‘For anybody and everybody’: Mountain Top class aims to get word out on yoga

By Marcella Kester - For Times Leader
Terry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Yoga instructor Lori Kozelsky leads an indoor class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top on Saturday morning. The class was moved inside from its usual location — the Wright Township Municipal Park — due to rain. The free outdoor yoga sessions will continue through September. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Participants take part in an indoor yoga class at Mountain Yoga due to rain that cancelled a outdoor free session. The free sessions will run through September. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Terry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Joanne Kolkebeck, of Drums, in foreground, takes part in a yoga class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top after Saturday’s rainy weather forced the class inside. Free sessions take place every Saturday at the Wright Township Municipal Park when the weather permits. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

WRIGHT TWP. — About a dozen yoga practitioners found their inner peace while indoors Saturday when rain forced organizers to move an outdoor yoga session.

For the sixth year, Mountain Yoga is running free outdoor yoga classes at the Wright Township Municipal Park.

However, when Mother Nature fails to cooperate, classes get moved to the Mountain Yoga studio, owner Terry Tokach said.

“It costs money to open the doors,” she explained why she must charge for the class if it has to be moved inside.

Still, attendees filled the room as yoga instructor Lori Kozelsky guided them through a series of moves, each one gaining complexity before cooling down the class toward the end.

While the class was busy moving through cobra pose and the like, Tokach said she decided to create the free weekly event as a way to bring awareness and the benefits of yoga into the community.

“A lot of people were hesitant to come into a yoga studio, not knowing what yoga was all about,” she said. “We really wanted to get the word out that yoga is for anybody and everybody.”

Classes offer various options and modifications to suit everyone’s individual needs. Starting with breathing exercises, the class then moves into basic stretches before diving into more strong, tense poses that focus on everything from balance to the release of inner negativity.

“What’s in the body holds onto tension. It holds onto pent up emotion and toxins. We start to move that through these poses. Through (the breathing), we let it out. And everyone starts to feel a little bit lighter,” she explained.

Besides the free weekly class, Mountain Yoga puts a focus on every individual who walks through its doors. From athletes and children to the elderly and even special-needs people, Tokach strives to appeal to everyone.

Grace Modrovsky agrees.

The 18-year-old from Mountain Top has known Tokach for years, first as her speech pathologist before becoming her yoga instructor.

Modrovsky, who is autistic, began attending weekly yoga classes years ago. While the classes were at first challenging, she has blossomed through practice. It has taught Modrovsky to calm herself down and release pent up emotions that she would otherwise have a difficult time with, Tokach added.

“Yoga makes me happy,” Modrovsky said while helping Tokach clean up after class, also noting that she enjoys many poses and socializing with attendees.

Tokach said Modrovsky’s presence is beneficial to everyone in the studio.

“Through Grace we are learning acceptance. We are learning the value of perseverance in the face of adversity. Grace has taught us all the value of a wave, a smile and a friendly greeting for ALL people,” she said.

Initially, the free yoga classes were supposed to continue each Saturday at the park through Labor Day, starting at 9 a.m. But Tokach now plays to extending the classes through September.

Terry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ttl081218yoga-3-1-.jpgTerry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Yoga instructor Lori Kozelsky leads an indoor class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top on Saturday morning. The class was moved inside from its usual location — the Wright Township Municipal Park — due to rain. The free outdoor yoga sessions will continue through September.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ttl081218yoga-4-1-.jpgYoga instructor Lori Kozelsky leads an indoor class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top on Saturday morning. The class was moved inside from its usual location — the Wright Township Municipal Park — due to rain. The free outdoor yoga sessions will continue through September. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Participants take part in an indoor yoga class at Mountain Yoga due to rain that cancelled a outdoor free session. The free sessions will run through September.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ttl081218yoga-5-1-.jpgParticipants take part in an indoor yoga class at Mountain Yoga due to rain that cancelled a outdoor free session. The free sessions will run through September. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Terry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ttl081218yoga-6-1-.jpgTerry Tokach, owner of Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top, left, does some poses next to Grace Modrovsky, 18, from The Graham Academy during a yoga session at the studio Saturday morning. Modrovsky, who is autistic, has benefited greatly from practicing yoga. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Joanne Kolkebeck, of Drums, in foreground, takes part in a yoga class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top after Saturday’s rainy weather forced the class inside. Free sessions take place every Saturday at the Wright Township Municipal Park when the weather permits.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ttl081218yoga-1-1-.jpgJoanne Kolkebeck, of Drums, in foreground, takes part in a yoga class at Mountain Yoga in Mountain Top after Saturday’s rainy weather forced the class inside. Free sessions take place every Saturday at the Wright Township Municipal Park when the weather permits. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

By Marcella Kester

For Times Leader