Lilian Kluivers, born in Leiden in 1983, always knew she wanted to do ‘something’ with physical exercise. She was interested in meditation, yoga and health. In her high school years she was in night school to teach at the gymnastics club where she was a member. After high school she first studied Latin and Greek, and took journalism – which now comes in handy when writing her study material and books! When she started University she was introduced to Do-in and Shiatsu and decided to learn more about that when she was done.
What made you decide to start doing Do-in professionally?
I have always been interested in meditation, yoga and health. My friends in primary school might still remember me giving them meditation courses. I have no idea where I got my input from…..my mom practiced yoga, maybe that’s what sparked an interest in me. I also read everything about health food and healthy exercises that I could get my hands on. Of course, what I could find then, as a little girl, was nothing compared to what I found later on. But a solid foundation was put down in my childhood. I was 12 and asked for Chinese green tea for my birthday!
As soon as I was old enough I did yoga myself, but when I learned about Do-In and the meridian theory I was sold. It provided insight into yoga and any other physical activity for me. Knowlegde of the meridians made it clear for me why some exercises are beneficial for certain organs or even emotionally. You can use it whichever way you want, although I’m also hooked on the ‘old exercises’. When I was practising myself I was asked by a group of entrepreneurs if I wanted to teach them. And that’s how the ball started rolling. I got asked more frequently and not long after, I was asked by a publisher. That’s how my first book “The healing power of Do-In”, was born.
What kind of method is Do-In? Where is it from? What are the basic principles?
Do-In originated over 2000 years ago in China, but was called Tao Yin back then. It was influenced by Chinese therapeutics and Taoism. The method I teach has been perfected in Japan and brought to the Netherlands by master Kawada, among others.
It’s actually a theory from Eastern medicin, but focused on movement. You stretch or stimulate the energyways – meridians – so your energy of life named ki or chi can flow unrestrained. If your energy of life flowes freely, you’re healthy. Because of stress, unhealthy foods, pollution or just our genetics, blockages can arise. That’s why it’s so important to spend time working on your body every day. That’s why this movement was developed; giving people a simple but targeted way to keep their energy flowing.
With Do-In you combine meridian extensions, like yoga poses, with self acupressure, breathing exercises, energy exercises, hara exercises (Hara is actually the Japanese word for the Powerhouse term that is used during Pilates) and sometimes duo exercises. It’s a lovely alternationg method with a lot of room for creativity.
Why did you choose Do-In? What attracts you to it?
Do-In immediately affected me when I was introduced to it. I already knew a lot of the exercises, but because of the theoretic frame of the Chinese therapeutics, and the taoistic frame of mind the exercises held more meaning for me. The meridian theory also explained why certain yoga exercises have such a big effect. I wanted to know everything. And I have now reached a point where I want to expand this knowledge to others.
Are there any physical discomforts or injuries that you have solved or keep under control by practising Do-In?
If I feel under the weather, like if I maybe caught a cold, I make a choice with Do-In about the exercises I do. It’s the same in my classes. If I see that there are a lot of people in my class with a blockage in the same meridian, I adapt my class to that and we focus more on that meridian.
How does Do-In affect your way of life?
When I started doing Do-In and Shiatsu I always felt like the most well behaved girl in class. I practised daily and adapted my eating patterns on the advices of the 5 elements foods. I also started living more according to my own tao: I never struggle against the current anymore. If something doesn’t come about by itself I accept that apparently it’s not what I’m supposed to do at that point. I’m at a point now where I tend to feel those things beforehand.
How do you see the future of Do-In?
Do-In has gotten a lot more followers over the last few years and I think this will continue in the future. I started the Do-In acadamy to help with that. It’s a training where you can learn Do-In, together with the school of thought that Do-In belongs to: foods, lifestyle, the meridian theory and taoism. I think this is very important to counterbalance our materialistic culture. More balance in our culture starts with inner balance. I do have to say, now that I write this I realise that I’m also pretty politically engaged, haha!
Can you tell us a bit more about your publications?
So far, I have written two books and made a DVD. I have been so lucky as a writer because I was constantly asked to write, so I was always sure my books would be published. My first book “The healing power of Do-In” is a book about the basics of Do-In, with a ton of exercises, but also a very clear explanation about how the meridian theory works and the five elements theory. There are also two exercise series in the book, but we got a lot of requests to make a DVD, so we decided to do so. The book is now for sale including the DVD. On the DVD there’s footage of a class, and an accompanied meditation.
Not too long ago my book “Pregnant and balanced with Do-In Yoga” was published, which is about exercises and massage during pregnancy. Like the title suggests, this book is focused solely on pregnancy and the first weeks after. It’s a very special time and with the right support you can experience so much more energy as a woman, and pass on to your baby as well. The book also involves the partner, so it’s kind of a familybook.
Can you tell us a bit more about the training you provide?
At Do-In Acadamy I offer a 3 year training for everyone that wants to learn more about Do-In and the way of life that goes with Eastern therapeutics. The first year is mostly focused on your own experience: you are taught new exercises, the most important acupoints you can use for self acupressure, where are the meridians, the basis of the 5 elements food theory, in short, you built a solid foundation. If, after that, you want to learn more, you can develop to be a teacher in the years after. You will also learn about the curious vessels (a meridian network of sorts) and face- and posture diagnosis.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to teach at a lot of teacher trainings, and I want to pass on Do-In as complete and in-depth as possible. It’s an international course where people from other counries can do an individual course.
Do you think you’ll always practise and teach Do-In?
I am sure I will always practise and share Do-In. This is not just a fun hobby for me, when I learned about it for the first time it was like I already knew everything about it and just needed a refresher course. That’s how much it suits me. It’s second nature for me to look at everything from a meridian point of view. If someone is complaining about a headache on the side of the head I think:”Oh, a blockage in the galbladder meridian, what can we do about that?”
It might all sound a bit fuzzy but my readers and students have told me that I can explain everything in a very down to earth way. I’m glad because it is very down to earth, it’s a practical physical activity that can balance out everyday life.
What is your dream?
What I dream of….. That I will be able to teach a lot of people with the training provided at Do-In Acadamy. And that my students will go far and some of them will take the concept abroad with them. A Do-In Acadamy in Paris….. A Do-In Acadamy in Johannesburg…. so everyone can feel the benefits of this age old knowlegde. I really think it would be a great contribution to our planet: there is no battle when there’s balance.
What Do-In exercise is your favorite?
I think one of my favorite exercises is the tapping over your entire body, this stimulates the circulation of energy through your whole body. The description is below:
Stand with your feet hipwidth apart. Your toes have to point forward, and the knees are losely stretched.
Make loose fists of your hands and keep your wrists relaxed during this exercise.
In this exercise we will tap our fists over our entire body as a soft massage of sorts.
- Head and neck: start knocking on your head. Keep your fists together at all times and travel around your head: from the base of your hair at the front to the top, the back, the sides and the edge of the skull. Drop to the neck.
- Arms: tap over your arms three times. It’s most effective to start tapping at the inside of your arm from your shoulders to your fingers and go back on the outside of your arm back to your shoulder. Be careful: don’t tap the top of your shoulder. Next to your neck, on the shouldermuscle that often feels tensed is an acupoint that presses the energy down. For some women the response to this is so strong that after prolonged stimulation of this acupoint they go into labour. So please, don’t take any unnessassery risks and avoid massaging this area before the due date. Stimulating this area can be very useful during childbirth and afterbirth.
- Chest: tap the chest next to the shoulder, right below the collar bone. This is where the most important acupoints for our lungs are. Tap the inside of the ribcage and follow the sternum downwards. Relaxed chest muscles can literally give us a relieved feeling. It can also help with discomfort in the upper back area, which is often combined with tension in the upper chest area.
- Lowerback and hips: start tapping as high on your lowerback as you can, and slowly descend to the tailbone and the buttocks. Tap the sides of the hips and then the groin.
- Legs: just like we did with the arms we tap the legs with the flow direction of the bodies energy. Start at the front of the thigh. Tap along the thigh along the outside of the knee, down to the foot. Then tap upwards along the inside of the shin and the knee back up to the groin. Go along the outside of the leg back down to the foot and back up again on the inside of the leg. Finally; tap the back of the leg down to the foot and return from the inside of the leg. It’s best to turn the feet outward a bit for better reach.
- In the last weeks of pregnancy it’s probably harder to reach your legs, but that’s ok. Just perform this exercise as far as your body allows you to.
- Close your eyes after doing this and feel how your body feels.
EFFECT: After doing this exercise the energy in your entire body will flow freely.
MERIDIANS: Lung, Colon, Spleen, Heart, Bladder, Kidney, Heart protecter, Triple heater, Galbladder, Liver, Stomach.Lilian Kluivers Do-In Academy www.doinacademy.com www.liliankluivers.nl