core is noticeably much stronger, I’m not suffering from the cold as much and my digestive system has never been as good!
The benefits are showing on the outside too: almost everyone who knows me well has commented on how well I look and how much energy I seem to have. Of course it’s never completely down to one thing, but I genuinely believe this works!
Jennillee Toner, who has joined me in this challenge (we have agreed to do it for a minimum of 10 weeks) has also commented on how she shares many of the same benefits. Although Jennilee was much hardier and tougher than I was before we started, I would now dare to take her on :-)) That’s how strong I feel at the moment…!
I feel we are so spoilt in this modern day society that we forget what our bodies and mind are capable of, which is not necessarily a good thing! We lose some of our strength and stamina because of this and it has an effect on both physical and mental health.
Besides that, I was personally ready for something that would genuinely challenge me, to help me get out of my comfort zone (and a bit of a rut I was in); something that would really push my boundaries. I don’t like the cold at all, so starting a cold training combined with Pranayama and yoga seemed adventurous enough for me!
Keeping it up
Once I decided to commit and go for it, it was just something I did. It wasn’t easy at first (especially the cold shower part!), but within a week it started to get easier and I can honestly say now, I really enjoy it. With all the benefits I described I cannot imagine breaking this routine again. That doesn’t mean I don’t still find the cold showers hard and that some mornings I have to make myself get out of bed in time to do the breathing and hop into a cold shower. But I do it because I know how it makes me feel afterwards. And doing the breathing exercises every day, feels sooo good!
Cold Shower Therapy and Ayurveda
Cold Shower Therapy in itself is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy with numerous health benefits such as treating anxiety and depression, improving circulation and toning skin. “Ishnan” is the term used in the old days when people in India referred to cold showers (very cold showers). “Ishnan” is the point at which the body, by its own virtue, creates the temperature that it can beat off the coldness of the water.
Cold shower benefits
The thought of a cold shower may make you wince but the benefits are manifold:
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Increases blood circulation, flushing out your system. This is especially beneficial for the muscles and surface of the skin.
- Improves sleep.
- Promotes growth and repair of the circulatory system by stimulating capillary beds often left to “stagnate” with blood.
- Although this is counter-intuitive, in the winter, cold showers are the best thing to keep you warm for the rest of the day.
- Builds courage and willpower.
- Great for your skin and your hair.
- They are one of the great anti aging secrets for keeping your skin tight, elastic and vibrant.
- Has an anti-depressant effect on your mood.
- Balances the autonomic nervous system (This makes you feel relaxed and peaceful, yet still alert, when you get out of the shower.)
- Helps you develop the ability to handle lower temperatures while maintaining your body heat.
- Cleanses your body and mind of negative emotions that are your own or picked up from others.
- Contributes to your longevity potential.
- Wakes you up in the morning!
- Balances the glands.
- Corrects imbalances in menstruation.
- Prevents early menopause.
– Combine this with Pranayama and yoga and you will become a super version of yourself.