Interview with actor Steven Ogg

Apr 21st, 2016

Steven Ogg is one of those actors you just don’t forget! From Grand Theft Auto to Better Call Saul to The Walking Dead, Steven has played every type of character on TV, in movies and in games. So when we found out he is now getting into practicing yoga in his off time (with the help of YouTube videos), we just had to track him down for an interview to learn more…

plaidHow were you first introduced to yoga?

I think I first tried it over 15 years ago at the Chelsea Piers in NYC, but it just wasn’t my thing then. I know plenty of people who swore by it over the years and for the past few years, my sister Lisa has completely fallen in love with it. We are both big runners and she found yoga the only thing to not just help, but fix, her ailments and the stress on the body that running can cause. Did that make me take it up? Nope. Ha ha. I literally just decided to try it while spending time in LA and my body was aching from putting in some big miles running LA’s canyons and trails.

As a beginner, what types of yoga have you started trying out occasionally?

I literally began a 30 day yoga camp on YouTube!! Being inside. Following a video on YouTube. Two things I never thought I’d be doing in LA, but it was an opportunity to try something new. Take me out of my comfort zone and my routine. I wanted something to incorporate mindfulness and voila YOGA WITH ADRIEN. She is just great and has no pretense about herself or the practice – love that!

Can you tell us about how practicing yoga so far helps you mindset wise as an actor?

I’m sure there is a connection there somewhere and certainly it feels good. I can see how the breath work, the centering, the body awareness and mindfulness is helpful. I can’t say A plus B has equaled C quite yet, but I’m enjoying the journey and everything concerning wellness and the mind is always a great mindset and base for everything in life.

You travel back and forth between Hollywood and New York…. How would you compare the two fitness/yoga scenes?

I love the variety of terrain and hills here in LA, but NYC’s Central Park and a good adrenaline rushing urban run through the streets is always exhilarating! I’d say NYC can be a little more intense – taking their spin classes or runs a tad more serious. Certainly the spin classes in NYC are always packed, on time, no chatting and all about the spin!! It’s more casual in LA – kinda like the prevailing attitude here – more chill-axed for better or for worse. And the gyms? Well, there is certainly more emphasis placed on that fitness “look” out in LA. Such a stereotype and generalization I know, but it’s true! Ha ha

What do you find is the hardest thing thus far about practicing yoga?

To stick with it and continue the journey without seeing instant results. I run for an hour and I can turn around and see how far I’ve travelled literally. With yoga and the mindfulness, it’s a commitment to that journey and the long term effects that will come over time. Aside from that? My hip flexors and hamstrings are soooooo tight from running that some of the poses are very challenging for me. I find it hard to sit cross legged a lot!

What is your advice to others looking at getting into yoga and finding the right videos online to learn from?

I REALLY lucked out with Yoga With Adriene. I owe so much in this crazy, wonderful life to serendipity and her channel was recommended to me by a friend when I was searching and needing to try something different. I liked her approach, her energy, and it helped me stick with it. Like a book really – there are so many available out there- if the one you are reading isn’t working for you, move on to one that does. Find something that RESONANTS with you. That’s the key to sticking to something.

What else besides yoga keeps you staying fit? 

I’ve pretty much been a one or two trick pony. I’m an avid outdoor runner – I love to Forest Gump it and just run. Once in my zone, I run a minimum of 6-7 miles a day with some 12 miles thrown in for shits and giggles. If I’m injured, I go spin. In NYC during the winter, barring epic country snow runs doing high knees with snow boots on (yep, crazy! But trust me the BEST workout ever!) I can become very addicted to spin classes. I know variety is suppose to be the spice of life – “Mix it up.” I constantly hear my Mum say – but when I find my groove I generally love staying in it for as long as possible.

What are your future dreams and goals both professionally and personally?

YIKES! How about what’s my favorite season? Professionally – I’d really love to continue with these wonderful opportunities I’ve been having from HBO’s WESTWORLD to AMC’s BETTER CALL SAUL and other fun shows that will be coming out shortly. In a dream world? Give me The Life and Death of Marina Abramović at the Park Armory in NYC in the role Willem DaFoe nailed, a series regular on a great show and then indie films scattered amongst it all. To work consistently. To work with talented and grateful people. That’s the ultimate goal. Personally? My son to be happy, feel the love, thrive, and enjoy and appreciate all that is good! He’s amazing! His Mum too! So lucky.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Ignorance. Hate. Intolerance. Okay that is three. How about ignorance-hate-intolerance? Any of those or the child-proof caps that become impossible to unscrew-ughhhhh!

Since you can now cross yoga off your list of things to try, what’s next?

Really want to continue this journey. I’d love to learn and study more mindfulness and meditation practices. I’d love to continue reaching outside my comfort zone, but it’s honestly not easy. I’d love to sculpt, create more natural installations, build a beautiful Andy Goldsworthy – worthy stone wall. Short term? Be really wonderful to build a tree house or dwelling in the woods with my son this summer. “You said that last year,” he recently told me. Well B, I want THAT next.

To read the full article please download our Asana Journal App or purchase Issue 160 April 2016

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