We covered NAB last evening during the first session of the new series The Inner Structure of Taiji. When students start Taijiquan or Qigong training, one of the first changes I try to make in their lifestyle is the switch from chest breathing to NAB. NAB is also called Back to Childhood Breathing because it is how we naturally breathe when we are born, but most people switch to chest breathing sooner or later. Society sends a message that abdominal breathing is not sexy and the military tells you it is not soldierly. Ok, NAB is not sexy or soldierly, but it is healthier than chest breathing. NAB brings in more air, which means more oxygen supplied to the brain to help preserve brain function. NAB leads to greater movement of the diaphragm, which results in an enhanced massaging effect for the organs in the abdominal cavity. It is also more relaxed than chest breathing.
Next entry–the difference between NAB and Reverse Abdominal Breathing.