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Marius Helf practicing the Wim Hof Method in an icy river surrounded by snow covered mountains Personal story

How I relearned to breathe – and how it…

In 2017 I was feeling exhausted.

I had just moved to a new city in a new country. I was in multitasking hell in my job, where I was juggling a plethora of technical projects in addition to managing a team of Data Scientists and helping a startup grow to maturity. In addition, I was suffering from frequent and heavy cold and flu, a condition I have been struggling with for the better part of my adult life. In 2017, my sick leave accumulated to a level that was not acceptable to neither me nor my boss.

Six months later, I am standing bare-chested on the ice of a frozen lake in winter Sweden, cutting a hole into the thick layer of ice and getting ready to jump in.

Today, I am teaching how to leverage extreme cold, a powerful breathing technique and forging a strong mindset to become a happier, healthier and stronger version of yourself – how to unleash the Happy Yeti within.

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what happens when we breathe Science

What happens when we breathe?

A cycle of life

Up in the sky the sun circles on its path from horizon to horizon, day by day, year by year. The sun is huge, 1,390,000 kilometers in diameter. You can fit 1,000,000 earths into the sun! And inside the sun a gigantic nuclear reaction is producing an unbelievable amount of heat and energy. A part of this energy radiates into the universe. High energetic particles and light. Eight minutes and 20 seconds after leaving the surface of the sun, after traveling 150 million kilometers through space, some of this energy arrives on our earth and gives you this warm feeling when it kisses your face on a sunny morning. But it also gives energy to virtually all live on earth, and the sun rays that stroked the skin of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago are now fueling your car or your commuter train when you go to work tomorrow morning.

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Marius Helf swimming in a frozen lake in Sweden Personal story

How I started to love the cold

My first encounter with the cold was in my first year at university. For some reason I decided to wear shorts — one complete year long. And in my home and study town of Dortmund, we have seasons, including a winter. Not too cold of a winter, but cold enough to make my daily 10k cycle to uni challenging. Still, all went well for about 10 months. Then, one day in December, the flu got me. I was more or less in bed for the better of 2 weeks, and I have been struggling with frequent colds ever since.

So what brought me back to the cold? What has driven me to even go on a five day expedition to Sweden to swim in ice water and hike for 2 hours through the snow covered wilderness south of Stockholm, with nothing but shoes, shorts and a woolen hat on me?

And even more, why did I feel reborn after these 5 days, instead of being in bed with a fever?

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