• NRuskell

Shanti Life: Healing body and soul in the French Riviera

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

This wellness centre located 25 minutes from the sparkling sea of the Côte d'Azur, offers a full range of healing services. We take you inside!

What is true wellness? Thanks to years of advertising, most of us immediately conjure images of spa treatments and pretty women wrapped in white towels. But real, true wellness - the kind that calms your being and sooths your soul is something much deeper and more important than a mask on the face.

Shanti Life is a family-owned holistic wellness centre at the crossroads of Valbonne and Mouans-Sartoux. This villa-turned-healing-sanctuary offers a complete line of spa treatments, but also provides a space wellness and repair. Yoga classes, Pilate’s instruction, Chakra-balacing massage, osteopathy, cranial-sacral treatments and even DNA testing for a customised nutritional plan.

Founder, Lata Roose, is a warm, gentle woman who brings Shanti Life literally to life with her caring, motherly presence. She also brings her knowledge of ancient Ayurvedic principles and chakra energy healing that transmits through her hands like no other. She is in charge of the spa and beauty treatments, which includes several types of facial and beauty treatments (repairative lasers, Kobido Japanese facials, coolsculpting, etc), several types of massage (Ayurvedic, Zen Su calming, deep-tissue, Lomi Lomi, hot stone, etc.), detox protocols and non-invasive cellulite treatments with the LPG machine and infrared skin repair.

Founder and owner, Lata Roose, working magic with her hands.

Restorative massage

My choice was the Ayurvedic massage and the moment Lata laid her hands on me, there was an instant feeling of connection. The best way to describe this is in stark contrast to other masseuses who you can sometimes feel as if they are busy or distracted and just going through their trained motions - which can feel like they are just pushing your skin around for 60 minutes. Lata, on the other hand, has healing energy flowing through her hands and she connects with intention. She not only gave a powerful massage that melted away deeply held tension, it felt like she was moving and healing my soul. At certain chakra points along my back, she created intense heat with her hands and swept this up and across my body, creating an energising experience. At the end when I stood up, I felt like my feet were firmly planted on the ground (a nice feeling for someone who spends too much time in their head). It was perhaps one of the best massages I’ve ever had.

Lata prepared an organic ginger tea for me and we chatted for quite a while about health and wellness and how she and her family opened Shanti Life: “I chose this property because it felt homely, was easily accessible and provided parking,” she explained. “Parking was important because coming here should not cause any stress.” She admitted that in the beginning, they had no clients and it was a stiff waiting game to see if people would come. But as clients ventured in, business quickly grew by word of mouth. Today, after several years they still have their original clients - a testament, she says, to their satisfaction.

Founder and owner, Sebatiaan Roose, Osteopath, working with a patient.

Osteopathy & Nutrition

Sebastiaan Roose is the resident Osteopath, who is also co-owner and Lata’s son. Trained in sports physiology and cranial sacral work, he has dived head-first into nutrition and functional medicine. Working with a Dutch company, he offers DNA testing to create a customised nutrition plan according to your genetic profile. If a patient has a gene that prevents proper digestion of a type of food or the production of a vitamin or mineral, it will show up on the test and he can provide supplements that treat it.

Sebastiaan tells Riviera Insider that the genetic test results are incredibly informative about how each person’s body behaves and functions. Patients are often shocked at how well the results describe them and he often gets comments like: “How can you describe me so well? It has taken me 50 years to learn this about myself!”

So who does he recommend this test for? Well, besides everyone, he points out it is a great tool for people who suffer from mysterious or unresolvable health issues, but you also don’t need to be sick for it. He highly recommends it for children: “Imagine how long it has taken for us to learn what our body needs. With children, we learn straight away what their nutritional needs are.”

Why is genetic testing useful?

We can all be ‘carriers’ of certain genes - good or bad, such as the dreaded genes linked to cancer. But being a carrier of a cancer gene does not mean you will definitely get it. “Genes are like guys sitting on a bench with arms crossed,” describes Sebastiaan. “They won’t activate unless something in their environment triggers them.” This is why having a detailed profile from a simple mouth swab is so useful. “It gives a blueprint of the body.”

The DNA test is also highly recommended for women in preparation for pregnancy, explaining that many genetic mutations that form in the womb can be a result of nutritional deficiencies in the mother. If this is checked before or even during the pregnancy, he says, there is a better chance of preventing any deficiencies or unwanted genetic predispositions.

In addition to the Rooses, Shanti Life brings in other practitioners for a wider offering of services. They have group yoga and Pilates classes throughout the week, including STOTT Pilates and are active in the local communities.

An international haven

Started by expats, Shanti Life is a haven for the expat community. They speak French, English, Dutch, German and even Hindi. “Sometimes when you don’t feel well it’s just nice to speak your own language,” says Lata. Yet another reason to feel completely at home.

Check out all their offers on their website:

-Nicole Ruskell

This article is based on a visit in 2019 and a version appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of "Riviera Insider."

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