MY BREATH IS MY COMPASS
See below a series of reviews, testimonials and other feedback from those who have experienced my events, workshops and retreats. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to know more about the events I run.
3 days WHM weekend @ Cairngorm National Park in Scotland (16 - 18 Oct, 2020)
So where do I start with my weekend with Alan and Lisa. Well, someone has asked me about how it went recently, and I simply replied that it was life changing. I had such a great time, learnt so much, made two new great friends and feel like my whole life is on a different path now.
The course was really brilliant; the whole pace of the weekend forced me to slowdown and take it all in, which is something I am transferring over to my normal life. I work in a very stressful job, with two very young children, a dog and a cat. It's fair to say there's no more room at the Inn, but, with the methods I learnt on the weekend, I have found a free and easy method to deal with stressful situations. My exposure to the cold on the weekend was one I'd practised for, however, I don't think I was ready for the 4c water in the beautiful Scottish rivers. I learnt how to deal with the cold. No, actually, I learnt how to embrace the cold, the pain, the feeling...all with my breath.
I learnt that life stops and starts with the breath, and it's the one thing that connects us to all other living things. My breath became my teacher, and course uncovered this truth in me.
It also felt great to have the type of conversations we were having, as they are not conversations I have with my close friends; it was great to know there are like minded people out there, and I was made to feel so welcome the whole time, whilst at the same time, having pressure on me to do anything. I'm now training for am ironman triathlon and have utilised the breathing techniques to good effect to assist my performance, from both a physical point of view, and a mental.
If you're half thinking on going on one of these treats, please do. It will teach you so much about yourself and what you are capable of, it'll uncover and unblock anything that's holding you back, and will teach you so much more than WHM.
5 days WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (2 - 6 Nov, 2019)
"Having been on a 5-day WHM retreat with Allan at Alladale Wilderness Reserve has truly been a life-changing experience for me which has been, and still is, close to my heart. We dived deep into the techniques of the Wim Hof Method under Allan’s guidance and learned to connect to our inner feeling, our experience of the techniques and how to establish and own our own practice thereof.
Yet, even though I gained an in depth knowledge of the Wim Hof Method, this experience was about much more than just ‘the method’ for me. It was about reconnecting to my inner nature and to the rhythm of nature around us, to feeling rather than thinking and to practice presence and focus in the situation I am in.
Allan has a gentle, kind and caring presence and brings a calm energy. He was there to guide us throughout the retreat, yet at the same time he allowed each of us to discover for ourselves, to explore our own connection to what we were experiencing and he encouraged us to take ownership of and to commit to what we were doing.
Moreover, Allan adds his unique approach to connecting with nature and our own natural biological rhythm and integrates amazing self-massage and meditation techniques into the retreat.
The stunning natural setting of the lodge at Alladale Nature reserve is perfect for this type of retreat and being off-grid in a communal setting really added to the experience for me. Not having any distractions around was so restorative and I could shift from ‘doing’ into ‘being’ in a wonderfully encouraging communal group setting where we could cook, talk and share together.
I feel we established a special little ‘tribe’ up at Alladale and that my inner fire had been rekindled- after the event I felt I came a bit more alive again, reconnecting to truly and deeply feeling within myself and within nature."
5 days WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (28 Nov - 2 Dec. 2019)
Allan provided a fantastic experience of the Wim Hof Method, and the Alladale Wilderness Reserve is a perfect location for it. There were so many aspects to the experience that made it really powerful and effective: the remote natural wilderness, being off grid away from distractions, the living and cooking as a community, the great food, the exceptional and diverse range of people being thrown together, and not least is Allan's unique and highly nuanced delivery of the method and the various aspects of it (the breath work, the cold immersion and the mindfulness).
Allan had a great approach in terms of allowing each person to have their own experience according to how far along they were in their understanding and application of the Method, and how ready they were to take the next step during the course. Therefore what ever the individual ability everyone on our course came away with a great experience that challenged them at the level they were at, but never overwhelmed them.
Allan also had a very natural way of incorporating the various aspects of the Method into the days activities, with the pace perfectly matched so we never felt rushed, but at the same time we made full use of each day to absorb the experience. We were introduced to as much or as little of the Wim Hof Method's Scientific grounding as we wanted to be - Allan knew the material back to front but made the point clear to us that for it to be a true experience it was better to do exactly that: experience the Method rather than try to over analyse it.
Even so Allan could answer all our questions in great depth, and frequently encouraged everyone else in the group to share their knowledge and experiences so that it became an open discussion rather than a lecture. This really epitomised Allan's whole coaching approach for the experience: he would facilitate it and guide us through it but what we got out of it was ultimately up to each individual.
This was a brilliant approach as it made everyone take on personal responsibility for the depth of their experience and made it much more effective in terms of developing the type of commitment that is required to continue doing the practices of the Wim Hof Method when back in th real world.
In summary it was a transformative experience with so much learned and gained. As Allan is willing to work with each individual according to their readiness, everyone can go on their own journey with the Wim Hof Method on the expedition regardless of their prior level of experience. Overall highly recommended - I would do it again in a heartbeat.
5 days WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (28 Nov - 2 Dec. 2019)
"To say I had a life changing experience at Alladale Wilderness Reserve would truly be an understatement. Everything exceeding my expectations. From the absolutely beauty of nature to the home cooked meals, making fire in the fireplace, the cozy cabin, and of course the cold water!
I discovered Wim Hof about a year ago. I deal with auto immune issues and this method, along with a few other mindset/breathing techniques, has changed my life. For the past 10 years, I was going from medication to medication, treatment to treatment. I would stabilize for a certain amount of time, but then would relapse and need a different medication. Which is what I think is generally the case with western medicine. I believe there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed for long term, permanent healing of disease.
That’s what this is. Using the Wim Hof method, you are able to tap into your systems and trigger adrenaline. When you tap into your animal instincts, it’s almost as if you “reset yourself.”
I have been wanting to do a Wim Hof retreat, and something in my intuition called me to this one in Scotland. I am so thankful it did. Allan’s teaching and presence is one of a kind. He instantly made me feel comfortable, and just has a very good energy about him. The beauty of Alladale was by far the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen. With wild ponies to running rivers, I felt as if I was in a dream.
Just like anything in your life, you get what you put in. This retreat reminded me that I am in control of my life, not to listen to my ego, and achieve all the things I’ve ever wanted to.
There was a day where we hiked a very high mountain to go in the lake at the top. This was the highlight of my trip for sure. When we got to the top, the weather conditions instantly changed with roaring winds and even snow falling. It felt as if we were somehow dropped on another planet. But I wasn’t scared, not one bit. I was so proud of myself for everything I have accomplished and where I was at the moment.
I remembered how all the doctors I’ve seen told me there’s no cure for what I had, that I would deal with this the rest of my life. It almost made me giggle recalling that and looking at freezing lake I was about to enter. I had no doubts I would be able to get in that lake and remain calm. Afterwards, hiking back down that mountain, I felt be most genuine happiness of my life. So proud of myself and so ready to keep conquering the world.
Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is a great way to put it. We forget what are bodies are capable of and meant for. Things like anxiety, stress, health problems, depression, addiction, etc get in the way and we begin to feel trapped. I promise you if you spend some days at Alladale with Allan, you will learn the skills to not only cope with your battles, but live the life you’ve always dreamed of. The possibilities are literally endless.
It all starts with nature."
EMMA DOUGLAS (QUEEN OF RETREATS)
5 days WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (2019)
"My entire body is tingling with adrenaline and the only sound I can hear is the ringing in my ears. I have just finished my first Wim Hof breathing workshop and I feel exhilarated, if slightly disorientated.
I’ve come to the magnificent Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands to learn the method developed by world record holder Wim Hof. Known as the ‘Ice Man’, the famous Dutchman has summited Mount Killamanjaro wearing just a pair of shorts and immersed himself in ice for 80 minutes. The winter sun may be out, but I’ll be amazed if I stay immersed in Alladale’s rivers for 80 seconds...." (Read the full review by clicking on the following link)
5 days WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (2020)
First off, the lodge in Scotland is an amazing place to learn the Wim Hof Method. The Scottish Highlands are GORGEOUS, the air is rich and full of oxygen, and it's easy to feel distant from the busy world. Before going on the expedition with Allan, I wanted to make sure I would be able to improve my skills since I had already been practicing the method for about 1.5 years using the 10-week video course.
He explained that the expeditions are flexible with your skill level, so you can do the challenges in the second half of the week at your own pace (e.g. stay in the water longer, hike bare-chested, etc.). Allan was a really great guide that was great about helping each individual one-on-one. He would provide different tips and feedback to help each of us correct things such as our breathing rhythm, mechanics, or mental state.
He likes to joke and laugh and is really a joy to be around. But, one thing I found interesting was that when it was time to practice the method, his mood would get extremely calm and focused. He entered into a flow state, and his energy was contagious. I significantly advanced in my practice of the Wim Hof Method and the ability to feel the effects from the breathing.
At the end of the week, we hiked up a hill / mountain (perhaps 700 meters elevation) and took a 5-minute dip in a loch that was about 4-5 degrees Celsius. After getting out of the loch, we got in a horse stance and started power breathing AND THE FEELING WAS PURE BLISS. I remember thinking something along the lines of, "Oh. This must be completely what it feels like."
Things I was able to achieve during the week: Breath hold: 4 minutes (previously about 3) Power push-ups: 70 (previously 50) Cold dip: 5 minutes in 5 degrees Celsius. No shiver thereafter with a feeling of bliss as described above. Felt the effects of different techniques: (calming vs. energizing) My improvements were sub-par compared to the participants who came having had no experience with the method. They basically had the same skill set as myself after the week. I highly recommend this expedition as something felt very special about practicing the method so close to nature in the Highlands.
8 day WHM Adventure @ Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland (27 Feb - 5 March, 2020)
Having completed the Wim Hof method with Allan this winter, I have thought about it every day since then. It was a life changing and remarkable experience in every way – from the incredible scenery within the Alladale Reserve to the snow blizzards and the icy ponds and waterfalls we dipped in.
It’s obvious to see that Alan enjoys putting people in touch with such an environment and also the WH practice, which has changed his own life so remarkably. He is a quiet, very peaceful chap who is obviously happy and content within himself, his life and his environment .
I would see him alone as a good enough reason to practice the Wim Hof method.