COLD WATER IMMERSION

 
Getting in to cold water is something I’ve been practicing with growing enthusiasm since 2008. There are many reasons why I choose to do it. Above all is because it’s fun and generates health, happiness and a feeling of vitality. I decided to shoot a video demonstrating one way to do it and want to write a little bit about it.

This video was recorded in Big Sur California, July 2016. I was up one mile on a forest road of the mountain range. There is a spring fed stream and the time is early in the morning right after waking up. The water is cold and clean and the air is pure and crisp. Wild elemental beauty.

SIMPLICITY FIRST

This is the foundation of a sound strategy. Just get in and breathe. Perceive the cold experience like a friend or lover. Everything else can be considered as peripheral opponents that serve to distract. Resistance in disguise. Excuses, justifications and stories designed to maintain an illusion of comfortable safety.

Why try, when we can stay warm and dry?

We can talk ourselves out of anything challenging that is accompanied by fear, which leads us away from the path toward magnificence, to settle instead for tepid mediocrity. When we over think something, the hesitation can cause paralysis through unnecessary anticipation. One thing that can be a powerful aide to us in these times is motivation. Compelling reasons for why we would do something.

Here is the call to action: Be quiet and get in the cold water. After that comes the warmth, conversation and celebratory pat on the back.

TOTAL COMMITMENT

Here are some reasons why, that might serve to motivate you to abandon warm dry comfortable clothes and get naked and vulnerable into cold dark waters. Ancient cultures have known of the health benefits of hydrotherapy for a long time and have practiced it right up to now. Many of them get into ice water for a little bit and follow that with a soak in a hot spring or with sweating in a sauna. The oscillation from cold hot cold hot does wonders for the body mind and soul.

Scientific studies are catching up to this today and validating all the positive health effects. Any legitimate research into longevity looks at this area for it’s ability to retard the biological aging process. Cellular stimulation like this leads to biological regeneration. It’s extremely invigorating and charges the batteries of the body. The sensation is electrifying. The sensory mechanisms get activated. It’s a full spectrum resurrection of the body mind and soul from the death grip of domestication. It promotes beauty from the inside out, from the digestive organs to the skin. Weight loss through the contraction and expansion of everything on the micro scale. Increasing of confidence on the psychological level. Entertainment in the elements. It’s fun and gets us out into nature.

MEDITATIONS ON INTEGRATION 

The key is in the breath. Before getting in, breathe. It must be deep and active. From the lower diaphragm and with conscious intent. Focus on the cyclical rhythm. Feel free to make sounds and move the body. Swing with the vocals and play with the song and dance. Do it with meaningful intention. Push past the limiting zone of insecurity and do this for a long time. Like 10 minutes, at least. This will guide the mind and generate bodily warmth. A passionate performance.

Once in the water, go all the way and keep breathing. There is a tempting reaction to close tight and hold on. It is imperative to relax, open up and let go. Remember to keep breathing. Notice the physical sensations, mental chatter and emotional feelings. The content of these phenomena does not have to be accepted as truth, especially if it’s not positively oriented. Expand the gates of perception to a more optimystic context. Creativity is evolution in our hands and we are capable of achieving virtually anything we might wish for.

Free the mind and the body will follow. Say yes.


Wim Hof is an inspiring and influential person to me. He is also known as the Iceman. His main message is about encouraging people to embrace the cold and breathe deep. Through the consistent practice of a respiratory and psychological method he developed, he has achieved many great feats of frigid endurance, gained critical acclaim and scientific recognition. I highly recommend that you check out his website, youtube channel and read his book. If you want to quickly and easily apply his technique into your lifestyle routine, here is a link where you can read the summary guide to the Wim Hof method. The results are positively profound and immediately applicable.

As Wim Hof teaches and as I have come to know through experience, we must simply make the choice to become friends and lovers with the nature and texture of cold, through water and breath. It will then be a supreme teacher of valuable life lessons. We need to transcend fear and learn the art of dying. We humbly bow with respect to the immense power of this element and in doing so, build nerve force, resilience, adaptability and strength of will. We can reverse the process of domestication and reclaim the wild potential of our genetic species.

This is the work of a warrior.

Get wet, wild and playful. It’s just a game. But do remember to be responsible about it. Use common sense and have some way to get warm after exposure to cold. Start slow and build up. Incorporate cold water into your showers. Jump into a stream, pond, ocean or ice bath. Have a sauna, hot tub or fire nearby. Bring warm layers of clothes. Get hardcore and do some exercises to raise the thermal dynamics and regenerate heat. Remember to breathe. It’s probably the most important thing to consider. For everything in life.

Stay cool.

A record-holding freediver plunges beneath the perilous Arctic ice. “I dived under the ice to get a perspective on it and it was literally breath taking”

 
David WhippleComment