Category Archives: Hits the Spot Yoga

What is Hits the Spot Yoga?

What is Hits the Spot Yoga?

I’ve been teaching yoga and related mind-body classes for 30 years. When I first decided to define the unique style of yoga I teach, I wanted a term that would immediately communicate the benefit to students and practitioners. That’s how “Hits the Spot Yoga” came to be.

Over the years, many of my students told me that my yoga classes really “hit the spot” for them. That held true regardless of whether they needed relief after sitting at a desk all day, wanted a stretch after gardening, were recovering from surgery, or were just getting into yoga for the first time. I liked that idea of “hitting the spot” for students. It fit with my philosophy of offering friendly, compassionate yoga classes for folks of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

And so the name for my yoga style was born.

Through Hits the Spot Yoga, I emphasize doing poses in a way that’s right for each student’s body and needs. A guiding principle is for each person to choose a gentle, moderate, or vigorous version of a pose—whatever satisfies them, without worrying about what others are doing. There’s no competition in my classes. We’re all there to stretch, move, and feel good, going to our individual steady edge with proper alignment, using variations and props to get it just right for each of us.

Beyond the physical benefits, Hits the Spot Yoga seems to support folks in deep, personal ways. Students have told me my classes “hit the spot” when they feel scattered, stressed, tense, or pulled in different directions. The classes help when they are anxious, afraid, or lonely. They are also a great tonic for those who are tired of the competitive aspect that can flourish in yoga classes and just want to move in a way that feels good to them.

My students all know that one of my favorite quotes is from Erich Schiffmann: “Yoga will make you sensitive to the stillness, the presence, the hush, the peace of God. This deep inner stillness is at the core of your being. It is the ground, the joy of your being. The radiant peace you'll experience is what happens naturally when the creative energy of God is allowed to flow through you unobstructed.”

That really underscores the idea behind Hits the Spot Yoga: to help students move their bodies in a way that allows them to feel that creative energy—of god, of the universe, of life—moving through them and nourishing their beings.

As I said, I’ve been teaching yoga for three decades—most of that time right here in Brattleboro, Vermont, as the lead instructor for The Yoga Center at Solar Hill. Hits the Spot Yoga is the culmination of my work and practice over the years. My primary influences have been Anusara, Kripalu, and Iyengar yoga styles, as well as Insight Meditation. Since 2011, I’ve been the director and lead instructor for the Hits the Spot Yoga 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs, where I teach emerging and established yoga teachers to share the Hits the Spot Yoga style with their own students.

The bottom line is what I tell my students: “It’s your body. It’s your time. It’s your class.” My yoga classes provide an oasis for them to take care of themselves and enjoy themselves in a non-competitive atmosphere of calm and peace—with a few jokes tossed in there, now and then. J

Gratitude by Scott Willis

In my Hits the Spot Yoga classes, we enrich our practice by focusing on a particular theme for each season, often doing a 2-3 minute contemplation of a quote or an excerpt from an article or book that offers a certain take on the theme.

In the Fall, our theme is gratitude/savoring. In the Winter, it’s forgiveness/lovingkindness. In the Spring, we focus on mindfulness. And in the Summer, we practice contentment/fun.

It’s Fall (at least for a little while longer), and I want to say that among the many aspects of my life for which I’m grateful, one particular area stands out today: I’m very thankful for the folks that come here to practice and study yoga with me. They are very bright, kindhearted folks who fully feel their humanity, and have great senses of humor.

I find gratitude to be a very inspiring point of view, one that I would like to continue to cultivate. I also find it challenging to dwell there for very long.

That’s why I consider gratitude (and, for that matter, forgiveness, lovingkindness, mindfulness and contentment) a practice. Like anything, when I practice something, I’m more apt to experience the desired outcome more often, and gratitude is no exception.

These days, we begin our classes with a short gratitude contemplation,  bringing into our field of attention someone for whom we feel grateful or something for which we feel grateful, breathing deeply down into the belly and cultivating that feeling state of gratitude.

Doing this makes it more likely that I’ll do it in my daily life, stopping for three minutes or so, taking a few deep breaths, and saying to myself, “I feel so grateful for  ____________ .”

I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that life can be very challenging at times. And when I’m able to remember to practice gratitude, forgiveness, lovingkindness and contentment, I often find a degree of freedom even in challenging times.

I’m very thankful that I found yoga 30 years ago. I’ve been practicing it, and all its many wonderful aspects, with great love and appreciation ever since. What a gift it is to all of us.

To learn about how gratitude cultivates and supports the experience of joy, go to the YouTube clip of Brene Brown talking with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. It’s six minutes that could change your life! It sure did that for me.

 

 

About Scott Willis & Hits the Spot Yoga

Scott Willis, M. Ed. is the founder and director of Hits The Spot Yoga at The Yoga Center at Solar Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Scott has been teaching yoga and related mindbody classes and workshops for 30 years, including 25 years as the lead instructor for Hits The Spot Yoga at The Yoga Center at Solar Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont. For the past 7 years, he has also served as director and lead instructor for the Hits The Spot Yoga 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs.

Known for his friendly, compassionate style of teaching, Scott’s primary influences are Anusara, Kripalu, Iyengar Style, and Insight Meditation. He incorporated techniques from all of them in developing the unique Hits the Spot Yoga style and yoga curriculum.

His intention is to create an oasis for students where they can truly enjoy exploring the art and science of yoga.