When I first heard about the Wim Hof Method and ice bath therapy, I was a bit skeptical. It sounded like something that only extreme athletes endure. But as someone who has always been interested in trying new experiences and could see the potential benefits to improve my health and well-being, I decided to give it a try.
We checked into the Bhakti Kutir hotel, a wellness focused retreat well known for their yoga and meditation programmes. The hotel is split up into approx 22 jungle villas as well as dorm rooms for backpackers. On the way to breakfast, I glanced at their notice board and one activity stood out from the rest. The Wim Hof Method and ice bath therapy.
The session is split into 2 main parts:
Part 1 – 20 minutes of guided breathwork using the Wim Hof Method. Learning about the breathing techniques that will help us in conquering part 2
Part 2 – 15 minutes of light exercise to get the blood pumping and circulatory system going. Then 2 rounds in the ice bath for 2 mins each – (2 minutes is hell of a long time)…
Part 1 – Just Getting Started
We started off with some guided meditation, laying down on the yoga mats gazing up into the jungle canopy with the sun blazing down on us. Luke, our coach, asked us to close our eyes and took us on a journey to relax our minds and body. After 5 minutes we were ready to begin the breath work.
The breath work exercises were new to me, I had not heard of Wim Hof nor had I tried any of these methods before. This stage consisted of 3 rounds, 90 seconds of hyperventilating followed by a breath hold and then slowing the breathing and heart rate down. These crucial exercises were the main preparation for the next part of the session. The breath hold surprised me the most, I managed to consistently hold my breath for much longer than normal.
Part 2 – Braving the Cold with the Wim Hof Method
Firstly, before braving the cold we had to get our heart rate up, anything that would get the blood pumping around the body. This is so important otherwise it will make the ice bath experience so much more difficult.
Stepping in was definitely a shock to the system, after a few seconds of slowing down my breathing, I then slowly lowered myself into the small tub until I was sitting down and chunks of ice were floating at neck level. Every part of my body was screaming at me to get out, the cold water immediately began to numb my skin and muscles, and I fought hard to keep the state of meditative calm we had learnt just 30 mins prior.
Without sugar coating it, the 2 minutes were painful, numbing and I just wanted it to end. The first 30 seconds were the hardest and the cold got a little more bearable as time went on, although it seemed to drag on for hours. Going in for the second time was more difficult than the first in my experience. However, for the rest of the day, I felt invigorated and energized. I felt more alert than before and I slept like a log that night.
Would I do Ice Bath Therapy Again?
Overall, I’m glad I gave the whole session a go, it was definitely a challenge, but the (short term) benefits I experienced were well worth it. I’m not sure if I’m ready to take on some of the more advanced techniques in the Wim Hof Method just yet, but I’m definitely open to continuing to incorporate cold therapy into my wellness routine whether that’s taking another session in the future or even taking ice cold showers.
I would definitely recommend giving the Wim Hof Method & ice bath therapy a go at least once!
Here’s a little about us and why we do what we do!
We’re Serena and Anish, from London, and like a lot of you out there, we love travelling, exploring and experiencing the local and less touristy corners of the world. Finding undiscovered places is something we love, whether that is a local restaurant serving the best home cooked food, finding the best boutique hotel or an unheard of immersive experience. You can trust us to find it all for you!
We’ve decided to bring you a brand which is more personal. We don’t want to be strangers telling you what we think is best, we want you to get to know us and through us, find the real ‘off the beaten path’ places.
Have you ever landed in an airport with no access to data or wifi, and unsure of the safest and cheapest way to get into the city? On this website, not only will you find restaurants where the locals dine, pop-up bars and hidden speakeasies which we’ve found and tried, we are also providing you with the top local tips to make travelling easier.
Our content is digestible, trusted and definitely not mainstream. you won’t find restaurant chains, broadway shows or the most popular bar in town on here, you can visit timeout and trip advisor for that. we want to be with you from the beginning to the end, helping you travel like a local, exploring the world differently. UNDISC_VERED is where you’ll find everything in one place.
Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat, fine dining, a cozy cocktail bar or a boozy brunch; the amount of websites, blogs and articles on google is suffocating. we want to make your trip easier to plan; you won’t find an endless list of places here, every recommendation on our website is personal. There’s no wasting time here, we know your time is valuable and you don’t want to spend the rest of your day finding somewhere to go.
Finding out you missed out on an underground speakeasy, the best boutique hotel or an immersive theatre pop-up after you’ve left a city is the worst! Don’t get fomo, finding the ‘off the beaten path’ places is who we are and we want to share these hidden gems with you!
Let us know whether you liked the suggestions in the comments and if you want info on anything else, we’re always happy to help with recommendations in any city around the world!