By Chris Buffa
Most gamers know Trish Stratus as a former WWE Women's Champion. Both beautiful and skilled in the ring, she quickly rose in popularity, defeating opponents and becoming one of the most recognized names in wrestling.
Although WWE scripted its matches, real injuries occur. After suffering a herniated disk, Trish turned to yoga, unaware that it would serve as a launching pad to a new career. Now she runs Stratusphere, a one-stop yoga shop, located in Vaughan, Ontario. She and her fellow instructors created multiple routines based around three levels: Spirit, Shape and Strength. Members can enjoy a variety of exercises that include a 60-minute power hour, pilates and the martial arts infused Budokon.
She also has an upcoming video game. Stratus teamed up with Frima Studios to produce Stratusphere for Wii, an exercise game designed to help players bring yoga into their lives. Details are scarce, but we managed to catch up with Trish to discuss her love of yoga, Wii Fit and how her new game will help people find inner peace.
What motivated you to bring a fitness game to Wii?
Well I was just sitting in my own world, trying to get everyone to do yoga. I opened up a yoga studio in Vaughan. I had gotten into it while wrestling. It helped me get through some major injuries that almost sidelined my career, and I wanted to help teach people yoga and have them integrate it into their lives.
I was actually approached by Frima Studios, which is based in Quebec. I saw it as a great opportunity to get the word out about yoga. I've seen some of the other yoga games out there, and I don't think anyone can get a real workout from them.
We're also introducing a new technology that'll give you the most realistic imagery that you've seen so far. I won't be a pixilated yogi. It's very lifelike. If I can't get people into my studio in Vaughan, I will get into their living room.
How does your game work? You'll teach us yoga?
Pretty much. We're using the balance board, and there are a couple of other peripherals that we'll use. First, you pick your level. At my yoga studio, I have three different levels: Spirit, Shape and Strength. That allows you to determine your level or choose which type of yoga is right for you.
Most people have a misconception about yoga. They think it's twisting into pretzel shapes and chanting. There's that as well, but if you find the right level and get what you need from your body, that's chi and getting the most out of it.
It's kind of like using Wii Fit, where you assess how flexible you are, where your strength's at and where your balance is. That will determine your level. Then you design a custom workout.
There are so many different styles of yoga. It's a big salad bowl of moves, and you put a bunch of them together, and one routine will be for jetlag and one will be for increased flexibility. Right now, I'm golfing, and I designed a yoga for golfers to help improve their game.
Have you played much of the Wii?
Wii Fit. That to me is a lot of fun. That was the best idea in the world. I'm also very good at trivia.
Was Wii Fit your inspiration for helping to make this game?
Yes! I think they [Nintendo] did an excellent job, but there was a moment where I got on there and I was an expert. I was a little disappointed. Just to see yoga integrated into a video game just proves that it's become more known. It's been around for thousands of years, and just now, a lot of people have realized that it's something that can help their lives.
Thanks Trish. We look forward to playing Stratusphere.