Moon Message :: 1.16.16

Moon Message #3.2016 ::  Guest Book Review

By Janis Monaco Clark

Body Thrive

Just in time to begin my New Year’s intentions, I found Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Life with 10 Steps from Ayurveda and Yoga, by Cate Stillman. Cate writes in an enlightened and altogether engaging way, with down-to-earth and often humorous instructions, on some pretty serious stuff.

As an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Cate sought to guide her clients along a more effective path towards their desired health and wellness. Added to the essential teaching of Ayurveda simple body habits, she applied behavioral science, creating what she calls “habit evolution,” to “uplevel” their habits faster. Ten specific habits in ten weeks.

Ayurveda is the body-wisdom tradition that co-arose with yoga, the path of living awake, fully embodied, and at ease. Yoga masters and Ayurvedic doctors discovered that consciousness in the mind, and spirit is wired through physiology, so the more we open to the body’s subtle energy, the more we open the mind to higher thought. Here’s the best part: The body is wired for ecstasy, what the yogis call bliss. If we age with the habits of yoga and Ayurveda, we up our capacity for bliss. Our reality in body, mind and spirit is a reflection of our habits.

In Body Thrive, Cate “cracks the code of 10 essential daily body habits from the deep and ancient holistic science of Ayurvedic.” When we slip into sub-standard and non-thinking habits, we begin to live out of sync. Our choices heal or undermine us and small seemingly inconsequential habits make a difference in our bodies, whether we merely survive or whether we thrive.

Ayurveda synchronizes daily bodily rhythms to follow the rhythm of our day. Cate explains, “You attune to the magnetic pull of the universal energies to align your personal body rhythms, like sleeping, pooping, eating, moving, playing, chillaxing.” Yes, she said pooping.

Gail Burkett and I were drinking tea one afternoon when I told her I didn’t have as much energy as I wanted. Why not? Were my 71 years slowing me down? Did my breast cancer treatment two years ago rob my vitality? Gail had been reading Body Thrive; I said I would try it.

Cate’s example of an anchor statement, “I rise and shine,” worked for me, so I borrowed it.  Then I created a specific intention. Not only what, but why. Cate says, “Trust your why.” As self-reflecting humans, we are designed to get smarter. We can upgrade how we experience our lives by refining, reforming, and automating our habits. These so-called “cultured habits,” are the alternative to careless choices that may cause diseases that arise when we disrespect our senses.

What are the easy upgrades, the smallest steps we can make today? The ten habits in Body Thrive are simple hygiene practices that give us structure to listen to our bodies. Don’t worry; it’s easy. You only have to commit. We have ten habits to embody, and we have the option to start with one at a time in any order.

The earliest hours of our day offer a unique opportunity to align our lives through our mindset. If we commit to being awake and well-rested (Habit No. 2: Early to Bed), we will be fully present for this miracle of our lives. Work out one habit a week for ten weeks, four times a year. Some habits, more properly called “informed, intended action,” might already be dialed in.

Mornings are best for me, so I began my new essential daily habit before 6 a.m. Not only do I hydrate (Habit No. 3: Start the Day Right) with a glass of warm lemon water, I also drink a cup of tea with honey, and most remarkably, one cup of coffee at breakfast instead of my former three. Cate recommends movement first thing in the morning (Habit No. 4: Breathe and Move), but I admit I prefer quiet cuddling with the dogs before the sun comes up. I promise to breathe and move later.

The earliest hours of our day offer a unique opportunity to align our lives through our mindset. If we commit to being awake and well-rested (Habit No. 2: Early to Bed), we will be fully present for this miracle of our lives.

Since beginning actual habit rebuilding two weeks ago, I have felt a huge energy shift and increased stamina. My idea was to add good habits into my day, one at a time, as Body Thrive recommends. I am betting the good habits will push the bad ones out of my way.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, we are all built from the same building blocks, but in different proportions. To find out your Ayurvedic constitution, your dosha—Vata, Pitta, Kapha, refer to Cate’s website or find an  Ayurvedic site and take a quick dosha quiz, so you can refine your body practice to meet your unique nutritional needs as well as workout strategies.

Cate says, “Grab a friend and do it together.” Create an anchor statement, commit to an intention, pick one habit each week for ten weeks, and go for it. Take small baby steps. Repetition is the route. Gail, who introduced me to this practice, is the friend with whom I’ve partnered. We remind each other to work on what is working.

We can become a gift to others through being awake, connected and reflecting the intrinsic blessing of life (Habit No. 10: Easeful Living). After 10 weeks of habit evolution, Cate promises we will have passed through a diksha—a rite of passage. “You will be the hero on this journey and you will be initiated.”


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