Breath and Cold

Published
Aug 16, 2021

Words
Leah Scott

Photos
Mandy Lamont

Take a deep breath. Draw the air in through your nose and expand your abdomen. Feel the fresh air filling your lungs and your rib cage expanding. Feel your connection to the world. Now exhale, step into the icy water and let go.

Breath and cold

Breathwork is the first pillar of the revolutionary phenomenon, the Wim Hof Method. Which is arguably more famous for its second pillar, cold exposure. This evidence-based method, taking over Australia (and the world), has now hit the mainstream. And it’s finally starting to receive the recognition it deserves. Science is showing that it’s the long-term combination of both pillars that holds the key.

The popularity of the Wim Hof Method stems from its life changing physiological and psychological benefits. Including; reduction in stress. Anxiety and depression. Improving sleep. Rebalancing hormones. Improving sports performance. Enhancing immunity. Supporting autoimmune diseases treatment, and my favourite. The cognitive enhancements; improving focus and mental clarity.

Leah's Journey

As a certified instructor based in the Snowy Mountains, you will find me plunging in the Thredbo River all year round. A practice that has been a part of my life for the last 5 years. After my divorce in 2016 I experienced extreme anxiety, panic attacks and depression and felt I’d lost my place in society. So I went on a journey of self-discovery and healing, eventually coming across the Wim Hof Method.

Finding the Wim Hof Method

Initially I trained myself in the local mountains and rivers, before being fortunate enough to be trained by Wim himself in 2018. Then teaching alongside him in 2019. This path has enabled me to bring a high level of respect, quality and safety to my teaching. Having trained myself in extreme environments, I’m able to see the things that those I teach miss. And see whether they have pushed themselves enough in the cold, or if they could go just that little bit deeper.

For me, cold training provides an unparalleled level of self awareness, while breathwork is the tool that enables deep inner work. No other modality has given me the peace, freedom, strength and presence that the Wim Hof Method has. Overall, I have a better relationship with myself, greater self love and self acceptance and more emotional stability and inner peace.

I think it is a gift to be alive at this moment. However, I’m conscious that for others it is an incredibly intense time. That’s why sharing this Method feels like the right path. An authentic one. Because I believe these practices – breathwork and cold training – together with the supportive communities they foster, help us to stay grounded and connected, to one another, and to the world.

x Leah

Join Leah in the Snowy Mountains for a Wim Hof Method weekend retreats or immerse yourself at the 5-day Winter Expedition.

W: leahscott.net

I: @leahscottie

F: @wimhofmethodtechniques

Info on the WHM: wimhofmethod.com

You may be intersted in reading Leah’s other articles Colder Waters here Taking Wim Hof around the world here and 10 simple ways to balance your immune system here

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