TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of Easter Eggs
Nong Khai, Thailand yoga



Wim Hof: Mind Over Physiology June 1, 2020

Wim Hof: Mind Over Physiology

"I discovered the missing link on how you can control your physiology - the immune system, endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system where you can consciously regulate bodily functions - heart rate, digestion, adrenaline response. With full control, disease doesn't stand a chance."

My personal comments in RED.

Shortcut to Pranayama
(June 1. I should be en route to Chiang Mai from Nong Khai. I've waited a month for this date. But because of the lockdown, the bus service still has not resumed operations. What to do? Go back on Wim Hof. He touched off on something very compelling to me and I needed to go back and get a deeper sense of it - creating the shortcut to pranayama to reveal superhuman attributes anyone can tap into.

I've been doing pranayama for years now and I have garnered the benefits - Superman-Effect, I don't get sick, I hardly get old anymore, and I'm super strong. But it took me years of regular practice to achieve this. Wim Hof was able to refine his technique and teach his students in 4 days! 4 days!!! I have to find out how radically different his method is.)

Wim Hof
Wim Hof podcast by Russell Brand

Wim Hof Breathing Method
The simplicity of the Wim Hof Method is surprisingly powerful: full breathing 30x, empty the lungs on the last exhale and hold the breath as long as you can, then deep inhale and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat the cycle. That's it!!! (For all the benefits accruing from his method, it's surprising to see how simple it is - no bandhas, no mudras, no asana. Perhaps less is more? Compared to my pranayama practice where I employ every conceivable means of ammunition in the yogic arsenal, Wim Hof's results are far more powerful and immediate.)

Background on Wim Hof
Wim Hof is now the celebrated Iceman. But that's not how it has always been. For the most part of the last 30 years, he was widely regarded as a crazy cuckoo - a guy who immerses himself in ice and walks around in shorts under sub-zero temperatures. It started when he saw water in the park and immersed himself into the icy water. He felt good about it and continued doing it every day. He then incorporated breathing into the practice and slowly discovered a hidden power being unleashed. He continued the breathwork without the cold. He realized it was the breathing that brought about the power. The cold was simply the catalyst to set the stage - or the source of stress that activates the fight or flight mode. Without the cold, Wim used the breath-hold as the source of stress (so you could actually practice the Wim Hof Method without immersing yourself in ice...which is hard to do if you live in a tropical country).

Before being the Iceman, Wim Hof was a regular guy. When his wife died as a result of mental illness (jumping from the 8th floor in 1995), he was a basketcase and sunk into a deep depression. It's somehow tragic that knowing what he knows now, he could have saved her. He then immersed himself in esoteric practices - yoga, kung fu, Japanese martial arts, Sanskrit, etc. When he immersed himself in the cold, he found connection and the rest is history.

Super Human Achievements
Wim Hof holds the longest record for swimming under ice, half-marathon barefoot in snow and ice, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Everest wearing only shorts and footwear, got injected with Ecoli virus and neutralized it using breath, prolonged fullbody exposure under ice, and doing a marathon barefoot in the desert without water. These achievements are all documented and irrefutable. Altogether, he holds 26 Guinness world records. (Regulated breath can do all that? This is making Big Pharma worried. If people learn to stay healthy and strong with just the air they breathe, how will Big Pharma ever make money? Honestly though, I don't think they need to worry. Why? I have offered my method for FREE to loved ones. No takers. They would rather take the pill or go through the knife on health issues. I think it's a mindset issue, not a scarcity of information issue.)

8 Senses
We are all familiar with our 5 senses, but Wim Hof, by gaining access to the deepest recesses of his brain, was able to tap into 3 more senses, which are all neurological connections:

  1. access of the will to go to any part of the brain - you can traverse from the conscious to the subconscious realm.
  2. connects the will to the immune system - you can access parts of the brain contributing to depression or psychosis and cure yourself of it. This enables us to eliminate or prevent body disorders at will.
  3. the will can ignore external sensation - the conscious mind gets access to the reptilian brain where we can control cold, pain and other stress sources. This was proven when a brain scan revealed lights coming out of Wim Hof's reptilian brain from a stress-induced experiment.

Reptilian Brain
Our reptilian brain has the same 2 structures as that of a reptile:

  1. brainstem - begins where the spinal cord ends, consists of Medulla, Pons and Mid Brain. This regulates heart, lungs and digestive functions together with sensory information. Of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves (nerves directly connected with the brain and not from the spinal cord), 10 pairs are connected to the brain stem.
  2. cerebellum - attached behind the Pons. It receives information from the sensory systems and then regulates physical movements of the body.

Our reptilian brain controls our autonomic nervous system responsible for our heart rate, body temperature, balance and other involuntary functions. This resides in the innermost sanctum of the brain and has never before been accessed consciously by any human being until Wim Hof - brain scan conclusively proved that. By this feat alone, Wim Hof is rewriting science.

brainstem
lateral view of the brainstem

Missing Link
(This is the part I was looking for. For a long time, I had been doing yoga, pranayama and meditation to know more about life and existence. But it doesn't stop there. Yoga comes bundled-in with many health benefits. I've become insanely strong, resilient from sickness and slowed down my aging. I could have been contended with that, but I wanted to do more. But didn't know where or how to proceed. Given the level of my practice, what is supposed to happen next? And when that happens, what do I do next? The answers were not forthcoming. At times, I needed a sense of bearing. There is the curious cat in me wanting to hack my own biology beyond the natural laws. I wanted to grow new teeth, bring back my black hair color, restore my eyes to a 20/20 vision, extend my telomeres and reverse the aging process. But I had been hitting a wall. I somehow feel that what I know is not enough. I need to take my practice to the next level. But where do I go to find the answers? None of the yogic books I've read addressed that issue. The implied message seems to be, "just keep doing it and you'll eventually know." I didn't find that reassuring, but having no other option, I kept faith that things will unravel at some point.)

(Wim just provided the answer to me on a silver platter. To me, this is a priceless missing link. And the shortcut he teaches to achieve this is equally as priceless.) According to Wim, by immersing himself into the cold, his body switches to fight or flight mode - but he does not react. And by intense deep breathing, the body becomes alkaline - the body chemistry is restored to optimum conditions. When he then holds the breath for as long as he can (connecting breath to consciousness and establish neurological connections), the body is deprived of oxygen and the reptilian part of the brain starts panicking and demands air. But since the body chemistry is already alkaline, there is no need to breathe. The demand for air becomes so acute that adrenaline shoots up into the part of the brain where transformation happens - your body is reset into its primordial state where the immune system becomes accessible to the will at the conscious level. It's like a light switch that's been turned on. You gain conscious access to your autonomic nervous system, immune system and endocrine system. (In yogic parlance, you develop siddhis. This answers my questions in a way that doesn't contradict my yoga practice. All I needed was the missing link to connect the dots and give me a blueprint to navigate through.

I wish I could let go at that. But no, not yet. One burning question is, if that is the case, then how come freedivers don't develop this ability? They hold their breath too in a meditative way, and hold their breath sometimes to the point of blacking out. Why do they not develop the powers of Wim Hof? I do freediving as well, but I don't have the answer to this.)

On Yoga and Enlightenment
Wim Hof is not regarded as a yogi but his knowledge and experience of yoga surpass many established teachers. Wim pointed out that while exploring the breath, the chakras all lit up - beautiful penetrating yet soft lights. He even named all the chakras tattooed on Russell's arm. Wim also talked about the 5 elements in their Sanskrit names. He claims that yoga is too awkwardly written, inaccessible, and confusing. (What he just described was an awakened Kundalini that rose up through the chakras and settled in the Sahasrara chakra. This is Holy Grail to most yogis, but to Wim, it was just a passing anecdotal reference that eventually bored him. I'd been practising pranayama for years and I have not achieved what his students achieved in only 4 days - consciously manipulating the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system! When asked what he thought about enlightenment, instead of giving the usual guru woo-woo talk about transcendent consciousness and quantum existence, he simply said enlightenment is being happy, strong and healthy. Wow. I was impressed. Even a grade-schooler can understand that. He was there to empower and educate - not to impress.)

Ending Thoughts

David Icke and Wim Hof
I somehow see the similarities between David Icke and Wim Hof. They both started out 30 years ago and they were both the subject of ridicule. But they knew that they were on to something. Their resolve was unshakeable and they stood their ground through the years. Now, Wim Hof is the celebrated Iceman who holds 26 Guinness World Records. David Icke is the one man the elite cabal is most afraid of. He can now command a packed stadium where people come to hear him out. Nearly all interviews with him on social media are taken down for fear of going viral. When he warned about 5G as the probable cause of the COVID pandemic, activists started burning down 5G towers. Things he said that sounded ridiculous 30 years ago are now prophetic.

Adapting Wim Hof's Method in my Abs Workout
Between sets, I do one round of Wim Hof's method (30 deep breaths, outbreath-hold and 15-sec inbreath-hold). Instead of doing a 45-second leg raise followed by a 15-second rest, I do leg raises until point-of-failure (I don't even count anymore how many I do). This is followed by the Wim Hof breathing method. Without rest, I do a point-of-failure crunches and then the Wim Hof breathing. This is too taxing (but very powerful) that I can only add left and right side crunches before I wipe out - only 4 sets instead of 8 sets. Unfortunately, this also means I can only do 4 sets of the breathing (instead of 9 or 10). Usually, I can't push my abs workout because too much pressure is exerted in my head and I end up nauseated. But this new approach does not cause any headache. It just wipes me out before I can finish the program.

Modifying Wim Hof's Method
Because I have proficiency in pranayama, it was easy for me to adapt to Wim Hof's method. I am already doing 9 rounds in the morning (about 30 minutes) and able to hold my breath for 3 minutes (not all the time). I've added more to what he is doing - sorry, I can't help it. On the 15-second inhalation and breath-hold, I engage the maha bandha mudra, the nabho mudra and gyana mudra while doing an uddiyana bandha. I don't see how adding those will take anything away from the desired outcome. The plan is to keep adding more rounds and holding the breath longer with every passing day until something happens.

The basic differences I see between my practice and Wim Hof's are the following:

  1. making the body alkaline through successive deep breathing - in yoga, only Bhastrika comes closest to this. But Bhastrika, because breathing is done fast, you're not able to fully expand and contract the lungs the way Wim Hof does. In short, if I'm only doing other pranayama like Ujjayi, Anuloma Viloma and Kapalabhati, then the breathing is not intense enough to take the body in alkaline condition.
  2. the breath-hold is as long as you can hold it - in my yoga practice, the breath-hold is kept long enough so that you can still release without feeling strained. But with Wim Hof, you take it as long as you can, to a point where spatial disorientation happens and tickling sensation is felt. In short, come as close to passing out before releasing. In fact, this is the key to Wim's method. My post-practice feeling is that of vigor and energized.
  3. breath-hold on the outbreath and inbreath - in my yoga practice, if you're doing a breath-hold on the in-breath (antara kumbhaka), you don't do a breath-hold on the out-breath (bahya kumbhaka) in the same exercise. With Wim Hof, both are done within one set.
  4. don't overthink - I tend to intellectualize a lot. Everything has to be logical. With Wim, you need to feel more - the opposite of intellectualizing.
  5. keeping it simple - with my practice, I cram as many elements as I can - bandha, mudra, and asana. With Wim, it's just the deep breath, the breath-hold and the in-breath. Less is more? It would seem that way.

According to Wim Hof, when the transformation happens, it's like a light switch that's been turned on and magical things begin to happen. So it's not a gradual transition. I'm playing the videos all over again, sometimes pausing after every sentence to make sure I understand what's being said. With the explanation of Wim and supplemental information I gathered from Dr. Joe Dispenza's video on Pineal Gland activation, I feel like I'm on the threshold of transformation. Conceptually, I am able to connect the dots which I find difficult by just reading yoga books which can be cryptic. Now, I have the blueprint to guide me further in my practice. I'm excited.

Wim Hof the Real Deal
I've searched far and wide to take my practice to the next level. It's ironic that I find it from someone who doesn't even regard himself a yogi. Wim is a true teacher. Why do I say that? With what he knows, he can package himself as a deified guru - like what most wannabe-gurus strive to achieve in this day and age of social media. The fake gurus give you partial answers so you're always on the hook. Fake gurus give lectures meant to confuse rather than educate by using woo-woo talk from 50,000 feet above sea level - it's just beyond comprehension. It's hard to find a true teacher nowadays. The ones I consider true are mostly dead - SN Goenka, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, and Krishnamurti. I cannot say how much joy I have to find one who is still alive and willing to teach it all for the greater good of humankind. Thank you Wim Hof.

In summary, the more I listen to Wim Hof, the more questions I have. These are some of them:

  1. If your chakras have opened up, wouldn't you have acquired siddhi powers already? Namely: Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Ishita and Vashita Siddhi. But you got bored with just the lights. You mean, nothing happened beyond seeing lights?
  2. If holding the breath long is key to develop your superhuman abilities, then how come freedivers, some of whom freedive in arctic cold, do not develop these powers?
  3. In the 30 deep breathings, why do you say don't empty the lungs on the outbreath? Shouldn't you be fully emptying the lungs to remove all residual air and rid the body of CO2?
  4. You never included bandhas and mudras in the breathing despite your yogic background. Do you not consider them essential?

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Wim Hof with Russell Brand: Heal Yourself with The Ice Shaman
Mar 10, 2019: 1:25:50



VICE: The Superhuman World of Wim Hof: The Iceman
Jul 16, 2015: 39:43



Iceman Wim Hof: a Scientific Breakthrough
Jun 19, 2011 - 11:03



Reader Comments:

Suzi SuchiSuzi USA
(jun 3, 2020) Less is more, let it flow

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Nong Khai Street Art Nong Khai, Thailand

Nong Khai Street Art

(June 4, 2020) Far from being mainstream, Nong Khai street art is nowhere except on 3 obscure locations. But it's a promising start. Given the right push, it could snowball into a trend that might give Penang a run for its money.....more »»


Nong Khai Travel Information / Tips

Vientiane to Nong Khai by bus

At the Khua Din Bus Terminal, you can board the #14 bus bound for Buddha Park. It will make a stop on the Friendship Bridge border - 15 mins, B8000. Go to Laos Immigration to exit. Board the special bus to cross the Friendship Bridge, Kip 4,000 or Baht 20. It will stop at Thai Immigration. Get processed. From there, board a tuk-tuk for Nong Khai, 5kms.

Nong Khai Attractions
  1. Nong Khai Aquarium -
  2. Salakaewkoo (Wat Khaek) -
  3. Issan Rum Distillery -
  4. Wat Pho Chai -
  5. Lan Phaya Nak -
  6. Tha Sadet Market -
  7. Nong Khai Muay Thai Gym -
  8. Phrathat Bang Phuan -

Nong Khai Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Nong Khai - Chiang Khan Roadtrip June 18, 2020
  2. Life in Nong Khai Mar 13 - June 18, 2020
  3. Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020
  4. Exploring Nong Khai's Cafe Culture Jun 10, 2020
  5. Nong Khai Street Art June 4, 2020
  6. Sirsasana A & B May 20, 2020
  7. Structured Water, Water Therapy and Nauli May 1, 2020
  8. Visiting the Salakaewkoo (Buddha Park) in Nong Khai, Thailand Apr 23, 2020
  9. Fitness in Quarantine Times Apr 20, 2020
  10. Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
  11. Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
  12. Nong Khai with Cheng Mar 18 - Apr ???, 2020
  13. Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
  14. Giant Mekong Catfish at the Nong Khai Aquarium Mar 19, 2020
  15. Drawn to Nong Khai, Thailand Mar 12, 2020

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

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