Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, stood in a school assembly hall in Brooklyn with his eyes closed, inhaling deeply through his nose and breathing out through his mouth with a whisper.

His top officials stood beside him, also breathing, following the instructions of three elementary pupils on the “ocean-sounding breath”. They were there to launch a new educational initiative, in which daily instruction on ‘mindful breathing’ will be offered in all city schools.

“Think positive things,” said Noah Hill, one of the three students. “No negatives.”

“That will conclude the ocean-sounding breath,” one of his classmates announced, beside him.

The mayor opened his eyes. “Thank you guys,” he said, beaming at the pupils. Then he added: “You know, I’m a Wim Hoff person,”

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