February 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm #41889
Don’t curse the cold: Shivering may help burn body fat
Joan Raymond, NBC News
4 hours ago
The upside to shivering? You’re stimulating a hormone that may help you burn more calories and fight diabetes
If youre looking for a silver lining in the cold-fest that has been Winter 2014, look no further than your waistline. Shivering may be as good as exercise to help you drop a few pounds, a new study finds.
Shivering’s weight-loss upside is linked to a hormone produced by the bodys muscles, according to research from the National Institutes of Health published Tuesday in the journal Cell Metabolism. When a body trembles from the cold it releases irisin, also known as the exercise hormone, which stimulates fat tissue to produce heat so the body can maintain its core temperature. Irisin was first discovered two years ago and is a kind of messenger hormone relaying beneficial information to body tissues. Increases in irisin turns the bodys white fat into the more metabolically active brown fat, which helps the body burn more calories. It also may make the body more sensitive to glucose.
The researchers wanted to find out if shivering could produce the same effects on irisin as exercise, explains lead author Dr. Francesco S. Celi, chair of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been studying adaptive thermogenesis, basically how our bodies react to temperature changes. From an evolutionary perspective, shivering is the last resort to maintain core temperature.
Ten healthy volunteers of normal weight and good health participated in three different experiments designed to measure irisin levels. First, participants exercised at maximal aerobic capacity on a stationary bike. Researchers then measured their energy expenditures. Blood samples were also taken. To induce shivering, participants were put under cooling blankets set to slightly more than 53 degrees Fahrenheit. The researchers found that irisin levels produced through exercise were comparable to shivering.
To help confirm their results, the researchers tested the effects of irisin on cultures of adipose, or fat, tissue cultures. They found that irisin did help stimulate production of specific proteins linked to brown fat, essentially making the white fat cultures more similar to that of the more metabolically active brown fat.
Although the researchers are not saying we should dump our parkas for t-shirts when its 12 degrees outside, they do think there is something to be said for finding ways to burn more energy.
The general equation is weight gain is a sustained imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, and we live in an environment that is completely artificial, a perennial spring, says Celi, who was with the NIH when the research was performed. Thats all designed to decrease the amount of energy we need to expend and that can lead to health problems, particularly diabetes and other metabolic issues such as lipid profiles.
The hope is that these findings, and others, will eventually lead to some type of pharmacologic intervention to promote irisin production, and perhaps stem the tide of obesity.
Exercise is important, but so is weight loss, and people often overestimate how much exercise they are doing and wind up eating more, says Celi. There are not many people who can lose weight just through exercise, but if we could find a way to increase brown tissue (fat), we could help very many people get healthy.
In the interim, we could stand outside for a few seconds or do what a scientist does. While Celi doesnt copy one of his colleagues who . . . only cold showers now, he says, I did lower the thermostat a bit at home.February 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm #41890
Śhruti (Sanskrit: श्रुति, IAST: śrúti, lit. “hearing, listening”), often spelled sruti or sruthi mainly in South India, is the body of sacred texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism and is one of the three main sources of dharma. These sacred works span much of the history of Hinduism, beginning with some of the earliest known Hindu texts and ending in the early modern period with the later Upanishads.
This literature differs from other sources of Hindu Philosophy, particularly smriti or remembered text, because of the purely divine origin of śruti. This belief of divinity is particularly prominent within the Mimamsa tradition. The initial literature is traditionally believed to be a direct revelation of the cosmic sound of truth heard by ancient Rishis who then translated what was heard into something understandable by humans.
Wim Hof (born 20 April 1959, in Sittard, Limburg) is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold.
Sorry for my broken English.
Very interesting study.
I was informed one week ago that my copy of Wim Hof book had arrived.
I fetched it yesterday and it is what I suspected.
It has over 300 pages but really concentrated practical expostions it has only something like 30 pages.
Rest is almost private diary level like material informatively.
From yoga point of view it’s almost nothing, but of course if it’s only rehearsal for some more serious technical presentation, it’s not also too bad.
In Amazon (American) 21 reviewers have given to it averagely 4 stars which is too much.
Here it would be good to notice that if essential practices of M. Chia would be combined with right Indian practices, I’m sure superior concoction would be there.
In my opinion.
HOWDYFebruary 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm #41892
Thanks for the review.
I see that it has already been published here in the US (since 2011), so I am going to order the book myself.
I sort of find the topic fascinating, because I do think that cold is good for your health (lowers blood pressure, stabilizes blood sugar, makes you more alert, etc.). The body is constantly producing heat, which becomes a toxin that needs to be cleared. So many folks are cold-phobic, always wanting to escape from cold weather, always looking forward to the end of winter. I think these attitudes are short-sighted. Personally, with the exception that I like the variety of the seasons, I would be personally happy to stay in a perpetual state of winter.
If one is *truly* cold, you can always warm up–either through adding layers or through the self-creation of internal heat. If one is hot, there is nothing you can do, other than suffer the toxic effects.
SFebruary 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm #41894
The Wim Hof Method *Revealed* How to Consciously Control Your Immune System
We previously published an article about Wim Hof, holder of 20 Guinness World Records for withstanding extreme temperatures. He has climbed Everest and Kilimanjaro in only shorts and shoes, stayed comfortably in ice baths for hours, and run a marathon in the desert with no water.
Wim is able to accomplish these feats with ease through the use of The Wim Hof Method a breathing technique that allows you to control the autonomous systems of the body.
However the most earthshaking effect of the Wim Hof method is the ability to consciously control the immune system to fight off any disease. By becoming more in tune with the body, Wim says you can rid yourself of even the most destructive diseases, including AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, and cancer.
Wim is currently working with a group of university researchers to prove that anyone can do the extraordinary things he does. Hes taking 12 participants who have no prior training, and instructing them over the span of a week. At the end of the week, each participant will be injected with a bacterium than normally causes violent nausea, vomiting and fever for several days. However, with the use of the Wim Hof Method, the participants will feel nothing (Wim previously did this and felt no more than a slight headache).
Wim recently came to do a workshop with the Valhalla Movement team and explained that he wants as many people to know about this as possible. His vision is a world without sickness.
So without further ado, here are the principles of the Wim Hof Method
(we highly recommend you to take his online course or one of his workshops to fully be able to understand all the ins and outs.)
The Wim Hof Method is similar to Tummo (inner heat) Meditation and Pranayama (yogic breathing). Yet it is something else entirely. While Wim has studied yoga and meditation for many years, this technique primordially comes from what he terms cold hard nature. By subjecting himself to the bitter conditions of nature, he learned to withstand the extreme forces of cold, heat and fear. If you learn this method or technique correctly, it will empower you do to the same.
The first part is a breathing exercise which can be likened to controlled hyperventilation. This is, of course, an oxymoron. Hyperventilation is something which happens involuntarily. But just imagine the breathing part, without any of stress triggers that normally cause this way of breathing. The image will consist of rapid breathing that makes one languid, invigorates one, makes one high on oxygen. One mechanism of this practice is the complete oxygenation of your blood and cells.
1) Get comfortable and close your eyes
Sit in a meditation posture, whatever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you can expand your lungs freely without feeling any constriction. It is recommended to do this practice right after waking up since your stomach is still empty.
2) Warm Up
Inhale deeply. Really draw the breath in until you feel a slight pressure from inside your chest on your solar plexus. Hold this for a moment and then exhale completely. Push the air out as much as you can. Hold this for a moment. Repeat this warm up round 15 times.
3) 30 Power Breaths
Imagine youre blowing up a balloon. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. The belly is pulled inward when you are breathing out and is pulled outward when you are breathing in. Keep a steady pace and use your midriff fully. Close your eyes and do this around 30 times or until you feel your body is saturated with oxygen. Symptoms could be light-headedness, tingling sensations in the body, electrical surges of energy.
4) Scan your body
During the 30 power breaths, delve into your body and become aware of it as possible. Trace your awareness up and down your body and use your intuition as to what parts lack energy and what parts are overflowing. Scan for any blockage between the two. Try to send energy/warmth to those blockages. Then release them deeper and deeper. Tremors, traumas and emotional releases can come up. It can be likened to kundalini rising. Feel the whole body fill up with warmth and love. Feel the negativity burn away.
Often people report swirling colors and other visual imagery during this exercise. Once you encounter them, go into them, embrace them, merge with them. Get to know this inner world and how it correlates to the feeling of tension or blockages in your body.
5) The Hold
After the the 30 rapid succession of breath cycles, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without using too much force. Then push all of the air out and hold for as long as you can. Draw the chin in a bit so as to prevent air from coming in again. Really relax and open all energy channels in your body. Notice how all the oxygen is spreading around in your body. Hold the breath until you experience the gasp reflex on the top of your chest.
6) Recovery Breath
Inhale to full capacity. Feel your chest expanding. Release any tension in the solar plexus. When you are at full capacity, hold the breath once more. Drop the chin to the chest and hold this for around 15 seconds. Notice that you can direct the energy with your awareness. Use this time to scan the body and see where there is no color, tension or blockages. Feel the edges of this tension, go into it, move the energy towards this black hole. Feel the constrictions burning away, the dark places fill with light. Relax the body deeper as you move further inward, let everything go. Your body knows better than you do. After 15 seconds you have completed the first round.
Start this practice with one or two rounds. Try to do it daily and add two more rounds in a few days. After you feel more comfortable with holding your breath you can start to add exercises and stretches. Work up to a minimum of 15 minutes or 6 rounds with exercises. You can do this practice for how long it pleases you.
If you feel dizziness or pain, get out of the posture and lie on your back. Breathe easily again and stop this practice session.
Reserve at least 5 minutes after this practice to relax and scan the body.
30 times balloon blowing
Breathe in fully
Breath out fully and hold until gasp reflex
Inhale fully and hold for 10-15 seconds.
Repeat until finished
Take 5 minutes to relax and scan your body
Add push-ups or yoga poses during the time you are holding your breath until you wait for the gasp reflex. Notice that you are stronger without air than you would normally be if you could breathe!
Charge the energy up the spine by holding moola banda, contract the rectum & sex organ and pull the navel inward towards the spine.
Stand up in squat position and do the balloon breath. Try to breathe away the burn. (get seated again the moment you continue the cycle, you dont want to be standing and faint) See if you can get the energy overtake the pain. Dont give up easily and see how far you can go if you have the willpower!
After the body scan of the previous exercise you are ready let your body embrace the cold. It is very important to try to relax as much as you can, really be with the cold, only then can your body process the signals and start thermogenesis. As Wim says, the cold is your warm friend!
If you are new to cold exposure, start with cold showers. Begin with your feet and then follow with your legs, your stomach, shoulders, neck and back and finally your head. An initial shock, shivering and hyperventilation is normal. Try to remain calm and breathe easily. Close your eyes and really try to embrace the cold.
If you feel any strong physical uncomfortableness, like heavy shivering, numbness or pain, get your body warm again as soon as possible.
Once you are out of the shower, take a moment to do another slow body scan before you dry yourself.
Cold exposure works like weight lifting, you get stronger over time. There are little muscles around your veins that contract when they get into contact with the cold. After some time (only 1-2 weeks according to Wim) these become stronger, making your veins healthier and reducing the force that your heart has to use to pump blood around your body.
You can increase exposure over time. At one point the cold will feel just as comfortable as wearing your favorite pajamas and you can skip the warm shower completely. Notice how you feel amazing after a cold shower and sluggish after a warm one.
After a few weeks of cold showers you can up the ante to an ice bath. Get 2-3 bags of ice at your local convenience store and put them in a half-full bath tub. Wait until around two thirds is melted or that the water has reached your designated temperature (10 / 12 °C (50 / 59 °F)). You can throw in a couple of handfuls of salt to speed up this process.
As with the cold showers, try to relax as much as you can. Start out with around 10 minutes and increase exposure over time. If you feel uncomfortable or in doubt, get out. After this exercise make sure you do another body scan.
It is normal to feel extra cold after a small period of time after the ice bath. This is called the after-drop. Take a hot glass of raw coca and keep your blood flowing by talking a walk. Youll feel amazing after!
These exercises are extremely powerful when done consistently and with intent. Try them and out and report your findings in the comments below! Remember, the cold is your warm friend.
Interview with Wim
Here is an interview I did with Wim while he was staying at The Valhalla Movement HQ. He speaks about the origins of the Wim Hof Method, and his vision of a world free of sickenss.March 3, 2014 at 9:13 am #41896
The autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system or involuntary nervous system) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system that functions largely below the level of consciousness to control visceral functions, including heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), sexual arousal, breathing and swallowing. Most autonomous functions are involuntary but they can often work in conjunction with the somatic nervous system which gives voluntary control.
Yamas, and its complement, niyamas, represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within Hinduism and Yoga. These are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules or goals. Every religion has a code of conduct, or series of “do’s and don’ts”, and the Yamas represent one of the “don’t” lists within Hinduism, and specifically, rāja yoga.
What am I to you who broke the tabu against killing one’s father? What are dear to a man who kills a learned brahmin?”
-BUDHASVAMIN, Bṛhatkathāślokasaṃgraha (Emperor of the Sorcerers)
Sir James Mallinson is perhaps the only baronet to wear dreadlocks.
The fifth baronet of Walthamstow started growing his hair around the time he first travelled to India in 1988.
He had enrolled to study Sanskrit at Oxford University’s St Peter’s College because his only other option, Chinese, came with a “boring introduction”.
I have impression that maybe Mr. Hof should be bit more carefull.
In my opinion to do this kind of practices yama and niyama type of preparation is healthy necessity.
Also when potentially very dangerous practices are taught level of writing should be more in the direction of Cooper and not travel book and diary level.
Ps. For example on page 296 in the book there is three first words from 12th sūtra from Patanjali’s Sadhanapada (1st of the four chapters). So maybe original intention have been to include more yogic material, but something mysterious seemingly has happened.April 3, 2014 at 11:22 am #41898
For me, as a philologist, the eureka moment in reading Yoga Body came just a few pages from the end when it is suggested that the modern Astānga yoga gets its name not from Patañjalis eight-fold yoga but from the astānga dandavat pranām, the stick-like prostra-tion in which eight parts of the body are to touch the ground.
-JAMES MALLINSON, A Response to Mark Singletons Yoga Body
The Marathon monks of Japan are quite similar to the Lung-gom-pa runners of old Tibet. There have been many records kept of these amazing running monks who appear to fly when they run. Across grassy plains, they seem to float apparently in a trance. They are said to travel nonstop for forty-eight hours or more and can cover more than 200 miles a day. Many are said to be faster than horses and at times they were used to convey messages across a country.
In order to qualify as a lung-gom-pa runner, the trainee must first learn to master seated meditation. They had lots of emphasis on breath control and visualization techniques. They had to be able to imagine their own bodies as being light as a feather.
Other techniques they had to master required them to watch a single star in the sky intently for days, never allowing themselves to be distracted. When they have attained this ability of moving meditation, they are able to fly like the wind.
The term “lung-gom” is used for the kind of training that develops uncommon nimbleness and gives them the ability to make extraordinarily long tramps with amazing rapidity. They run at a rapid pace without ever having to stop for days. They do not run short, quick races but have the ability to go far distances in a quick amount of time.
During the fifth year of the challenge, the walking practice is punctuated by what many consider the most daunting phase of the process. The ascetic monk must go for 9 days (216 hours) without food, water, or rest of any kind. He sits in the Temple and recites the Fudo Myoo mantra constantly. Two monks accompany him, one on either side, to ensure he does not fall asleep. At 2am every night he must get up to fetch water for offering from a special well, around 200m away, as an offering for Fudō Myōō.
I only now had the time to read this ‘Iceman’ so sorry for my little extra remark.
The book is not so miserable as it immediately seems.
I still think that Hof’s quite one-sided emphasis with tapas (asceticism) is not healthy and telling so many personal stories seriously is totally unnecessary.
Again for several basic purposes breathing practices are extremely important and with them carefulness cannot be overemphasised.
And I for example wouldn’t support anybody just that they can make Guinness or whatever records.
But most importantly I think that certain things are best kept as a secret away from ordinary sinners.
Ps. Sorry for my broken English.
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