A Tale of Two Mats

Yoga is credited with having many benefits, including but not limited to: weight loss, stress reduction and a calm(er) mind.  But when one professional athlete tried yoga for the first time, she found not only a sense of relief, but a new life as well.

WWE Diva wrestler Trish Stratus dropped her "chick kick" and "Stratusfaction" moves on female wrestlers for seven years before retiring from the sport in 2006.  After injuries and degenerative disk issues she retired and at the age of 37 became the youngest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.  But before retiring, she was introduced to a new sport, one which would ultimately change her life. 

Everyone's story of how they found their passion, love or what makes them feel the most fulfilled is different.  For some, it's by chance or a "sliding door" moment, while for others it's an introduction through a friend, loved one or family member.  But, for Trish Stratus, her introduction to yoga came only after experiencing terrible pain.

Trish found relief, and ultimately, a new path in life by chance.  On her way to physical therapy for her disk injury, the wrestler saw a sign for a Bikram Yoga studio and on a whim, she steered her car in the direction of the studio and decided to give it a try.  A 90-minute yoga class later, Trish found relief from the pain -- something that, up to this point, multiple physical therapy sessions were unable to help. 

Fast forward 7 years and you'll see a different woman.  She's married and expecting her first child, but she's also calm and has a tranquil mind, which she credits to yoga.  While taking classes that would certify her as a yoga teacher, Trish found herself driving to the closest yoga studio -- one hour away -- and wondered why she didn't just open up her own?

Today Trish has her own studio as well as a Stratusphere product line: yoga mats, dumbbells, her trademark fit gloves, instructional DVDs, even her own line of wellness teas.  

The most inspiring element about her story is how everything in her live evolved and grew from the single and simple act of trying something new. Each day, she continued to push herself - from taking a class, to becoming yoga certified, opening a studio and launching her own line of products. 

"Whatever I'm doing, I want to be challenged," she said. "I want to hit new levels. I want to do something I've never done before in whatever world I'm in and then move on." And that, my friends, is Genuine Joy...