• Cait Donovan

Maggie Supernova: Entertainment Industry Burnout and Yin Yoga as a Savior for Your Body

Updated: Nov 29, 2021


“My life looked great, my Instagram looked great, my CV looked great, but behind the scenes of that, I was burning out in a big way,” says Maggie Supernova, Burnout Prevention and Recovery Coach. In a former life, Maggie worked for 12 years as a marketing executive in the live entertainment industry, a career that took her from the West End of London to Broadway and beyond. While teenage Maggie would have been thrilled by this career path, which had been a lifelong dream, grownup Maggie did not like the person she had become. Her job had become her entire life, and her sense of self, calm and balance were crushed underneath it.


After quite literally collapsing on the floor of her workplace after a two-week vacation, Maggie realized that her body was screaming at her to get out. She quit her job and moved back in with her parents just months before the pandemic hit. Maggie explains that the pandemic was in many ways a blessing in disguise for her, as it forced her to slow down and truly embody the practices she needed to implement to overcome her burnout. Not only did Maggie apply those lessons to her own life, but she is now using them to support others in her work as a yoga instructor and burnout coach as well.


Tune into this week’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a moving conversation with Maggie about the supernova moment that transformed her life. Learn more about the dangers of an all or nothing mentality, the importance of continued practice even when you don’t feel its benefits, and the magic of yin yoga to restore balance to your body and brain.


Quotes

  • “My life looked great, my Instagram looked great, my CV looked great, but behind the scenes of that, I was burning out in a big way.” (05:07-05:20)

  • “I can see now how completely unhealthy my life was. I was obsessed with my work, and it was the thing that completely defined me because it wasn’t just work. It was my social life, it was my friends, it was my passion.” (09:58-10:14)

  • “[I’m now] figuring out who I am, who I’ve always been away from the person that I’ve spent all this time convincing myself that I had to be.” (17:02-17:10)

  • “Hang on – if I’m doing all of this, if I’m putting myself through hell, if I’m putting everyone around me through hell, if my body is exhausted, my brain is broken, my heart and soul...I don’t know where they’ve gone, then what is the point?” (24:13-24:31)

  • “[The key] is practicing when you don’t need to practice, practicing when you don’t necessarily immediately feel the benefits of the practice, and just keeping going because keeping going is when the magic happens.” (28:34-28:48)

  • [Yin Yoga] is a very slow and meditative form of yoga….It’s all down at the level of the mat. It’s very slow and the principles of Yin are that you create the shape, you hold the shape, you find your edge in that shape...and then you stay there, and you stay there in stillness.” (36:54-37:48)

  • “When we are burnt out, we feel like we can’t relax, we can’t let go. All we need is to be held and supported for a moment, and we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t trust people around us, we are battered and bruised and broken. And something as simple as a cushion or a wall or a yoga block can be that support for you in that pose and you can completely let go of what you’re holding onto.” (41:36-42:09)


Links

https://linktr.ee/maggiesupernova

https://maggiesupernova.com/fried

https://www.maggiesupernova.com/my-burnout-story

https://www.instagram.com/maggiesupernovacoach


XOXO,

C


If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today: bit.ly/callcait


Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm



TRANSCRIPT



Caitlin Donovan

Hello FRIED fans and welcome to season four of FRIED the burnout podcast. I'm your host Cait Donovan and my mission with FRIED is to hashtag and burnout culture. On this pod we end burnout culture by sharing stories of people who have been through it all sharing expert tips from the best in the burnout field, sharing hashtags straight from key episodes with my own expertise and some fun research now that I'm a student again, plus sharing actionable steps to help you end burnout starting today. If you're feeling burnt out right now and you need personalized guidance, you can book a free breakthrough burnout call with me, you'll find the link Bitly backslash call Cait in the show notes. Also, if you love FRIED and want to be part of our community, we'd love to have you just head over to Facebook and type in FRIED the burnout, podcast discussion, and click to join our group. It's a place for continued healing deeper conversations and connections with people who just get it. And now for this week's episode. Hello FRIED fans today, this is going to be really fun because I'm getting to speak with Maggie Supernova as you might know her on Instagram. And if you've been hanging around me for a while, you've probably come across Maggie stuff because Maggie and I share each other's stuff and we comment on each other's stuff. And we're pretty involved with each other we're on we're in a very serious social media relationship. So, so you might recognize her but I'm so excited to have this conversation. We've both been waiting for it for some time. So Maggie is a burnout prevention and recovery coach helping mostly women to be burnout, find balance and live a life that prioritizes happiness. She is a devotee and teacher of Yin and restorative yoga, and meditation. Maggie uses her knowledge both in both practices to support her coaching clients. In a former life, Maggie survived 12 years as a marketing exec in the live entertainment industry. A career that took her from the West End of London to Broadway and beyond. Maggie welcome to the show.


Maggie Supernova

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited and mildly terrified to be


Caitlin Donovan

Please don't be I have the best listeners in the world.


Maggie Supernova

I know I'm one of them.


Caitlin Donovan

Yeah. So don't worry, we're all good. So as you well know, we start every episode with your burnout story. So I'm going to exit stage left, as you might say, in the industry, man, and give you the space to share your story.



Maggie Supernova

Thank you Well, okay, so I thought about this a lot. Because I've told my burnout story so many times, in so many ways. And I really wanted to use this opportunity to do it in a in a in a no holds barred kind of way. Because I think about where I was when I burned out and how I found this podcast, and how listening to it and the honesty and the wrongness of it. And everybody's stories helped me to understand what it was that I was experiencing. So to be here now talking to you about my burnout stories kind of surreal. That if I can help somebody out there, just by sharing my experience, then that is the magic for me. So there's the headline version of my burnout story. And then there's the benefit of hindsight version. And I think both are important, you know, because there was sort of the experience of being in it. And then there's the experience now with everything I've learned looking back. So, up until my burnout, my big burnout, I worked in the live entertainment industry. As he said, I went to London at age 18 with not very much money in my pocket to be an actress to work in theater to do something fabulous and theatrical. And I ended up working in marketing and PR, which is basically the story of most people who work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. But you know, I loved it. I was good at it. I felt like I found my place I found something I was really good at and it was it was part of the world that I loved and was so passionate about. So for 12 years, I worked my way up in my career. Right at the beginning, I worked backstage I worked front of house in theaters. And then for a long time I worked in a marketing agency. And then ultimately, I ended up working for one of the biggest most successful theatre production companies in the world. And arguably one of the biggest and most successful projects ever and a big, serious, important job. I was I was traveling all over the world. I was working crazy hours. I was sleeping with my phone next to my face so that I could wake up if anything happened because everything was so important. You know, and I was incredibly emotionally invested in everything that I was doing. My life looked great. My Instagram looked great. My CV looks great, you know, but behind the scenes of that I was burning out in a big way. So 20 2019 was a really difficult year for me, I was basically stuck in burnout that whole year, completely on edge about everything, not sleeping, not eating properly, drinking way too much. And I just listened to the episode on alcoholism and spread out. And I was like, Yeah, that was me. I was traveling loads, I was crying and toilets a lot. I was struggling with anxiety. And I was just trying to keep everything going. And I was trying that by taking medication, drinking gin, and drinking caffeine and just carrying on. And I knew I couldn't go on. I knew I knew, I was desperately unhappy. But I was so overwhelmed. My confidence and my self esteem were just in the toilet. And I was convinced that I couldn't actually do anything else.

And I just thought, I gotta keep doing what I'm doing, because I can't do anything else. But at the same time, I was also trying everything I could to find a way out. And it was not being successful, because it's kind of hard to sell yourself on your CV, when you are convinced that your CV is just based on dumb luck and no ability, you know, so imposter syndrome really had me. And I think back to the people that I interacted back then and who must have just seen this, like wide eyed, like slightly wild looking sort of desperate woman who was trying to get them to give her a job, just to get me, you know, out of one, frankly, out of one frying pan and into the fire because it would have just been going from one stressful situation to another. So yeah, I was I was stuck in burnout. For most of that year, I was just pushing myself through. I was ignoring the warning signs. And there were a lot of warning signs. But it was actually only when I stopped. And so I took a holiday over Christmas. That year, I'd actually quit already, I'd handed in my notice. So I knew I had to stop. I didn't know what I needed to do. But I knew I needed to stop. And my notice period is pretty long. So even when I quit, it wasn't like, okay, I can breathe now. It was okay, I've gotta just keep going. I've got to get through this. But I took that holiday over Christmas, because I figured I'm leaving so I can. And I totally switched off my phone, my emails, my social media, everything for two weeks, which I've never done in my whole career. I slept and I went to a spa. And I went to see friends. And you know, I still I also drank loads, ate really badly traveled loads, I tried to fit everything into that holiday to try and just make up for everything, you know, like, force myself to be happy. And then it came time to go back to work. And to start everything back up again. And my body was just like, nope. I did. It's like I let my guard down for a little bit. Just having that two week break. And my nervous system got a little taste of freedom. And then it was like, oh, no, we are not going back to that permanent state of fight or flight. You know that I was stuck in. I tried going in. And I would go home with a migraine or something. There were days I couldn't get out of bed. And eventually I dragged myself in to work one day for a meeting, which then got canceled as soon as I got in. And that was it. I just crumbled into tiny pieces. And that was ultimately the moment that I succumbed to burnout. That was the moment when I couldn't push myself anymore. And I just broke into pieces.


Caitlin Donovan

Are you on it? Were you in a heap on the floor? Yeah. Like quite literally. Yeah, yeah.


Maggie Supernova

Oh,yeah. It was, you know, I varied the floors. Sometimes it was my bedroom floor. Sometimes it was my bathroom floor. Sometimes it was the floor at work. But yeah, I was I was in a heap and I couldn't get myself up out of it. And I've had a lot of time since my burnout to look back you know, and get objective about it all and I can see now How completely unhealthy my life was, you know, I was obsessed with my work. And it was the thing that completely defined me because it wasn't just work. It was my social life. It was my friends, it was my passion. And you know, a big part a big part of it was because I was genuinely living my dream, or what I you know, what I thought was my dream. If you'd gone back and ask teenage me what her ideal perfect dream life would be. That was what it was. And the reality is that that perfect dream life was was not not great. It was not what that optimistic teenage girl dreamed it would be. And, and yeah, it just, it appeared like it was great from the outside. And that was kind of all that mattered to me towards the end, because the appearance of success was kind of all I had, by the time burnout really started hitting me hard. Yeah. And I can also see that it wasn't just from that job, or from that particular year, you know, I didn't know that I had anxiety in a general way. You know, you think you did? Yeah, definitely. I know. I know now, you know, I've been diagnosed with with anxiety now. And it's not just situational related to this specific thing. I thought it was stress related, or like the PTSD that you know, that I got from my burnout, but I've had anxiety my whole life, I've been afraid, my whole life. And that has been my motivator. For so many decisions. I've cared so much about what people think of me, what I look like to them, that they're impressed by me. And and what I do, and what I've done. And, and all of that was there. The whole time I was in the arts industry, I just needed to be successful. Because if I wasn't I was a failure. And that was the worst thing I could possibly be.


Caitlin Donovan

And there was nothing in between it was either massive success or


Maggie Supernova

All or nothing. Which, which is a phrase that, you know, I think both of us will hear a lot, because that's such a quality that all all people prone to burnout. You know, we always describe ourselves as being those all or nothing people. And so yeah, that was that was absolutely, absolutely what I was, I was just throwing myself into it, to do everything to do all the things be the best at all things. So I didn't have to deal with the fear. Yeah. And, you know, I was, I was really hard on myself, I hope I held myself to a very high standard on certain levels. And, you know, I was taken advantage of a lot because of that through my career. And by that I don't mean to sort of pitch this as a sob story. You know, like, I'm not blaming my burnout on any one person. But it's something that I've learned that it's important to acknowledge, because my instinct has always been to internalize everything, to hold myself accountable and to hold myself to blame. And the theatre industry is not a good industry for balance. Especially if you're behind the scenes. And by that, I mean, really doing anything that isn't the actual performing on stage. I mean, they have their own set of problems. But there, there is a problem with bullying, there is a lot of toxicity and the mindset is, the show must go on, which sounds all lovely and about camaraderie and sticking together and being in it together. But what that really means is, the show is more important than you. And it's more important than your health and it's more important than your happiness. And when you are in it, you believe that? Because everybody does, and as a result that kind of makes it true, then it feels good to contribute to it. Exactly. It feels good to be a part of that process. It's like when you're in it, you can't it's the boiling frog analogy. I always use this analogy. You know, when you're in when you're in the pot, you can't tell that you're boiling alive. The interesting, the really interesting thing about the pandemic has been that people have come out the other side of it going well, it doesn't have to be like this anymore. And you know, and and a huge amount of, well, a huge amount. That's a massive generalization, but I know that a lot of people in certain roles have moved to another industry during the time of the pandemic because they had to to keep going and they are not necessarily coming back. So there's this void. And it's sort of like well, why would I come back if you don't have work life balance here?


Caitlin Donovan

This is how we change the system.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah, exactly.


Caitlin Donovan

This you take your people, you take the people out of the system and it no longer function.


Maggie Supernova

Your impact the bottom line? Yeah, when change starts to happen, yeah, I'm really, I'm really excited to have the opportunity to be a little bit of a part of that change. And that, you know, I've had conversations and consultations, just in the way of sort of being able to say, this was my experience. This is why it did not work for me. Yeah. And, you know, a lot of it was my, a lot of it was my stuff. And a lot of it was was not stuff. Yeah. But here's how I found the middle. Here's how I found the balance. Yeah. And, yeah, hopefully, change will come and not just in one industry, but in across, it's across the board. And so, it has been really important to me to acknowledge that I did not single handedly do this to myself. Most of the work I've been able to do has has been on myself, like the internal factors that have contributed, and that did contribute to my being in a place physically, mentally, emotionally, in which there was nowhere else to go, but to burn out. And for me, it's been a lot about healing myself, and dealing with my anxiety about physically getting out of London, I actually moved, I moved back in with my parents over the pandemic, which and I'm still hear which, and it's much more harmonious than it sounds because they live in a lovely bed and breakfast in the countryside. So yes, it's, I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty great. And I've got a dog and just, it's, it's so different to where my life was before. And, and, you know, it's different in in so many ways, but having this opportunity now, you know, spending this time reconnecting with my family, figuring out having the time to figure out what's important to me. And, you know, figuring out who I am who I've always been away from the person that I spent all this time convincing myself that I had to be


Caitlin Donovan

That hit me right in the gut.


Maggie Supernova

And you know, what, like, one of the biggest and hardest things I've had to come to terms with was the fact that I just, I didn't like myself. I didn't like the person that I become. I didn't like the person I was to work with. I didn't like the person I was pretending to be. You know, I thought that that was what I wanted to be in who I wanted to be. But actually, when I became it, I did not like them.


Caitlin Donovan

No, I was awful, too.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah, I was, I was awful.


Caitlin Donovan

And so I was awful. I was awful. I didn't even know I was awful. Because I was so self-convinced that there was some because of the level of importance I was putting on my job. Like the show must go on the show was so important. And I'm part of the show. Therefore I am important was made me arrogant.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah. And rude. And pushy. Yeah, impatient and like, just so completely. I mean, it wasn't even self-obsessed. Because it was It wasn't about self it was about you know, and, and how can you not all be so obsessed with this thing? And why is this thing not as important to you as it is to me, you know, I actually my family have frequently make jokes at my expense. And I and I am I have good humor now. So I can you know, can I can take it on the chin, but they they like to joke about how one of their nightmare scenarios was being with with old me in a queue Oh, God, you in a queue. I mean, that was a nightmare. Or being in a in a restaurant in a country pub, and someone daring to bring me a glass of Prosecco that wasn't chilled. They were like, oh, and I was like, Oh, that was that person. I was. It's and it's, it's awful looking back at it. And the thing is, you know, I've gone through this process of like, actually reconnecting with with myself who I actually am like, the me on the inside the me away from all of that. And, you know, I call my burnout, my supernova moment. And I've told you this a little bit. You know, it is it's the moment that everything went to shit. And my whole life, my whole life exploded, because so a supernova is when a star burned so brightly that it burns out, and it explodes. And, you know, everything goes crazy. But then this new little star gets to come into existence and start to shine. And so for me like that, is what it's such a wonky way of putting it but that's where it kind of makes sense to me. And you know, and so now I'm like this little this little star and I'm like, Okay, well, what does this little star need? What's important to this? It'll start and and it's completely different to what I thought it was gonna be, it's a lot smaller. And it's a lot more balanced, and it's a lot quieter. And it's still I say the things that brought me joy before still do,


Caitlin Donovan

like a cold glass of Prosecco. Like, much.


Maggie Supernova

I really drink that much information that I used to drink, because it was a coping mechanism. You know, it was self medicating. And, and, you know, I think as well, there is, I do want to note, because I mentioned medication earlier, and I was sort of using that as a way of just not really dealing anything with anything, and just trying to keep going. And, and I'm still, you know, I actually, I still take medication now, but I take better while I take the right kinds, and it's in balance with the other things that I do. And I always want to just mention that because, you know, for me, it's been a balance of meditation and medication and good therapy and getting on the right path. And, you know, that whole that whole process has I've kind of lost my train of thought now. But where was I going?


Caitlin Donovan

I think you were just trying to, and correct me if I'm wrong. There you go.


Maggie Supernova

Got alcohol. Yes, sir. This and yeah, this the medicating in the right way now, and actually, as a result, I don't need the drink anymore. And anyone listening? Yes. Who knew me and my old life would be like, what? Because I was definitely, you know, I was a gin and tonic, double gin and tonic in the interval, please kind of gal and, and that isn't my life anymore. As I like to drink. I'll have a glass of champagne. I'll have a glass of wine. But I'll just have one.


Caitlin Donovan

And, and if it comes out not cold, you can still ask for another but


Maggie Supernova

you know, I wouldn't even do that. Cait you know what I do? I just say, Can I have some ice please? And I've just put it in there. And I'd be fine. You know? It's amazing. It's amazing how different and actually Oh, can I tell this story? Okay, I'm going to tell the story in a way that does not the people involved cannot tell what the situation are protected. Yeah. Yeah. So I was in, I don't think I'm going to be able to do it. So I'm just going to tell the story. I was in London, because it was my my friend's hen party, she's getting married. And we were going to do go ape, which for anyone who is not British, go ape is like a sort of obstacle course in the treetops. And like you, it's like, you get kind of hooked into it, and you've got a harness on and you go exploring, it's brilliant, great thing to do for 10 days. And, and so I got there, took my time, had a nice walk around the park, got a coffee, and was sort of waiting for everybody else. Everybody got there, everyone else had kind of been coming on a commute across London. And so was really stressed. And was really, these are all people that are in London that are still in the zone, like a lot of them still in the zone that I used to be in. And they I just was sort of observing the impatience, and the stress and the way that you know, waiting our turn, because we were it was running a little bit late and the way that that was bothering them, and I was just like, wow, this is exhausting. And I used to be this person. And, and it's, it wasn't easy to stop being that person. Well, in a way it was, in a way, it was super easy to stop being that person. But what it wasn't easy to do was to come to terms with the fact that I that I used to be that person. So yeah,


Caitlin Donovan

it's easy to imagine then that the level of success that you had, and the position that you held didn't then come with confidence. Because if you weren't liking yourself, how are you supposed to feel confident about being in the world if you don't like if you don't actually enjoy the person that you are?


Maggie Supernova

Yeah, yeah. And, and that's kind of it is like, hang on, if if I'm going if I'm doing all of this, if I'm putting myself through hell, if I'm putting everyone around me through how, if my body is exhausted, my brain is broken my heart and soul of Klein gone. They I don't know where they've gone. But what is the point? You know, and then that was that? That was a lot of the thoughts that were going on in my head through that big burnout. Yeah, it was like a lot of it was like, What is the point?


Caitlin Donovan

Yeah, well, and let's just acknowledge for a second that it hasn't actually been that long. No, it has not been that long. So a lot of writers


Maggie Supernova

you know, and and, and we had a conversation last year. I want to say it was last year,


Caitlin Donovan

beginning of last year maybe so I I feel like probably 18 months ago or so.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah, something like that, where it was like, you know, we were talking about the, okay, I know all the stuff now. I've read, I've listened to all the podcasts, I've read all the books, I've done all the training. I'm a yoga teacher, now. I'm a meditation teacher, now,


Caitlin Donovan

you are the cutest that day.


Maggie Supernova

And I was just like, and yet I still I'm still struggling with this stuff. And it was the, you know, that revelation of embodiments. And yeah, I've carried that word with me all through this year, I love the importance of not just knowing what you should do, and the action that you should take in order to feel good. And to stay on this like not just kind of recover from burnout. But stay in a world of prevention in a world of keeping balance, and in a world of not falling back into those old patterns, is by continuing to embody the lessons that you learn, not just knowing them, doing them for a while, and then being like, I'm okay now. Yeah.


Caitlin Donovan

I remember that conversation so well, because I remember being totally enamored by you immediately. Like, first of all, you're gorgeous. Second of all, you have the cutest accent for American Americans love. British accent. That's me. Yeah. I mean, it's totally worth. It's totally worth it. I love it. And I remember getting on the phone and you like you went through like this 20 minute spiel of like, all the things you know about why you should feel better. And then you looked at me and you're like, but I don't feel better. And I was like, I have actually been in that exact spot. And this, I'm going to give you a word. Mm hmm. I'm going to give you one word, and I'm going to wish you luck, because this is the only thing that you need, really. And you said, as soon as I said it, you sat back. Your shoulders dropped. And you were like, Oh, shit. I was just like, uh, so my question then is, to people who are like, how the hell do you embody a lesson? Because you've been working on it consistently for now, a year and a half, and you're in a totally different place? How would you explain that to somebody,


Maggie Supernova

I would say, practice, practice is what has gotten me through and practice even when you don't feel the benefit of the practice. Because that I think what had happened with me, and this is now what I really sort of, I really, really emphasize this to clients that I work with, is that I did the meditation, I did the in yoga, I did the therapy, and I did it until I felt better. And then I started teaching it. And I started sharing, you know, that everything I'd learned, and started helping other people. And I loved that. And so you know, I got more and more into that. And as I did, I stopped practicing myself. So I wasn't meditating as much. I wasn't doing yoga as much, and I wasn't burning out. But I wasn't maintaining myself, I wasn't maintaining my balance. And that is the thing it's practicing, when you don't need to practice practicing when you don't necessarily immediately feel the benefits of practice. And just keeping going. Because keeping going is when the magic happens. That would be low.


Caitlin Donovan

That's going to be a quote that's coming out in on an Instagram post. Because I agree 110% There's, there's one thing I because I did the same thing I got when I got to burnout. I was like, I know all the rules. I was an acupuncturist for years, I knew all the stress management techniques, I was like this, whatever. And then I was like, Oh, hmm, knowing all the rules is not necessarily helpful. And almost everybody I work with is like, I'm a self help junkie. I've read all the books, I know all the things. And getting a coach is about accountability and practicing on purpose because you know, you have another call coming up and you want to show up for it. And like there's so much of that. Of that just like, well, what am I supposed to do this week? I need more homework. I'm like, you don't need more homework. You need to do this actually do the thing that I'm asking you to do. Yeah, you know, I don't need you to learn anything else. I don't need you to expand your mind. I don't need you to just do this thing that you think is useless right now. Mm hmm. That doesn't feel very impactful at the moment.


Maggie Supernova

Do the breathing Yeah. Do the gentle movement. That's that's the thing really, with when I work with clients and what I love about kind of the way that I have structured my business and my offering as a coach, is that because I'm also a yoga teacher. So when I work with clients, yes, we're doing the coaching. And yes, we're doing all of this stuff in between. But I'm also sharing yoga classes that specifically, like I'm giving you this yoga class, because I know that this is going to help you. And I don't just want you to do at once, I want you to do it many times. And you can also come to my live classes because they're online, so they're accessible to everybody. And if you can't make it live, you can catch up on it. So they have all of these opportunities. Yeah, and they don't have to do everything, right. But they have options. And I encourage as much as possible to like, don't just come to the coaching sessions, and think that's gonna fix you. Because that's really just an opportunity for us to talk things through. And for me to know what to check in with you about, like, the magic happens between the sessions. And so having talked about magic a lot. I like it. I like it. I like magic. It's not magic, Genie. But you know that the shift happens between sessions, and I love getting the messages from my nose, saying, I just did that bedtime in yoga class in my pajamas. And I've slept so well. And I'm just like, yes, yes. Yeah, I do. Yeah.


Caitlin Donovan

So we're gonna use that as a wonderful segue into the thing that I really want you to talk to people about today. Because I think this is something that's incredibly important. And something that was really hard for me personally, because I've always been an athlete. So slowing down for yin yoga was really a struggle for me, but was really, really helpful. And so, but I want you to just sort of dive into yin yoga, some people don't even know what that is, you know, like, what the heck is going on?


Maggie Supernova

And how, and also, you know, I think it's worth noting that I have not been a person who has been practicing Yin for, you know, 10 years or something, like, I found this as part of my burnout recovery. So, so this is, this is relatively well, not new to me, because I know quite a lot about it. But, but this was a, this was a relatively recent thing for me, too. So. So going back to, so I had my burnout, and my brain broke and my body was done. And I never went back to work again. And, and I was sent to a doctor, to a therapist to another doctor. And I was at home, resting, sleeping, eating, walking, just nesting and letting myself be safe for a bit. And my therapist suggested bringing some exercise into into my life into my day. And so, you know, she was like, so do you do exercise? What kind of exercise you do? And I was like, Yes, I do. SoulCycle and I go to boxing, and I do, I do that. And and, you know, they the and even the yoga that I did was, you know, hot yoga, 90 minutes, sweating out of my eyeballs. And she was like, no, maybe try something. Twice, something a bit slower. And so I didn't know about yet I knew about I knew about it, because a friend and colleague actually had tried to sell me on this probably six months before, because she, she'd been to a class. She was like, Oh, it was wonderful. You really need this in your life. And I was like, I don't have time for that. I'm gonna get on another plane. Sorry. And, and you know, I just I did not take it seriously. But at this point, when I had no other options, I thought okay, so I went to my local yoga studio. Shout out to the yoga house in South London, which is an amazing yoga studio. And I went there, I walked there. And I signed up for a class called candle lit Yin. And I did not know what to expect. I walked into the room and it was like, it was you know, a yoga class with the mats out but then there were all these other things that I'd never seen before, like these will what I now know is a bolster cushion, which was sort of like a sausage shaped beanbag that was just on the mats and there were yoga blocks and foam bricks and blankets and eye pillows and all sorts and I just I looked it out what the hell am I supposed to do with all this stuff? And the class you know, it was like lovely music Lights Down Low twinkly lights and hanging plants everywhere and it was just the most I don't even know how to describe it, which is what I'm here. But it was just the most transformative hour and 15 minutes that it was like, it doesn't matter how much sleep I'd had, this was the first moment that I actually let myself rest. Let myself let go of some things cried like a baby. Absolutely. You know, there was a lot of emotion that was held that just needed to come out. And from that moment on, I Well, I became a regular in that class. But I also just started sort of going, Okay, what, what is what is this, because that was quite magical. And at the same time, I was learning about burnout, I was learning about meditation and mindfulness and all of the things that I had been ignoring for years and saying, No, I don't have time for that I was learning all of these things. And I was almost, I didn't even know what I was doing, really. But at home, I was just doing the yoga poses that made me feel good in that class. So I would be just sitting with my legs up against the wall or on the sofa while I was listening to a podcast or something, because I knew that made me feel calm, or I was just hanging out in child's pose for ages, because I knew that that helped me. And so I knew that there was something in it. And so for the benefit of people listening, what yin yoga actually is, if you have been to yoga class, if you've been to a Vinyasa class, or an Ashtanga class, or a hot yoga class, or a Hatha class, whatever kind of yoga you've been to, or if you've just been to a class, that's just called Yoga, which I know those exist, and we don't know what kind of Yoga it is, but we're just going to go probably do some downward dogs and a few warriors and hopefully not be asked to stand on our heads, you know, that's, that's

that that might be your experience. And Yin is completely different. It is a very slow and meditative form of yoga. It is all mostly all done on a mat. So not standing on a mat, like you are down at the level of the map. So whether you're sitting, whether you're lying down, whether you're on hands and knees, or in child's pose, or something like that, so it's all down at the level of the mats, it's very slow. And the principles of yen are that you create the shape, you hold the shape, you find your edge in that shape. So that is just the first bite of sensation. So and these are not, you know, twist yourself into a pretzel kind of shapes. I mean, they can be but they generally aren't, these are really simple postures, and you get into the shape, you find that first bite of sensation, and then you stay there. And you stay there in stillness, just breathing, just letting the whole body relax into the shape surrendering into the shape that you're making. And you stay there and stillness for several minutes. So in quite an accessible kind of beginners class, it might be 2345 minutes, in more advanced practices that can be 20 minutes, you know, staying in a posture, which is simple, but not easy. Because, you know, if you have ever tried to just sit and meditate, and you have a busy mind, and or you're asked to just sort of sit and breathe, and just let yourself be for a moment, that's quite hard. For people who are burning out, that's really very hard. But with practice, it becomes transformational. Because it's an opportunity to let your body unwind, release the stuff it's holding on to because this is this is what I have loved learning about all through my journey into learning about teaching in, in terms of the way that we hold tension and stress in our bodies, the way that we hold on to trauma, the way that we hold on to everyday things in our lives, our busyness and, and we just hold it, it lives in our joints. And I always you know, I think about I always say it's desk stress that lives in the shoulders from from our sort of Workday and emotional stress lives in the hips. And then once you start bringing the internal organs into it, you know, I remember I remember actually, I have it here, hang on, I'm going to get this little book because when I did a one of my first yen training courses, there was there's a little descriptor and you will know this Kate because of your Chinese medicine past many, many, many years of expertise there but so and describing the kidney, the energy of the kidney, there's this note that says it's put out of balance by late night work over exercise stimulants and lack of sleep. And I remember reading that and just going Well, that's burnout. That's what that's what made me burn out. And, and you know, and there was one on the spleen that was about put out of balance by worrying and overworking and overanalyzing. And I was like, that could be my anxiety. And you know, or just as having these breakthrough realizations of the, of how aligned this was with what I was trying to deal with and trying to process. And it just became a sort of wonderful marriage of my burnout, recovery journey. And Yin as a huge part of that, and then learning to teach it, you need to learn how to teach yoga, and then learning to teach. And specifically, I'm really diving into that, and using it to help my burnout, recovery and burnout prevention clients has just been, has just been wonderful. So Yin is a very different kind of yoga to maybe what you've experienced before, maybe what people practicing or listening have experienced before. If you are used to a much more Yang form of yoga, it's very different and can be quite challenging. But it's also so incredibly accessible. Because yin and particularly restorative yoga,

is you can use you use props, you use those lovely bolster cushions. So what those cushions I talked about in the studio, what the cushions are for, are for supporting you in the poses. So this is what again, another thing that I love that makes it so great for burnout recovery. Because when we are burned out, we feel like we can't relax, we can't let go. All we need is to be held and supported for a moment. And we don't trust ourselves. We don't trust people around us. We don't we we are battered and bruised and broken. And something as simple as a cushion, or wall, or yoga block can be that support for you in that pose. And you can completely let go of what you're holding on to, and it will hold you, it will support you. And it will allow you to process release, and just let go of what's been stuck. And releasing what's been stuck is what helps bring your energy back into balance. And for me, my whole life post burnout, my whole one of the big learnings really just that I've taken from my whole experience is the need for balance. Because you know, it might sound cliche, but when you really start to think about life in terms of Yin and Yang and keeping that balance, addressing the periods of being out of balance by tipping the scales the other way to bring yourself back to the middle, that has been so helpful for me. And I really consider burnouts to be, you know, as well as what we all know it is chronic stress, exhaustion, overwhelm all of that. But it's also I feel it's being stuck in this chronic state of Ying. And Yang doesn't mean bad. But if it's not balanced with Yin, if it's just Ying, ying yang, all the time, it's not sustainable. And the whole point of Yin and Yang is that they're balanced, and one can't exist without the other. And so if we're burned out, and we have been just Ying, ying yang, all the time, until the point where we have just reached a wall, then we need to turn to the Yin, in order to heal in order to balance that out and find our way back to the middle.


Caitlin Donovan

Yeah, and what's really interesting about it, when you go into the Chinese medicine, of it is when you overuse young energy in the body, you deplete young energy overall, and you deplete Yin energy at the same time. So by the time you're burnt out, you have low, low levels of young love energy available to you and low levels of yin energy available to you. But in Chinese medicine, the Yin Yin energy Yin is substance and young as like air, kind of like young as energy, again, is substance that's very, very, very basic, and not complete description. But still, and so they the focus on building the Yin is to provide the substance that the young needs in order to move and flow throughout the body. And this is the like the the sort of idea behind it when you get into the Chinese classics that you need to build the in so that the young has something to ride on. So the energy she rides on the blood in the body, for instance, right, so the blood carries the Qi. The Yin carries the young. And so if they're both depleted, the young you can't you can't build up without the end because it will just fly through the body. And when it flies through the body, it creates things like tremors and A lot of like illness, a lot of sickness, a lot of, you know, this kind of a lot of diarrhea, often things like this. So there's this idea that even though you depleted the Yin, because you overuse the young, you have to build the Yin in order to be able to build back up the and, and in Chinese medicine, the like the idea of the, the Tai Chi Symbol, the the Yin Yang symbol that everybody knows is black and white, and the White has a seed of the of the black and the black is the seed of the white. The thing of it is, if you don't try to maintain that yourself, it will find a way to maintain for you because the system never breaks when the young gets too high, the Yin begins, there's no way out of it. You can't do it any different. It's just the basic function of energy in the world. And you'll see it true everywhere once you start looking. But it's like, if you don't do it on purpose, life will do it for you.


Maggie Supernova

And isn't that exactly what happens when we burn out? Because when we refuse to listen to our bodies, our bodies make us listen. Yeah. And they force us to the end.


Caitlin Donovan

Yeah. It's like you have no choice. Now, go sleep. Like the most restorative thing for kidney energy asleep. Before you do any herbs, or any acupuncture or any Qigong or any, anything, the most restorative thing is sleep.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah. And, and I have found, you know, I've loved teaching in and sharing what I love about Yin with my burnout clients, but I've also loved just teaching it to people who are not my burnout clients, because so recently, I've been able to start actual in real life classes again, which is I know, which is amazing. It has been so weird, because I qualified as a you know, my So this, the way the timeline goes is I burned out. And I went into sort of my own self imposed lockdown where I was getting myself Well, and, you know, not really paying attention to the outside world. And just when I was about to come out of that, suddenly there's a global pandemic that forced everyone back inside. And actually, I mean, obviously, I'm not glad that there was a global pandemic. But the the way that that worked out for me, is that it forced me not to jump straight back out there. I think I would have taken my three months to recover, I would have learned all this stuff and then I probably would have gone a new step the air miles that I have been traveling, I'd have picked up some freelance work and then I would have gone and got a job somewhere and been like everything's fine made those surface level changes don't haven't addressed the root causes of my burnout, but it's fine. And and then I would have been stuck in a cycle again, because I know that this wasn't just one time for me, like I was stuck in a cycle. Yeah, and, and, and yeah, so what it actually did was it forced me back inside. And it forced me to take longer with my recovery. And that started becoming, sharing what I was experiencing and what I was learning. And that started leading to me, me towards coaching and then towards my yoga qualification, and then towards my meditation, teaching and, and all of that it all happened during lockdown. And so I suddenly was back teaching people in well, not even back teaching people in real life like teaching people actually in an indoor space for the first time. And a couple of weeks ago, I had I did a candle it yen class says we'll come full circle candlelit Yin, to the region's because I don't live in London anymore. And, and yeah, I did a class. And then I got an email after that class from one of the students who I didn't know, hadn't you know, she just come to the class because I said this is a good class for distressing and helps you sleep. And she had lost her husband to COVID and was grieving and hadn't slept the full night through since he died. And she told me in this email that after the night after that class, she slept through the night for the first time. And just I was like that, that's it. That's, that's the power. That's the power of what this practice does. And you know, it doesn't take that away, but it helps. It helps. It helps you to sleep and sleep is what you need.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, that just made me cry a little bit.


Caitlin Donovan

I love it makes me cry when I think a little bit and when there's so many stories like that, yes.


Maggie Supernova

Yeah, it's, it's been it's been just such a gift to share it with people. And I hope that people listening today will be able to go. Let me see if there's a yin class, you know, somewhere near me.

I want to do one today. Now, after this conversation, are

you kidding? Exactly? Or, you know, come in come follow mega supernova coach on social media, and then you can come and do one of my glasses. Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely something to try. And also recognize all teachers are different. If you try it with one teacher, and you're like, I'm not sure that quite was what I expected it to be. Try it with a different teacher, because everybody teaches in a different way. Yeah. Don't give up on the end is what I'm saying.


Caitlin Donovan

Give it a chance, give it a chance. This was so massively important. And I'm so grateful that we had the time to talk about it. Because I think this is something that we haven't talked about directly at all, on the podcast, and I think is such an amazing tool for people. Yeah, to me, like basic, like Qigong and yin yoga are practices that are like acupuncture light without actually having to go to acupuncture. Yeah, but you're getting very similar benefits. Yeah, by doing something on your own. And I think that that's an I know how powerful acupuncture is for burnout. So that's something that I think is just really incredible. So I'm so grateful. And if I remember correctly, about a year ago, you wrote me a message, and you said, you know, it's one of my dreams to get on fried. And I remember thinking at that time, like, I can make that happen.


Maggie Supernova

It was one of my new year's intentions. Yeah, it was, I'm going to embody this cake, and tell you what my goal is to be embodied enough that I can come on Friday, so


Caitlin Donovan

and I am so, so thrilled that we got to this point. And as soon as you wrote it, I knew it would happen anyway. And it took us a minute to get here. But I it was, thank you for even saying that. Because I this is my little space. And I don't think of it like that, you know, like I started this with my foot in a cast in from my bed. Like I don't think of it as like a as an aspiration for people, even though I know that it is at this point, and I know what it is, but it's still I was so grateful for that. And so happy to know that there was a way that I could help somebody meet their goals and give somebody an opportunity to do something that was really important to them. So it was


Maggie Supernova

well, thank you. And you're welcome back out. Yeah. And, and, you know, I, this podcast, really got me through it, and really helped me to introduce me to people that I'd heard talking on the podcast. And you know, just, it just opened up my eyes opened up my awareness, because when I first heard the term burnouts, which I think, I don't know, if it was my doctor, or my therapist, that first set it to me, but somebody had said, you know, it sounds like you're burned out. And I kind of went, No, I don't think that's what it is. And you know, and I went on Google, and I was like, What is burnout? And, and, you know, what that led me to was a couple of books, a podcast, a few articles. And, and, you know, there wasn't very much information there. But what there was, was fried, and I could sit on my couch and just listen to story after story, and then be like, Man, this story is not relevant to me skip the next story and then be like, Hmm, maybe that story is now irrelevant to me. I'll go back to that, you know, and I could, and I could listen to that, while reading my books, while being upside down with my legs up the wall trying to relieve my feelings of anxiety, you know, and, and, and it, and it made a huge difference to me. I know, it's made a huge difference to literally 1000s of other people. So


Caitlin Donovan

is that weird? Isn't that wild to think about? It's so wild for me to think about.

It's wild. And

I'm so proud of it. And also, I feel like I wrote a post recently where I really feel like I'm FRIED isn't mine anymore. I am the I am its caretaker. I take care of FRIED but fried is its own entity. Yeah, it's its own thing. Yeah. So thank you so much. I'm so glad for this. I can't wait for it to come out. I can't wait to hear people's reactions. I can't wait for a bunch of people to start trying in yoga. All of Maggie's links will be all over the show notes. We will be tagging her in social media all over the place. You can't miss her and you shouldn't miss her. She definitely needs to be followed. One of the other things that I really appreciate appreciate about you is that you're not afraid to be like, Hi, I'm still on this journey. And this is how I messed up this week. Like she'll just come right on Instagram and tell you about it which I think is really important in this work because it's so hard to see In relying stay in or not recovery. It's not it's not an easy task. So I think that that's really important and super helpful for people. So follow Maggie everywhere.


Maggie Supernova

Can I also can I just do the plus course, I do have a special page on my website that I created, just sorry. That's okay. So you can find me at all the links Maggie supernova coach on Instagram and Maggie supernova.com. But if you head to Maggie supernova.com forward slash fried, you'll find some helpful links to lots of the stuff that we've talked about. You can sign up to my mailing list there and not just get the usual freebies. But you'll also get my top five yoga poses for beating burnout straight. Yeah.


Caitlin Donovan

I love that. Oh, that's exciting. I love that so much. So everybody go do that. Because I know that you want to after listening to this, because I want to after listening. So Maggie, thank you so much fried fans. You deserve all the good things that are coming your way and they are coming your way. Thank you for your ears, your time your heart. And please do if you think of you're listening to this episode and you thought of someone, please send it to them. Because the more people we have healing, the better chance we have of breaking down these systems that are taking advantage of us and breaking down these ways of being that are no longer applicable in our lives. We're not at those. We're not in those. You know, we're not in the industrial age anymore. Like, let's Be the change. All right. All right. Until next time,

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