Wim Hof – Day 11

Today I focused on weaknesses. Physical weakness, mental weakness. Understanding one’s inability to focus can explain shortcomings or lackluster results as much as understanding that correcting a physical weakness can result in better mental clarity.

I noted yesterday that, during the breathing and hold exercise, that the length of time that I could hold my breath was proportional to how fully I exhaled. In order to exhale all of the air from my lungs, I need to fully engage my diaphragm. If I exhale all of the air from my lungs, my theory is, the weakness of the diaphragm wanting to relax creates tension and is often the limiting factor causing me to gasp for air. Today, instead of focusing on the result of having an untrained diaphragm, I tried to focus on improving this weak point.

I still want to improve the times in which I can hold my breath. Today I was a bit all over the place in terms of times. My focus was less on the times, or the diaphragm during that step, and more on being present in each deep inhale and focusing on making each breath count. With time and practice both my ability to control the need to gasp for air, and my breathing techniques will improve. But it is important to understand that it is not going to improve overnight. I will continue to take steps in order to improve:

  • Stay fully present during inhale sequence
  • Exhale fully before holding
  • Continue to strengthen diaphragm with breath of fire and other conscious breathing practices

With these in mind, hold times, and the ability to focus during the practice will improve.

My shoulder is still a bit sore. It causes some discomfort in my neck and back. I think this is a common injury in jiu jitsu caused by rolling over the shoulders and pinching the muscles in and around the rotator cuff. This, while it may not have been the cause, can also be affected by weak or damaged muscles along the spine (often caused by neck cranks).

The cold shower today was pretty good. It is starting to feel normal. A few times during the cold shower I was able to sense my body subconsciously relaxing, sensing the inevitability, as the cold landed on a sensitive spot. It’s like my mind and body know that it is really not that bad.

General observations were

  • More aware of weaknesses
  • Not letting the full practice be derailed by focusing on them
  • Making small steps to improve weaknesses while improving strengths by keeping a general focus
  • More comfortable with the cold

Observations:

Breathing Practice

Cold Shower

Part 1 – Exhale Part 2 – Inhale

Part 3 – Fire

Physical

Minor numbness in feet and pain in hips when seated.

Generally better posture.

Felt cold sensation in extremities and ears. Lightheadedness

Could feel blood pumping during hold

Improved posture makes diaphragm engagement more difficult. Good posture is more important. Still notice some tiny gasps when sensitive areas are hit with cold water. No shivering until around 6-7 min.

Subconsciously gritted teeth a few times.

Mental

Ability to focus – fair/average Ability to focus – good Ability to focus – good Calm, with some aggression

Measurable

15 full exhales 30 full inhalesHold times – 0:55, 1:41, 1:25 None 6-7 min

Notes

 Seated with posture going forward None Seated with posture needs improvement.  None

Wim Hof Method – Day 4

Again, found under Pages instead of Posts…thought these two were lost forever.

Today being Day 4 meant nothing more than noting that the initial feeling of wonderment and excitement for something new started to fade. The initial burst I felt was like cutting into an apple and discovering the sweet smell of the juice. If that was Day 1, Day 4 revealed the clean white fruit starting to turn brown. The apple appears to oxidize in seconds. This first glimpse of vulnerability was not met with much disappointment. What more is in store?

Last night following a few hours of jiu jitsu I was the first to enter the showers. I still had a sweat going, but not like the mid-summer, unairconditioned, cramped conditions following an hour black-belt class at GB Montreal where after 30 minutes of rolling with 40 teammates on the mat was followed by a mad dash for the 4 showers only to emerge sweating in dress clothes while bumping into those lined up to do the same. I had cooled off a bit. And, I jumped in quickly and found myself being forced to breath fully in order to relax myself under the cold water.

The cold shower was the least miserable that I’d had. Toward the end I was rinsing off and decided to enjoy it for a few extra seconds until considering others waiting. It was only uncomfortable at the start. After a few seconds it became nice and refreshing. I didn’t need to focus on breathing at all.

This morning was another story. Awoken abruptly by an uncharged battery meant to power our smoke detector; intermittent beeps each 20 or so seconds created an environment unfit for human occupancy. Luckily it was after 8am. For an accidental alarm, it was very well timed. A short trip to the hardware store and things were quiet. Caity made coffee and I got to work. Two cycles of the breathing exercises and I made my way to the shower. I was not excited to get in, and after a few minutes under the water, I was very excited to get out. I would say that my back and arms were very sensitive. I thought about how, after two weeks, the tiny muscles surrounding the veins and capillaries beneath the skin will become stronger from clenching against the cold shock of the water. I wondered how many reps that I’d completed up until this point in my life. I’d jumped in plenty of cold pools, run outside in plenty of snowstorms and stood outside in hundreds of cold November rains. How have these muscles not yet been built up? Do they atrophy as I sit here warm in my robe, or while I’m driving my car with the heater on, sitting in a movie theatre, or sleeping in my bed? I guess so.

The shower this morning was that of Day 4. It was blase. But as I stepped out, again I felt invigorated and energized. While there will be no jiu jitsu or second cold shower tonight, Day 5 will come and the practice will continue.

Wim Hof Method – Day 3

(Just found this under Pages instead of Posts filed under I don’t know how to blog properly)

The part of the practice that has had the most variation has been the showers. For the first few days I’d been assuming that heavy breathing was needed to help negate the cold shock in the shower. Only today did I follow the actual advice to try and relax and embrace the cold. However, I had some differing observations from the past few days. Yesterday, and the day prior, I had two showers. I showered in the morning and clenched and hyperventilated dramatically to try and fight the cold. Then, I showered after jiu jitsu class in the evening. That shower was more of a light breathing and quick washing type shower. But, I noticed that the cold was not as painful. Maybe the post workout shock is a good thing.

Yesterday the morning shower again was fought using deep breathing. I got a bit light headed, but as I ended and opened the curtain, I felt amazing. Last night’s post jiu jitsu shower was not as enjoyable. I’d hurt my shoulder before the class ended, and jumped into the shower after having cooled down. I think the best way to attack the post workout shower is to do so when you’re still hot.

This morning I did the breathing before breakfast. This was much better. I went through the cycle twice but found that I’m unable to hold my breath for much time at all when I’ve exhaled. I will try and time this and work to improve my time going forward, but I don’t want to open my eyes and dick around with my phone while I’m trying to focus. Maybe I’ll just continue to work without observing the measurable time. We will see tomorrow.

The breathing went well, the shower was cold as hell. I slowly rotated around and focused the cold on my damaged shoulder which felt great. The back and tops of my shoulders are as sensitive as anywhere else. I think it is very likely that places that are most sensitive to tattoo pain are the same as cold pain. I wonder if this practice will make my next tattoo more endurable . . . I doubt it.

I was able to relax and stay in the shower for a few minutes. I felt great again after getting out. This time I was very hungry. The cold in the shower still reminds me of some sort of cold work like hunting or fishing in pursuit of food. I’ll keep associating it with that I guess…

Wim Hof Method – Day 10

“If man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts. But if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties” – Francis Bacon

I felt a few doubts today conducting the breathing practice. The breath holding is improving, however, I wonder if the times depend more upon how empty my lungs are versus how “charged” my body is with O2 . . .

After the breathing I decided to take a few deep breaths and hold with full lungs. My time was 10 seconds less than my empty lung best. That said, I also have not been fully emptying my lungs due to the posture that results in fully raising the diaphragm. When you exhale, it feels like you are pushing the air out with your mouth. In reality, the diaphragm is doing the work.

Respiratory system.svg

The diaphragm functions in breathing. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and moves in the inferior direction, thus enlarging the volume of the thoracic cavity. This reduces intra-thoracic pressure: In other words, enlarging the cavity creates suction that draws air into the lungs.(1)

Outside of my slight apprehension, the breathing practice and cold shower were great. I will just have to keep practicing and stop second guessing every tiny variable.

Observations:

Breathing Practice Cold Shower
Part 1 – Exhale Part 2 – Inhale

Part 3 – Fire

 

 

Physical

Minor numbness in feet and pain in hips when seated. Cold sensation in ears and tingling fingers at 25 breaths.

Trace closed eye visuals after 30 breaths.

Slight out of body feelings, trace closed eye visuals. Most sensitive around shoulders and armpits.

Started shivering around 5 min.

Vivid colors

 

Mental

Able to focus on exhale/diaphragm and count. Fully focused on breath and count. Fully focused on breath. Calm today. Some aggression. Compassionate upon exiting and drying off.
 

Measurable

 

15 full exhales

30 full inhales

Hold times – 1:25, 1:51, 1:55

 

None

 

4:40

 

Notes

 

None

Questioning how much to empty lungs at point of hold.

 

Music with matching rhythm would be ideal  

None

Practice explained on Day 9 – https://stevedaws.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/wim-hof-method-day-9/

(1) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_diaphragm#Function

 

Wim Hof Method – Day 9

Last night at some point during judo and jiu jitsu I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. It is not the first time. The muscles near the rotator cuff/scapula connect to those in and along the spine. It often happens in jiu jitsu when the neck is forced/cranked that pain can shoot down from the spine along the shoulder. It usually takes a few days to recover. So, I rolled light at the end of training and will take today off. The cold shower last night after training (at the gym) was very cold, but very manageable. I take back what I said about the showers at the gym being warmer than home.

Today the breathing practice and cold shower went well. I am starting to hone in on the rhythm of the breathing. In an effort to organize my thoughts more clearly I will try breaking down the observations into sections.

Breathing Practice

I followed the advice of a fellow practitioner who participated in a Wim Hof seminar and found massive benefits from the instruction. I like to find different postures and movements to perform during/between the scheduled breathing. There are three types of breathing that I am practicing to complete one set. Today I did three sets.

Part 1 : Full exhale – This is a warm-up. It consists of 15 fully exhaled breaths. The exhale is fully emphasised; I don’t force the inhale, but relax and allow my lungs to refill until I feel pressure in the diaphragm.  The technique is performed in yoga table top, downward dog position, or seated. I find that I can engage my diaphragm fully, on the exhale, when I am able to curl my chin down and round my back. It is only when I am in this curled position that I feel that I can fully empty my lungs.

This posture is great for the full exhale breathing, but not great for the deep breathing and breath hold because it is difficult to balance a fully engaged diaphragm while trying to avoid gasping. Maybe I can do this when I become more advanced. 

Part 2 : Full inhale – This is the heart of the technique. 30 deep breaths. The notes that have helped include inhaling as if you are about to blow up a balloon, breathe in a circle in and out, and to take about the same time, two seconds each, for inhale and exhale. These 30 deep, or power breaths are what charge your body with O2. I perform these laying flat on my back. I try to relax and count the breaths on my fingers. At 30, I take two long slow inhales and exhales. On the second exhale I hold. Following the hold, I inhale and hold for 15 seconds and then breathe easy, noting specific sensations in the body.

Part 3 : Breath of Fire – After calming myself down I sit up and perform the breath of fire breathing for a few minutes. This stresses the diaphragm and causes the mind to focus on the breath. It is not easy, but will improve with practice. Here is an example:

After Part 3, the cycle begins again with some light yoga movement.

Cold Shower : After three cycles it’s time for the cold shower. I put the shower on full blast cold and slowly step in. The past few days I have increased my time spent in the shower and reduced the fight or flight response caused by the cold water by breathing calmly and counting. As I inhale I count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [pause] exhale 1, 2, 3, 4 [pause] and then inhale 2, 2, 3, 4, 5 [pause] etc. This allows me to measure my time spent in the shower and remain calm.

I do try and stand under the water so that it lands on the more sensitive parts of my body: my shoulders, armpits, and head. I rotate around slowly and then just shower as I normally would after a minute or two under the water when I’ve fully embraced the cold and am sure to have calmed my breathing. After the shower, I usually make some tea and have breakfast.

Observations: Breathing Practice Cold Shower
Part 1 – Exhale Part 2 – Inhale Part 3 – Fire
Physical Tingling in feet/ankles when seated.

More difficult to focus and stay still when in tabletop or down dog.

Cold sensation in ears around 20 breaths.

Tingling fingers around 25 breaths.

Visual lights around 30.

Exhale pushes so hard that the inhale happens without effort. It almost feels like letting go is the way to inhale. Most sensitive around shoulders and armpits.

Started shivering around 5 min.

Part way through shower, noticed colors seemed more vivid

Mental Easy to forget count.

Easy to lose concentration.

Fully focused on breath and count. Fully focused on breath. Calm today. No aggression.
Measurable Holds – 1:15, 1:30, 1:48 Approx. 5 min
Variables Maybe audible cues on exhale will help retain focus. Better performed while laying back.

Not able to exhale as fully as when seated.

Use phone stopwatch for timing the hold.

Seated position is best for this. Will use phone to time length going forward.

Timing conducted using inhale 5s, exhale 4s, w/ pause. Each breath cycle = 10sec

The calm slow breathing does seem to subconsciously continue long after I’ve exited the shower. It seems as though the practice of slow controlled breathing gets locked in by the cold.

Wim Hof Method – Day 8

Ups and downs. Good/bad. Yin-Yang etc . . .

Trying to follow Wim’s words of “feeling is understanding” will inevitably lead to varying practices. I have a tendency to be indecisive. Indecisiveness is a cousin of inconsistency. My practices the past few days have been riddled with inconsistencies. I am trying to add too many variables at once. I need to be more scientific in my methodology. I found today, that feeling is understanding. The second round of breathing gave me some guidance. Instead of focusing on which methods will allow me to hold my breath longer, focus on the physical feelings and then simply observe how long I can hold.

Observation over perception. This is important.

The Hof breathing exercises were followed by breath of fire breathing. I am going to add this to my practice. I don’t know if I will add it at the beginning or the end. It really works the diaphragm and forces the mind to focus on the breath. This reduces the possibilities of distraction; but only until I become proficient at the practice and can complete it seamlessly from muscle memory.  For now I will use it as a way to increase my control of the diaphragm.

The cold shower is getting easier and easier. A rhythmic breathing 5 second inhale, 4 second exhale count with small pauses helps to both breathe calmly under the cold, and keep track of how long I stay in.

Ex.

on the inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 pause, exhale, 2, 3, 4, pause, in 2, 2, 3, 4, 5 pause . . .

Counting using the bold numbers allows me to ballpark each 10 second interval with each breath cycle. Today I stayed in for about 3.5 minutes.

Today was not the best practice with the breathing. I did note a few things and aim to observe more.

Wim Hof Method – Day 7

It is not too difficult to type, however, my fingers are still quite pale. The blood in my veins has rushed in toward my core to protect my vital organs. The extremities are just nonessential material compared to the heart. The brain knows this and will manage the priorities subconsciously. But, I believe that the purpose of this exercise is to change that.

Mindfulness helps to note different sensations, be it physical, emotional, visual or auditory distractions. Our brain has ways of dealing with these sensations. And often times our brain will subconsciously react to different stimuli in the same way. For instance, adrenaline production. Maybe you’re hiking in the woods and come across a mountain lion. Your adrenaline might spike up a bit. As the cat walks toward you, maybe you are able to refrain from running. You remember that a cat will chase. So you stand still, breathe. It’s still walking toward you. Maybe it doesn’t see you. Surprise it first and scare it off . . . you open your coat and lift your arms out in the air to appear larger than you are. “Hey cat! Get out of here!”

That was adrenaline you felt in that life or death situation. Note how that feels. Now, you’re stuck in traffic and some guy is trying to cut in front of you. Nobody can get around, and this guy is making this more difficult. Cars behind are honking their horns. But, you aren’t about to let this prick in. Suddenly he rolls down his window and starts yelling in your direction. You see him losing his shit. You don’t want to get into a fight, nor do you want to give in. This stress causes a similar feeling as with the cat. The good thing about this situation is that it’s not life or death. You can just shrug your shoulders, roll up your window, and breathe easy. Then again if you are not in control, maybe you get a bit of rage boiling up. That is adrenaline rushing through you.

Our brain just reacts. It’s only when we are able to understand what triggers certain responses in our brain, can we begin to control it.

Yesterday the feeling of anger while standing under the cold shower, the previous days thoughts of hunting. These are aggressive feelings triggered by the physical stress of cold. Maybe other people would have different thoughts based on previous life experiences when faced with the cold water. My attempt at being mindful in this situation has helped me to connect jumping in a cold shower with the panic felt when finding myself in a street fight, or some type of physical competition. It must be adrenaline, right? A host of neurochemicals are likely being produced when I step into the cold. But something about the way I feel is telling me that adrenaline is a big one.

Brief notes about the past 24 hours.

  • Yoga and jiu jitsu last night followed by a cold shower at the gym
    • The shower at the gym is not as cold as at home
    • The yoga helped me to be more relaxed at jiu jitsu
    • The yoga helped me reach deeper stretches this morning during yoga/meditation
  • Breathing practice today
    • Round 1 was completed in squat position
    • Round 1 sucked and was followed by a 30 second breath hold
      • Moving while holding the breath causes me to fail faster
      • The diaphragm moves as my posture changes thus stressing the hold
    • Round 2 was completed seated
    • Seated breathing gives me better control of the diaphragm and will result in better hold
      • Breathing deeply and more calmly more circular rhythm helped
      • Holding was better at 40 seconds
      • Hold will improve with better posture/control
  • Shower
    • Cold . . .
    • Entering the shower was much easier today (inevitable)
    • Steady deep breathing and controlling gasps when hit with the cold helped to manage feelings of anger/adrenaline possibly

I find myself continuing the deep breathing after I step out of the shower for the next few minutes. Something I heard Hof say, was to breathe more than you think you need. I tried to work on this during yoga yesterday and will try and making breathing more a habit.

Hof method – Day 2

Maybe my disdain for the cold turned me onto this. Maybe my prior, I’d say failed, attempts to understand the basics of seated meditation inspired me to find another way. Perhaps looking back at what I’ve learned about philosophy, human history, evolution and geography have always made me wonder how our ancestors survived. After day 2 I think I caught a glimpse. I pulled back the curtain after turning off my freezing cold shower and felt awakened. The pictures hanging on the wall were vivid. My vision was never so sharp. I felt like sprinting.

This moment reminded me of other times in my life. I thought about the first time I had taken LSD. I looked at my pupils in the mirror. They were dilated even in the bright bathroom light. My friends and I talked about this and how we were sensitive to light because of the phenomenon. This is the first thing observed during a psychedelic trip. Even on light doses of mushrooms or cannabis, colors become more vivid. Was I having a psychedelic trip in my bathroom from breathing heavily and stepping into a cold shower for a few minutes?

Three days ago I saw that Wim Hof was the guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I hadn’t heard the name. But, when I saw that he had climbed Everest in a pair of shorts, I remembered a documentary that I’d planned to, and since forgot to watch. Skipping back and forth between the live podcast feed, I browsed through some of Hof’s website and came across the Vice documentary. While Rogan was getting personally introduced to Hof, he talked about the scientific research that had been done while Hof was out breaking world records for executing physical tasks while withstanding extreme cold. The studies were all there on Hof’s page. They were explained further in the Vice piece that I watched, deciding to forgo the podcast until later.

I immediately connected with some of the things that Hof was talking about. Wim Hof is a middle aged man from Holland with a salt and pepper beard and an accent that reminded me of my German friend Matthias. Hof studied many types of meditation and Yoga before developing, what his son has since marketed as, the Hof Method. The Hof method was a combination of exercises similar to holotropic breathing combined with meditation and cold shock therapy. Hof explains that with this system he has been able to tap into the central nervous system and consciously control the immune system. Hof has shown in himself and his students, the ability to raise the heart rate, body temperature, pH, and produce adrenaline. This ability was previously believed to be only automatonic (controlled subconsciously by the body responding to stress).

While it is day two, day two is the first I’m writing about this. Day two is the introduction, and day two is not yet behind me. I still have to cook and go train.

But after my breathing practice, which was performed twice, I had a few things worth noting.

  • Sitting upright and tucking my chin toward my chest improved the ease with which to exhale fully.
  • Performing the breathing in the morning before eating will be better as I felt some minor sensation from having eaten.
  • The second repetition of the breathing was done from a seated position (to improve the exhale), but when attempting to hold my breath, the position seemed to be restrictive
    • Hof suggested doing push-ups during this time to experience strength during times of (previously assumed) oxygen deprivation
    • Hof also suggests contracting the root chakra, holding moola banda by contracting the rectum and dick and pulling the navel in toward the spine. I don’t know that this helped me hold the breath any better.
  • Observing some slight discomforts in the diaphragm and ribs when breathing (could have been from jiu jitsu) and the knee and IT band while seated. Noting these and zooming in/zooming out as described by Shinzen Young did help cause these to dissipate. This practice, also implied by Hof was also helpful during the cold shower.
  • The cold shower was cold at first but became pleasant. Cold sensitive areas were the back and armpits.
    • I was reminded of camp and dunking my head in the spring
    • I remembered Rickson Gracie in Choke jumping in the frozen river in Japan
    • Stepping out of the shower made me feel a connection to ancestors who must have been forced to step out into the cold to hunt
      • a feeling of wanting to sprint
      • improved vision

Overall, day two was great. Tomorrow I will start earlier in the morning and complete this before breakfast.

Wim Hof Method – Day 6

Things are running smoothly so far today. The breathing practice was completed with a few minor adjustments yet again. Yoga positions were utilized during the 15 slow full exhales. I completed both rounds of the 30 deep inhales seated. Each day I’ve noticed that the second round of breathing is both easier, in terms of focus, and more effective in terms of generating an overall feeling of euphoria upon completion.

At the end of each breathing set I lay back and close my eyes observing the feelings in my body and trying to hold my breath with empty lungs. This should be easier than it is due to the blood in the body having just been fully oxygenated by the breathing. But I find it difficult to hold my breath. The reflex to gasp for air is quite strong. Today I tried to count how long I was actually holding my breath. The times were 30 and 40 seconds respectively. I have read of others having some trouble with this. I will keep track of my times and will work to improve based on measuring results from observed variables.

Following the second round of breathing, while holding the breath and following exhalation, some closed eyed visuals were observed. Very faint kaleidoscope with the appearance of a calm face in the center. Yesterday I noticed the face. Today I noticed both the face and the patterns. My mind’s playing tricks on me, or vs vsa.

Today the cold shower (which lasted 3 minutes) was about the same as previous days. When I got fully under the water and started to turn only to feel the same pain/cold that I’d remembered feeling the previous day, I felt aggressive. Something about the cold shower triggers the fight or flight/adrenaline response. I started to think this is why Wim Hof has made the connection from breathing/yoga/mindfulness practice to the physical cold. Cold will trigger an immediate response whether we are mindful or not. Being mindful will help to recognize these responses in the body and hopefully, eventually, control them.

I tried to be mindful while taking the shower. The cold did prompt thoughts of aggression in the first few days. I remember emerging from the morning shower on the first and second day and looking out across the bathroom thinking about hunting. Even now, with the tips of my fingers still white, dry and cold I can remember jumping into plenty of cold pools. Jumping up off the floor and out of the water yelling and shaking my fists as if flexing all of my muscles could fight off the cold. There must be an adrenaline increase caused by being submerged in cold.

Later today I will go to yoga and then train jiu jitsu. I’m sure a cold shower will follow. One more thing to note; the showers following jiu jitsu have felt easier. I was able to relax there more so than in my own shower in the morning. Maybe it is the temperature or another variable. Or maybe it is the fact that all of my adrenaline was left on the mat. And I am able to relax in the cold shower after having fought for 1 or 2 hours. Or, maybe I’m just remembering it as more relaxing . . .

Wim Hof Method – Day 5

I started writing as soon as I stepped out of the shower. My keyboard froze, coincidentally, so I pushed it until later. Sunday evening now. I’ve since warmed up significantly since this morning’s routine. Today was different than the others in a few ways. I incorporated more yoga into the breathing. Previously I’d found that seated cross legged enabled me to exhale further than lying down. Curling the chin down toward the abdomen was really ideal for engaging the diaphragm and emptying the lungs. However, when seated, my knees always give me trouble.

At the start of every yoga class I’ve attended (less than a dozen probably) they start with child’s pose. This always makes my left knee pop. It’s like a starting gun. So, I used this to begin my practice today. It worked. I then performed the full exhale breathing using the arched and rounded cat back posture on all fours. I stretched my hamstrings in downward dog before performing the heavy breathing exercise in a full squat position. While I did read that the breathing could/should be performed in the squat position to provide a known discomfort to focus the brain on while breathing, I believe that the pose is the kung fu horse stance.

I’m not sure I’ll be doing that.

Following the squat, I found it comfortable to fall backwards and lay on the mat to relax and try and hold my breath. I am still very much uncomfortable doing this and unable to keep from gasping in 20 seconds or so. I am not sure what I’m doing wrong.

Otherwise, the breathing exercises were energising and warmed me up. I was much more prepared to jump in the cold shower after the breathing today than yesterday.

The cold shower was still pretty difficult. Upon entering I found that as I rotated around, the parts that were not in contact with the water would quickly warm up and be forced to feel the shock of the cold each time I turned. After staying under the shower for what felt like a few minutes but was probably only one, I counted in my head to ensure that I’d stay for two full minutes, from that point. Two minutes felt like a long time. I was shivering a bit when I opened the curtain, and for a few minutes after drying off. I felt good and energized. I think I’ll try and add more time under the water tomorrow.

I don’t know how I’ll learn to hold my breath longer. The urge to inhale is quite strong. I will try and read up a bit.