Breathing Deep at my Extreme Wellness Retreat 

In April this year I made it to LEVEL 50 which is pretty exciting seeing as how much I have managed to pack in within that time and if I stay as well as I hope I will get another 40 levels or so (years that is). I am not a fan of big parties as it feels like a million ½ conversations so instead I chose to do a few smaller things with family and friends and then I took myself off on a solo adventure. If you have met me before this is not a surprise as firstly I love travel, second I love nature and third I love a challenge and some good healthy living all rolled into one.

It just so happened that Dr Marc Cohen was running what is called an “extreme wellness retreat” at the Maruia Hot Springs  in the South Island of New Zealand. I had a week of immersing myself in hot springs, cold streams and plunge pools. There were saunas, steam rooms, massages and divine food ALL while being off the grid and immersed in the mountains of New Zealand.

It was the perfect way to enter my ‘new year’ and to unplug and rejuvenate for a week. I managed a solo 16 km run/hike on my actual birthday, which was bliss and the whole retreat was as good as had been hyped and as a result I am now a new convert to the Wim Hoff method of breathing and ice bathing.

As I have worked my way through Natures 7 healers it is a perfect time to introduce you to number 6,  Fresh Air / Breathing. Below is a simple chart to explain the benefits derived from focused effective breathing..

As a pretty busy person in mind and body I can find meditation hard  to bring into my daily practice. Learning a new breathing method, be it buteko or alternate nostril breathing (of Wim Hof) has been a much easier daily ritual.  On my retreat one of the instructors in the Wim Hof method offered to be my ‘guest writer’ for this one. So please let me introduce you to Johannes.

‘The respiratory system in most of us is not functioning at an optimal level. A pro-active attitude is required in order for us to heal it, restore it, to iron out the dysfunctional breathing patterns that are limiting our body from functioning at it’s optimal level. Once our breathing capacity is restored to its natural level, it automatically becomes a therapeutic tool. The body and breath can be used to heal the mind. The mind and breath can be used to heal the body. Indeed, the breath is known as the bridge between the nervous system. You can alter you state, change physiological responses and, as the Wim Hof method has proven, tap in to the immune system through the breath. I like to say the breath is the remote control of the nervous system.

The second pillar of the Wim Hof method is breathing. We’re always breathing, yet we’re mostly unaware of its tremendous potential. Heightened oxygen levels hold a treasure trove of benefits, and the specialized breathing technique of the Wim Hof Method unearths them all. You gain more energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune response that swiftly deals with pathogens”