Who are you and where do you live?
Toni Scott RN, CYT Founder of; YOGATONES I was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut currently living in Chicago, IL
How did you get into living a healthy active lifestyle?
I was living in the Back Bay of Boston, and decided to begin running along the Charles River. I did not take it seriously though; I’d run, followed by fast food and a cigarette. My weight increased and by the time I arrived in Chicago my weight was at 200lbs and I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Living in the Old Town section of Chicago, I was surrounded by healthy people; bikers, runners, swimmers. I lived less than a mile from the lake and gym. It was then I decided to run a marathon, I ran without awareness or respect for my body or the 26.2 miles; and I smoked at least four cigarettes after each run. After completing the marathon I was sick for one full year; I ignored an injury created during training and against my doctor’s orders I ran the marathon, pure ego driven. When I arrived in Chicago I also began practicing yoga; it was the yoga that helped me heal my body after the marathon. It was after the marathon injury that I turned to biking, I enjoyed working out but I was completely turned off from running at that time. Now I can’t imagine not working out at least four times a week, the biggest challenge for me was changing my diet, many people assume if they work out a lot there is no need to significantly change the diet; I believe that’s the number one reason for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you do anything without awareness the end result is not going to be great; so I’ve learned how to read label, be mindful of my portions as well as my selection of foods…..In the end it’s all about balance; mental, physical, spiritual balance.
How has a healthy active lifestyle contributed to your career as a nurse?
Nursing is one of the most challenging professions, and to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle is difficult; as a staff nurse my weight at one point was up to 200 lbs. I worked the night shift and ate very late into the night, usually on the move and usually poor food selections. Once I decided to change my lifestyle my patients became my inspiration, I worked as a pediatric nurse and found myself educating parents and children about healthy living; and there I stood the perfect picture of unhealthiness. As a nurse I needed to lead by example, and once I began walking the talk I felt like a better nurse to my families. I also noticed they seem to ask more health prevention related questions; I think most people, like myself seek wellness advice from healthy looking providers. My healthy lifestyle lead me to pursue my MSN/Ed.
As a nurse, how important is it to practice and promote preventative health and wellness.
It’s extremely important to me; the quality of my mental, physical and emotional life improved once I changed my lifestyle. That’s how YOGATONES came to life; I literally burned out as a nurse and had nowhere to turn professionally; in my opinion burn out is caused by a slow buildup of grief, tragedy and depression. My yoga practice became my medicine, quieting down my mind, it was then I began to let go of the short quick fixes like; cigarettes, alcohol, fast food. My body craved and responded positively to my long bike rides which clears my head of stress or my runs which put me into a moving meditation. As I became a better nurse and yoga teacher; I provide education to my patients and students beyond text books, I provide them with preventative health and wellness care from my very personal experiences.
If you could teach yoga class anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere deep in the woods being embraced by the beauty of Mother Nature, the yoga class would follow a long bike ride and each student would be a nurse.
Anything you would like to tell people?
Nurses are exceptional people; we take care of others without a second thought, we give and love others without hesitation, and we get lost when it comes to giving and loving ourselves. That’s the nature of a nurse, we are natural healers to everyone, usually putting our own needs on the back burner. I’d like to say to every nurse take care of yourself; “LOVE YOURSELF FIRST” your health and wellness only improves the health and wellness of others!
Check out Toni’s website.