As a teenager, influencer, TV presenter and entrepreneur, Cathy Hummels fell into her first depression. Today, yoga is an important key for her to keep the illness at bay. Meanwhile, yoga practice helps her to regain her balance when she is under psychological stress. We spoke to Cathy about yoga, her being a role model and the importance of sustainability in her everyday life.
1. Dear Cathy, when did you discover yoga for yourself - was there a specific trigger moment?
Cathy: That was in 2014 during the World Cup in Brazil. I started practicing yoga with Dr. Patrick Broome (he was coaching the national football team at that time). It was then I felt that yoga gave me a lot. Just before the World Cup, I had a severe depression and yoga brought me back into mental balance. It's a great feeling to be able to get back into a body-mind balance through conscious movement.
Is yoga primarily a method for you to keep yourself physically healthy or do you also live according to the yoga philosophy? Are there any aspects of yoga that you are critical of?
Cathy: Yoga is important for me to keep myself physically healthy. I don't see any aspects of yoga that are critical. But I think you really have to believe in it. I often struggle with psychosomatic symptoms. That means, my body always tells me when something is wrong with my psyche. Then, when I sense this in my inner self and start to concentrate on practicing yoga to loosen these blockages, I feel so much better afterwards. It may sound silly, but stress gets stuck in my stomach, so when I consciously do Asanas to relieve the stomach area, I feel better afterwards. I live according to the yoga philosophy as best as I can, but I don't base my entire day-to-day life on it. To me yoga is more of a medication, a natural remedy to keep my soul healthy. With yoga I can consciously work on my inner self and bring myself back into balance.
You are a popular influencer. More than 630.000 people follow your daily life on Instagram. What does it do to you when people criticize you harshly on social media?
Cathy: I'm quite relaxed about it, I've learned a lot through my depression. In my book "Mein Umweg zum Glück" (Mandala’s note: Translated: “My Detour to Happiness.” The book was a bestseller!), I have told my story of having found out that the most important thing is that I am happy. People who defame others, especially on the internet, are the real victims for me, because they are screaming for attention. Those of us out there shouldn't let that bother them. If you are happy with yourself, what others are criticizing about won’t affect you.
Being a person of public life, you are a role model and have influence on others. What values do you represent, what do you stand for?
Cathy: Above all, you should look after yourself and be mindful of your fellow human beings. Tolerance is an important value for me. I am very careful to treat all people equally, to accept them as they are. It's important to me not to categorize anyone, you can see that on my Instagram profile - I want to be a role model for that. For me, there are no stereotypes, so I treat everyone with respect. I consciously stand up for children, older persons and animals, as I have the feeling that these groups are generally neglected by the German government.
You have a 3-year-old son. How has your perspective on the world changed since you became a mother?
Cathy: Since I became a mum, my view of the world has changed, I now know what really is important. And that is my son: that he laughs, that he is healthy and happy. But also, that my child grows up in a beautiful and healthy environment. My boy has made me much more aware of our environment.
Does climate change influence your everyday decisions?
When it comes to consumption, are there also certain criteria of sustainability that you attach importance to?
Cathy: Cathy: When it comes to consumption in general, I look for sustainable production methods. I try to buy sustainably whenever possible. Even when I develop something myself, the aspect of sustainability is in the foreground. That's why I'm a fan of MANDALA, your Yogawear is 100% ecologically and fairly produced - it's not greenwashing. I appreciate that, but we still have to create a stronger awareness in society. If we all work together, then maybe the day will come when we can say, now we have made it 100%. Things have already improved in the fashion industry and when it comes to fair fashion, I believe that if we all pull and really work together, things will continue to get even better in the future.
Dear Cathy, we are pleased that you are a fan of MANDALA and that you are wearing our Yogawear out of conviction. Thank you for giving us an insight into your life in this interview and for inspiring our readers to integrate small, sustainable changes into their everyday lives. We are convinced that every step counts when it comes to creating a world that our grandchildren will enjoy living in. We are already looking forward to Interview Part 2 with you!