Makariri; The Cold is My Warm Friend

I don’t know how or why I ended up watching Wim Hof speak on Joe Rogan back in 2016, but that podcast, as it has for many I have talked with, was the beginning of a life changing journey.

Fast forward to April 14, 2019, and the legends Mark Kluwer and Deano Gladstone had invited me up to Gold Coast from Ballina to be a part of their Wim Hof experience and ice bath. Two days earlier I had listened to Wim Speak on Russell Brands show and had been reacquainted with feelings of tingliness and light headedness from one round of the Wim Hof Method. In the episode Russell talks to Wim about the potential of the likes of Kundalini Yoga to take the mind to deep places and the talk about seeing the Chakra’s after Wim identifies them in Russell’s tattoos. I guess this set the seen for what is to come and increased my excitement levels.

Also that previous Friday I spoke with Dean and Mark and they spoke of the potential to find buried traumas, open up and even become overwhelmed with emotion causing burly grown men, such as Mark, to burst into tears. Needless to say this had me a little apprehensive but also extremely excited about what I might find.

So roll on 14 April, 2019, I left Billie and Alex in Ballina, and drove to Price Fitness in Gold Coast advising Alex that I may return a different man. With Cold showers, Ice Baths after sports and plenty of ocean swims under my belt I was prepared for the 3 minutes in the ice. Having only ever done one round of Wim Hof method at a time over the previous 3 years, I was not at all ready for what was about to come.

Yes there were tears, yes there was aura, and yes I lost control.

After Dean and Mark introduced everyone, some mild yoga and breath was completed, there was a short toilet break and we were into it. The energy in the room was amazing and as we all closed our eyes and breathed, we began to breathe “Fully in” and “Let it go”.

After the first round I was beginning to feel my usual tingly light headed feeling, but this was slightly more intense, my hands and face were feeling almost numb and when Mark called for us to start our second round it was like being brought back from out of space. With each breath the tingling began to intensify and I was unsure how I was going to go on and make it to through the 5 rounds.

By the time the third round began, my eyes felt like they were rolling back in my head and I had lost feeling throughout my body, it was like I was floating, my whole body vibrating and I was removed from the shed of Price Fitness, bursts of colours had begun to fill my field as I continued to breath from my stomach to chest, to the top of my head, as I entered the breath hold, light was pulsing, I was thinking of a shipwrecked boat (I attribute this to my known ancestors voyage to NZ) and then I blacked out, I woke to Mark with his hand on my chest and the image of a bearded man over me (this was likely just Mark standing over me but in my euphoric state its was hard to determine real life from aura). Mark says I was roaring.

Rounds four and five are a blur of intensity, tears streaming down my face, body vibrating uncontrollably, a sensational warmth, unimaginable colours, shapes of pyramids and diamonds emanating from the centre of my vision, suns, trees, lions, dragons and of course a mighty stag all dancing across my subconscious.

As we came out of the method and the world began to return I was in such overwhelm, I was filled with energy, love, joy and a release of emotion like I had never experienced.

Nearly 7 months on, I have been regularly practicing the method and have kept up a steady exposure to the cold. The method has resulted in some colours, minor tingles and moments of release and usually mean I have a sensational day of clarity and enhanced energy, but nothing like this first day.

This past labour weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Nigel Beach from Element Health NZ. We met at Hart Street Beach in Mount Mounganui for some breath work and an Ice Bath. Once again I found that deep and intense place I experienced in April, with Nigel’s help and the help of the two other men who were present. Their presence and breath, the birds and passing cars dissolved into oblivion and all I was left with was the same euphoria, colours and the sound of the waves on the ocean. Keeping the ball rolling I spent 5 minutes immersed in the ice, and boy what a feeling.

If you’re keen to hear more, check out the episode I did recounting my experience, also be sure to check out the links above for awesome help to get into this powerful tool.

Have you done it? I would love to hear from you either in the comments or on my Instagram @thestagroar

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