The Spirit of the Lake team is a group of compassionate owners, practitioners, and teachers who strive to assist with the health, healing, and happiness of all those we have the privilege to work with.
Nicole’s Specialties Include:
Yoga and Energy Healing
Veterans and Military Families
Spirituality and Ritual
Nicole Lovald, MS, E-RYT, RYT500, Reiki Master
Co-Owner, Yoga Teacher, Life Coach, Reiki Practitioner
Nicole Lovald is one of the co-owners of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center and is a master’s level counselor, certified life coach, master reiki healer, and registered yoga teacher. As a natural healer all of her life, she has worked with a variety of populations (at-risk kids, veterans, domestic violence and sexual assault victims and more) in various settings throughout her career.
Working from the perspective that everyone has the tools to heal within them, Nicole guides her clients to uncover their hidden potential and ability to heal. Nicole incorporates mindfulness, breathwork, guided imagery and relaxation, energy healing, as well as mind-body medicine techniques into her practice, when and where it is appropriate for clients.
Nicole works with all ages, from kids who may be struggling with anxiety or school pressures, to adults who are experiencing a life transition, grief, stress, or any other life challenge. She brings in a whole person (mind, body, and spirit) approach to working with her clients therapeutically.
When Nicole isn’t at the Wellness Center or teaching a yoga class, you will likely find her at home playing with her kids, her dog, and relaxing with her husband. She loves to travel and hosts yoga retreats across the world (typically in a tropical location during our frigid Minnesota winter).
Amy Zitur, MOT, OTR/L
Co-Owner, Occupational Therapist
With a background in Occupational Therapy, Amy came to Spirit of the Lake in search of life balance between a demanding career and starting a family. She has experience of owning a business of her own, and enjoys the "behind the scenes" work that comes with the in's and out's of owning and growing a business. Although Amy's passion of helping others is rooted in the world of pediatrics, she has special training in stress and tension reduction exercises, extensive knowledge and training on how primitive reflex patterns impact function as a result of stress and trauma, and a deep understanding of the nervous system leading to strategies that assist in regaining homeostasis and overall function in a chaotic world.
In her spare time, Amy enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her husband, dogs, and twin babies.
Judy Farniok E-RYT500
Judy is a 500 hour E-RYT, teaching Yin, Adaptive, Nidra and Aqua Yoga in the local community for over seven years. She has studied with several outstanding teachers including Paul Grilley, Judith Lasater, Indu Aurora, Sarah Powers, Gary Kraftsow, and Ken Nelson. Judy says, "My earliest yoga experience started back in the 70's in my college days - and became my centering and calming practice. After moving on to other activities, I returned to an active practice over the course of the last decade."
Amber Huttner E-RYT500, YACEP
Amber Huttner, E-RYT 500, was certified as an Anusara yoga teacher in 2001. Teaching for almost 20 years, her classes are fun, informative, and always emphasize learning new ways to progress and succeed on the mat. Amber brings an abundance of technical expertise along with her humor, compassion, and heart-felt instruction to her classes. Her students benefit from her enthusiasm for life and dedication to help them learn, heal, and grow on every level.
Nancy Gomez E-RYT200
Nancy came to her mat in 2001 for her first yoga class and has been hooked ever since. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 200 hour teacher. She loves experiencing the benefits of yoga and is excited to share those with her students. Nancy will lead you through a strong steady flow from posture to posture with focus on building strength and stability, balance, stillness, awareness, and breath. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, and she is an aroma therapy practitioner, as well as a Reiki practitioner.
Melissa Gombola RYT200
Inspired by her own personal yoga practice, Melissa is committed to helping others cultivate confidence & realize their own beauty & strength. Melissa offers mindfulness-based classes that promote awareness of body, mind & spirit, while creating intelligent & playful sequencing, empowering you to feel peaceful & at ease in your body as you step off your mat. Melissa is honored to hold a space for you as you progress on your personal yoga journey. Melissa is grateful that she has experienced the powerful benefits of yoga & is passionate about sharing that love & joy with others.
Melissa is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with Yoga Alliance & trained with Inner Fire Yoga Studio in Madison, Wisconsin. She is certified as a Karma Kids Yoga Instructor. She holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. Melissa taught for eight years as a classroom teacher in Chicago, Philadelphia & Rochester. Melissa taught for five years with the little om BIG OM team in Madison. She teaches vinyasa & power flow yoga classes in the Twin Cities area. When off of the mat, you can find Melissa seeking out travel adventures, reading good books, drinking wine & hanging out with family & friends, and exploring the beautiful local trails with her husband & three young children.
Crystal Ann Hanson E-RYT500, AYS, YACEP, CFNC
Crystal Ann Hanson is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher(E-RYT500), Certified Ayurveda Yoga Specialist (AYS), Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach (CFNC), Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), Sacred Activist Leader and holds a BS in Psychology.
She uses an integrative approach utilizing all of these modalities when conducting private client consultations, workshops and teaching classes. Crystal enrolled in her first 200 Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in 2009 through the Himalayan Institute. After feeling the many emotional, spiritual and physical benefits that Yoga and Meditation brought to her daily life, she had a strong desire to continue to learn and share with others.
Crystal teaches from her heart as she invites students to pause, connect, look inside and feel what is happening in the present moment, to observe the effects a practice reveals. Crystal’s classes include Mantra (chanting), Mudras, Pranayama (breath; prana practices) and teachings from the Vedas (ancient books of “wisdom”). Crystal is honored to teach and share from all of her training, modalities and life experiences respecting an integrative approach. Crystal Ann Hanson believes that we are ALL teachers and we are ALL students.
Holly grew up in a strong dance tradition and came to yoga 20 years ago. She is
a 500 Hour RYT whose powerful classes combine insightful meditations, creative
sequencing and a spirit of playfulness to help deepen one’s practice. Holly guides
students at their own pace to become aware of and remove obstacles in their
bodies so that they are able to more comfortably move through their lives. Yoga is
an expression of joy, an experience of community and a compelling lens for
studying yourself. Whether your goal is to become stronger, more flexible or
more fearless on and off the mat, yoga can be a great addition to any lifestyle or
Holly is deeply grateful for the loving wisdom shared by her fellow teachers and
“You are what you think. So today, say to yourself, ‘I am wonderful.’ And believe
Take a deep breath and join her soon…
In addition to the numerous physical benefits, yoga helps Elle slow down, relieve stress and calm the chatter of the mind. She enjoys sharing the gifts of this practice with others. Elle has been practicing yoga since she was a teenager and has been exposed to many different styles and traditions. After completing the YT-200 at Spirit of the Lake she felt called to teach restorative and yin yoga. You can expect her classes to be relaxing and slow paced. Her sessions are a great balance to an active yoga schedule or to give yourself space to rest and restore. Elle also works full-time in a corporate HR role and lives in Excelsior with her husband Stephen.
Tricia has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years. In 2017, she completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training for her own personal growth and had no intention of teaching. She has been teaching ever since and absolutely loves seeing how people are able to grow in their practice. She is currently working on finishing her 300 hour advanced teaching training. In the summer, you can find her in the Excelsior Commons teaching Donation Yoga, with proceeds benefiting the Commons.
Jackie began practicing yoga in 2005 and instantly recognized the benefits yoga has to offer as a means of self-care. Initially drawn to yoga for fitness, she quickly fell in love with the peace of mind, clarity of thoughts and overall feeling of well-being. As a 200 RYT, Jackie strives to create a safe, non-competitive space for her students to explore and challenge their boundaries. She is honored to teach yoga helping to bring balance, awareness, health, and happiness into the lives of others.