Tag Archives: Scott Willis

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.

Hundred Nights Benefit

Hits the Spot Yoga Presents: A Daylong Yoga Retreat/Benefit
for Hundred Nights in Keene, NH

15036326_1146682578754477_284369460001653512_nThis benefit/retreat is intended both for beginners and those who have experience with yoga. It will introduce newcomers, in a very friendly way, to yoga practices that can easily be incorporated into daily life, and it will renew and strengthen the practice of more experienced participants.

keene-dec-4-draft-oct-14-2016

Contact Hits the Spot Yoga Founder/Director Scott Willis for more information.

Our New Yoga Immersion Program

Join us for a year of deepening your relationship with yoga with our new yoga immersion track for avid practitioners and yoga teachers.

Yoga Immersion Program, Hits the Spot Yoga

Spend the year deepening your relationship with yoga, crafting a unique personal retreat, focusing on a meaningful project, and expanding your personal practice.

Whether you have already completed a Yoga Teacher Training Program or you simply want to strengthen your practice alongside like-minded people, you are welcome in this program.

Enrollment in the Yoga for Transformation Program is limited. A great group of bright, kind-hearted folks are ready to undertake a wonderful journey beginning in April. I hope you will join us!

Contact Director, Scott Willis, to find out more about the Yoga for Transformation program and how it might serve you.

Click here for program dates, details, rates.

Hits the Spot Yoga Hits the Road with Daylong Workshops

Hits the Spot Signature Workshops in Woodstock, VT & Keene, NH
For yoga teachers and other yoga lovers

HTSYHits the Spot Yoga Workshops are led by Scott Willis, founder and director of Hits the Spot Yoga, known for his friendly, compassionate style of teaching.

Each workshop provides a full day of gentle guidance and practical tools to move participants toward their practice and teaching goals.

Stephen Cope’s extraordinary book, The Great Work of Your Life, serves as the text for the daylong workshops. Dharma is explored through reading, conversation, meditation, presentation and practice.

Through his teaching, Scott creates an oasis for students where they can truly enjoy exploring the art and science of yoga.

Scott Willis has been leading yoga classes for the past 25 years, and teacher trainings since 2011.  Hits the Spot Yoga is registered with Yoga Alliance.

Upcoming travel dates for Hits the Spot daylong workshop:

Woodstock, Vermont:

Sunday, January 16, 2016


Keene, NH
:

February 28, 2016

Fee: $85 per workshop

More information:
scott-willis@comcast.net

Hits The Spot Yoga

November Daylong Yoga Workshop

~a daylong workshop for yoga teachers & avid practitioners

November 2015
Dear Yogis,

Hits the Spot Yoga entranceI hope you’ll join consider joining me on November 22 to spend a full day delving into the many aspects of yoga that we dearly love.

What: A day of yoga practice and discussion

Where: Yoga Center at Solar Hill

When: Sunday, November 22, 2015, from 9 am – 4 pm

Why: To share the day doing yoga and discussing its many aspects with a group of wonderful folks

Who: Yoga teachers and avid practitioners of yoga

Hits The Spot Yoga practice space

Workshop FAQs:

What will the day include?

Morning practice: Poses, breathwork and meditation

Poses clinic: Hits the Spot Yoga approach to inversions

Teachers’ forum: Living your dharma

Discussions: Different aspects of yoga and finding your dharma

Lunch Break: Bring your own and enjoy it at or around Solar Hill

Hits The Spot Yoga at Solar Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont

What is dharma?

According to Stephen Cope, who wrote The Great Work of Your Life, “The Sanskrit word “dharma,” as used in the Bhagavad Gita, is so full of meaning that it is impossible to grasp its full scope through any English translation.” Wow. At its core, you could consider it your life’s meaning and purpose. For this workshop, we’ll use Stephen’s book as inspiration for identifying something that is important to you and on which you would like to put more focus to get more satisfaction out of life.

Will I have to teach yoga in the workshop?

No. Both yoga teachers and non-teachers are invited to attend.  Yoga teachers can earn 6 continuing education credits (CEUs).

I understand this is just one workshop in a series. Do I have to sign up for all—or more than one—workshop?

No. Feel free to join us for any of the workshops you are interested in. Click here to learn about the other workshops in this series.

Cost: $75 per workshop or $60 each if you sign up for all four.

Info and registration: Contact me at (802) 257-1926 or scott-willis@comcast.net
or find out more on the Facebook event page.  (Note: space limited.)

I hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Scott

Fall Session Enrolling Now

July 2015
Dear Yogis,

ScottCart250pxI hope you’re enjoying the warm summer months as much as I am. Believe it or not, however, it’s time to start thinking about autumn and winter—at least in terms of yoga!

I invite you to join me for the Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Semester of Yoga: August 31, 2015 – February 12, 2016.

As usual, I’ll be offering classes at many different levels: Beginning, Beginning/Intermediate, Intermediate, and Yoga Flow-Meditation in Motion yoga classes.

Highlights of the semester:

    3-Year Yoga Curriculum with 45 lesson plans: This provides some really nice yoga flows, occasionally with brief practice periods, ensuring that new postures will be gradually phased in throughout the semester.

    Make-up Classes: The semester of classes continues to be a fun, enjoyable way for you to rejuvenate and relax—and remains a “good deal” in challenging economic times. I’ve kept the fees at the customary reasonable rate, and for those of you who sign up for the semester, I again offer four make-up classes every week, making it easy to get in all the classes for which you’ve paid.

   Early Bird Discount: The deadline for this offer is July 25, 2015. Click here for rates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call me at (802) 257-1926.

I’m looking forward to practicing with you in the Fall/Winter Semester—but not before we’ve all had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer!

Cheers,
Scott

HTSYPS: Don’t forget, the Spring/Summer Semester is still happening! We’ll be practicing yoga together until July 25, so I hope to see you soon. There is space available in certain classes during this time for drop-ins … Please contact me to find out which classes currently have space.

Spread the word? If you’re inclined, share this with two friends—folks you feel would really enjoy yoga the way I teach it and who haven’t had a chance to attend a class yet…

Gratitude

photo: Kelly Salasin

photo: Kelly Salasin

In 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 bright, kindhearted folks who fully feel their humanity and have great senses of humor.

This year, two of them gave me versions of Melody Beattie’s orientation toward gratitude. Putting the two together, it goes like this:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

I find this to be a very compelling orientation, 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 28 years ago. I’ve been practicing it, in all its many wonderful aspects, with great love and appreciation ever since. What a gift it is to all of us!

With gratitude,

Scott Willis
Founder/Director, Hits the Spot Yoga
November 23, 2014