GD: Were you involved with Yoga before or during your tenure as a WWE Diva/Wrestler, or did you take it up after retiring from the ring?
Trish: I was sidelined with an injury during my tenure as a wrestler, I suffered a herniated disk and I used yoga as a means to rehabilitate my injury. I was able to recover fully and go back and wrestle pain-free until I retired a couple years later. Yoga stayed a part of my lifestyle and after retiring I pursued my interest in Yoga further by becoming a certified yoga instructor. I opened Stratusphere
, a 5, 200 square foot multi-disciplinary yoga centre in May 2008 in my hometown, just north of Toronto. (stratusphereyoga.com
GD: Will your likeness be rendered in CG for the game as a coach/trainer?
Trish: This is the part I'm most excited about! We are taking a completely different and totally new and innovative approach for the video rendering of my likeness that is going to guide you through the sequences. We wanted to be able to give the players, or 'students' an experience that is as close to a real life experience as possible, as if they were in my studio. The type of video capturing and rendering that we are going to use will make that interaction truly feel 'real' and to my knowledge, this type of presentation has never been done on the Wii platform.
GD: How much content will the Wii owners have to select from?
Trish: Players will be able to customize their workouts based on their abilities and skill levels and also be able to track their progress. They will be rewarded as they reach goals and be provided with motivational tools that will encourage them to stay on track. They will also be able to choose different environments to workout in. So, if you don't live in Toronto – you may still be able to do yoga in my studio – catch my drift?
GD: Will your game be packaged with the Wii Balance Board, or as a standalone title?
Trish: The balance board is not included with this game given that most of the population who would use this game already own one. However, based on a workout method that I have been doing for years – we developed a Wii peripheral to be used with this game that has yet to be introduced with any other Wii game.
GD: Fitness games are becoming increasingly popular, especially on the Wii. How can we expect Stratusphere to stand out among other Wii fitness themed games, such as Wii Fit, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum, and Your Shape?
Trish: Using motion captured video and never before included Wii peripherals, I am looking to give the players the most comprehensive and thorough workout that has ever been attempted on the Wii. With this state-of-the-art video capturing, being able to select and customize your routines along with a custom branded yoga experience that only Stratusphere can provide, players will feel like they are literally in my studio with me getting their sweat on ... or getting their Zen on – whichever they choose! And, they can definitely expect 100% Stratusfaction Guaranteed!
GD: It was great seeing you on Raw last week in Montreal. Will you and Beth Phoenix ever have a program together, or was your appearance as guest host just a one shot?
Trish: Actually Raw was in Toronto, which was part of the reason you saw me as guest host ... as far as Beth Phoenix goes – we seem to keep finding ourselves fighting each other, interestingly enough whenever the WWE comes to Toronto (in December 2007 I was in the main event in a tag team match with John Cena versus Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella). I definitely feel we have great chemistry in the ring and frankly I quite enjoyed delivering Stratusfaction to her!
GD: Will we have to replicate any of your in-ring moves when playing Stratusphere? I'm not so sure I can do The Matrix!
Trish: Funny you mention that because The Ma-Trish
was a move I derived from a yoga pose known as wheel pose or sometimes called bridge (in Sanskrit we call it urdhva dhanurasana). So you just might!
GD: Are you a gamer yourself? If so, what games do you enjoy?
Trish: I've been a big fan of Halo since it first came out; I used to play online a lot with the first two. When I travel Grand Theft Auto is my go-to game on my PSP. We've stayed up many a late night playing both Dance Revolution and Karaoke Revolution. Of course, I always check out the newest version of Raw vs. Smackdown – just to make sure my character is kicking butt like she, or should I say I do! I'm dying to pick up Contra Rebirth – that is total old school! I want to see if the spray gun is still the weapon of choice!
GD: Are there any plans for other fitness themed games on other consoles?
Trish: Definitely...We are currently working on other complementary lines for the Stratusphere Wii brand. Simply put, I want to do for fitness what Tony Hawk did for skateboarding in the video game arena.
GD: Do you make your husband get involved in Yoga as well?
Trish: Of course! When I first opened the studio, there weren't too many guys coming through the door, so I created a "yoga for guys who like fries" class. It is an all guys class designed for the guys who wanted to try it but didn't want to "look stupid" in front of the ladies! That class grew, and so did the amount of guys practicing yoga at my studio. After seeing the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Argonauts practice at my studio, and especially after I launched my 'yoga for golfers' sequence, my husband makes his weekly class part of his regular routine.