The breathing

The second pillar of the Wim Hof method is breathing. We breathe constantly, but we know nothing about the enormous potential of this physiological function. A higher level of oxygen in the body brings many benefits, and the breathing techniques of the Wim Hof Method highlight these: more energy, reduced stress levels and an increased immune response that allows pathogens to be treated quickly.

Breathing exercises are an important part of the Wim Hof method. With this powerful method, 'Iceman' Wim Hof has been able to do extraordinary things, such as climbing Everest in shorts and running barefoot in the snow for long periods of time. The Wim Hof method is like Toumo yoga and Pranayama, a breathing work, but it has its specificities. The breathing exercise of the Wim Hof Method will help you to take control of your body and mind and will enable you to influence your nervous and immune systems. As Wim says, his method is based on the "hardness and cold of Nature" and will help you to fight forces such as cold, heat and stress.


The practice of the specific breathing exercises of the Wim Hof method will release your inner fire. The exercises focus on deep and rhythmic inspirations, described by Wim as 'controlled hyperventilation', followed by a retention time during which you hold your breath. By practicing the breathing exercises, you release more energy, act on your nervous system and modify various physiological responses. You voluntarily induce a response to stress (retention), which, with practice, will result in greater resilience to everyday stress, mentally and physiologically, and a greater sense of control.

These breathing exercises are only one of the three pillars of Wim Hof's method. The other two pillars are cold therapy and the development of your mind. When combined, the three pillars will help you to become stronger and improve your health.

Known advantages of the Wim Hof method include :

  • Stress reduction
  • Faster recovery after physical exertion
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced sport performance
  • Increased Creativity
  • More concentration and mental clarity

The Wim Hof Method is also associated with reducing the symptoms of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, asthma, sarcoidosis, vasculitis and several autoimmune diseases.