When disease gets defined by playing on the two parts of the word — dis and ease — I cringe. A word nerd, myself, I often enjoy the nuance of language. But dis-ease feels forced, the meaning stretched to fit into an attitude.
Dis-ease implies that the facility with which the body moves and operates lies waiting for us to diss the dis part and get back to a healthy state of being. As though we have all the control. As though it was likely our stressful existence that placed the dis- in front of our ease in the first place.
This may hold some truth in relation high blood pressure or forms of insomnia. To apply this to all sickness, chronic conditions, life-threatening illnesses is dis-comforting.
Not only does it label a person as being out of whack, it implies that consuming fewer donuts and practicing some balance poses will put everything back in order. Explain that to the war vet with traumatic brain injury, or the 35-year-old pregnant woman just diagnosed with MS, or the neighbor whose cancer has returned despite daily walks and all-organic diet. Dis-concerting.
Among the medical world’s terminology to describe disease are the words defect, deviation, impairment, illness.
The strength, flexibility and balance that gets disturbed in our systems can be improved through yoga practice. Symptoms connected with an incurable condition can lessen with yoga practice. The disease itself does not go away, no matter how much we try to snub it, turn a cold shoulder to it. We can dwell on our past behaviors or plan out each meal into the next decade. Or, we can be present, as yoga practice teaches us. We can face the limitations, the pain, the effects of our condition with a grace that brings ease back in balance.