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 . . .