Kathryn Payne Olson
Owner / Yoga & Fitness Instructor
Kathryn has initiated and developed Power Yoga programs in Europe, Africa and the United States and offers over 20 years of teaching experience. She loves to teach fun, music-driven yoga-based workout classes in her signature style. Kathryn is passionate about empowering others to maximize their quality of life by finding the right kind of yoga for them. She founded Yoga Toka to create a judgement-free space dedicated to happiness, freedom, and love, where everyone feels included and valued. As a yoga & fitness professional, Kathryn holds numerous certifications including RYT-200, AFFA, ACSM, and ACE.
FUN FACT: Kathryn is a master Solitaire, Scrabble, and Backgammon player!
Sonya is an RYT-200 certified yoga teacher. She studied meditation in Dharamsala, India, home of the Dalai Lama, and practices daily. Yoga has been an important part of Sonya’s life for several decades, she loves sharing her Yoga experiences to help others physically and emotionally, the practice of Yoga helps to develop physical and emotional balance. Sonya taught Yoga in the Virgin Islands and introduced Yoga to people in Rwanda and eastern Congo. In 2011 Sonya was named an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation for her dedication to humanitarian work for women and children in war-torn eastern Congo and neighboring Rwanda, as well as in Haiti, Guatemala, Thailand, and India.
FUN FACT: Sonya has enjoyed a 30-year career as a professional photographer and is honored to have been inducted into the Freelance Photographers' Hall of Fame.
Palma is an energetic woman who loves making new friends and sharing commonalities, as well as learning from those she encounters in life. She found her true passion for yoga in 2013 when she decided to slow down and take time for herself. She decided to take her passion to the next level by becoming a certified E-RYT-200 through Yoga Alliance. She also successfully finished her teacher training in Hatha Yoga in 2015. Using her bilingual skills, Palma has created a yoga class taught in both Spanish & English to better serve the local community. Palma travels frequently to Yogaville in order to further her yoga education and received her Yin Yoga Certification from renowned yoga master Biff Mithoefer. In 2017, she earned her Intermediate Hatha Teacher Training from Integral Yoga Academy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Warriors from YogaFit.
FUN FACT: Palma practices ballet twice a week and loves broadway musicals - especially The Lion King!
Claudia sought out yoga for spiritual guidance and to improve her own health, and she has experienced an incredible physical and mental transformation as a result. She firmly believes that the power of yoga and a kind heart bring healing, happiness, and peace to our lives. Claudia’s classes focus on breath and her mantra is “use the breath as a compass for our lives.” Claudia’s classes will leave you empowered, relaxed and happy. Most of all, she leads by example with a yoga attitude and lifestyle.
FUN FACT: Claudia plays the piano and loves to sing & dance.
Jon teaches strength, cardio, and core H.I.T.T. classes (we call it "Total Body Conditioning" at Yoga Toka) along with senior fitness. Jon designs each class to be challenging for all of his students as well as accommodating to everyone’s goals and fitness levels. He believes that health and fitness challenges are unique to each individual, depending on personal circumstances, and he makes sure everyone has a positive experience in his classes. Jon’s goal is for you leave each class thinking, “Wow, I just did that!” and then, “I want to come back for more!”.
FUN FACT: Jon is a "Jeep-aholic", owning five in total (and his wife owns one, too!). They range from a 1948 CJ-2A to a 2017 Cherokee Trailhawk. And yes, they all run. Mostly.
Sarah is a coffee-drinking, Instagramming dog mom and yogi. When she discovered yoga, she fell in love with the mindful movements amid a busy life. On the mat, she will take you through a flowing practice grounded in sequencing, breath, and fun! Sarah intermingles humor while creating space for exploration and joy within her classes. In 2015, she completed her 200 hour training at the Anthony Bowen YMCA as well as her 20-hour YoKid certification. After leaving her class, Sarah hopes that you will have found movements that connect with your own body while also cultivating a supportive community with those around you.
FUN FACT: Sarah was a radio deejay while in college at University of Maryland WMUC.
Christine took her first yoga class in 2010 at the behest of her husband. He stopped going after a week and she never looked back. She has practiced steadily for the last five years in different studios and locales from one side of the continent to the other. She thinks it’s amazing how much one can learn from different teachers and different studios. She loves Hatha Yoga but has pushed herself out of her comfort zone to try different disciplines. She received her 200-hour teacher training certificate in 2017 and has loved the opportunity to deepen her practice.
FUN FACT: Christine has moved 12 times in the last 24 years, many of which have been from Virginia to California and from California to Virginia.
T’ai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong Instructor
Blake has studied Taiji and Qigong for over 20 years. He is fully endorsed to teach all aspects of the arts by his teacher, a formally recognized Qigong Master vetted by the former Minister of Sport in Beijing. Blake has led his own classes and seminars around the mid-Atlantic region since 2004. Through this experience, he has honed his methods to deliver the deeper benefits of Taiji and Qigong to people of all experience levels and walks of life. Having enhanced his life in many ways through these arts, he endeavors to bring that transformational experience to others.
FUN FACT: Blake played bass for a band signed to a D.C. indie-rock label in the mid-90’s.
Rhonda began her journey in dance fitness almost 20 years ago while attending classes with her mother and her friends. Although she never became involved in formal dance lessons, she has always enjoyed dancing for fun. Her love of dance and the atmosphere of a fun class inspired her to become a dance fitness instructor. She received her license to teach in 2017 and continued her education with a AFAA group fitness certification shortly afterward. Rhonda loves connecting with new students a building a true community atmosphere in her classes!
FUN FACT: Rhonda once worked at the Chuck E Cheese toy counter as a teenager.
RYT 200 Yoga Instructor
Sheila’s teaching philosophy is that yoga can benefit all body types; if you can breathe, you can benefit from yoga. The foundation of her classes focuses on breath, while leading students through a series of asanas. The sequence and intensity of the class vary in accordance with students’ experience, energy, and ability. Sheila’s classes are accessible to beginners, while also challenging for intermediate students.
FUN FACT: Sheila loves to travel and has been to several countries, but by far Cairo, Egypt is her number 1. “The pyramids you see in the pictures don’t even get close to the real thing,” she says.