When a legal firm reached out to Belisa Vranich about breathwork sessions 15 years ago, it had one concern in particular. “They said, ‘We just want to make sure you’re not going to chant,’ ” recalls Vranich, a clinical psychologist. “I said, ‘No, we might sweat, but we’re definitely not going to chant.’ ”

Today the New York-based author and founder of the Breathing Class has less difficulty explaining the nuances of breathwork, or the practice of controlled breathing to increase oxygen flow and strengthen the muscular, nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. She now teaches people in military and law enforcement, human resources professionals, coaches, chiropractors, and therapists how to conduct their own sessions. “There is so much science behind it,” she says.

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