Meditation, when done consistently and with dedication, relieves the practitioner from every feeling of psychological limitation and pain. It leads to realization, to the control and voluntary pause of thinking, healing both physical and psychological illnesses.
Internal silence reveals our deeper self, the core of our existence and comes with a feeling of inner peace. It promotes the functions of neurotransmitters and changes brain frequencies, bringing health and healing on the physical, mental and psychological levels.
Before meditation we perform breathing exercises (pranayama), which calm the mind and prepare it for introspection. These breathing exercises are valuable for the organism. They enhance the dynamics of the energy field and stimulate vital areas of the body and the nervous system. They bring the brain into balance and fight mental weaknesses and illnesses.
Meditation encompasses four concepts:
- Introvertion of the mind (pratyahara): The mind retreats from the objects of the senses. The senses function according to the mind and not the opposite.
- Concentration (dharana): The mind remains constant and still, focusing on a specific mental sphere, on a chosen point inside or outside the body. The knower and the known become one.
- Meditation (dhyana): The chronological and psychological time stop. The intensity of attention in the field of consciousness flows without any movement.
- Transcendence of the mind (Samadhi): The “disappearance” of the self. The object of concentration “shines” without the intervention of personal consciousness.
A Sorbonne Graduate in French Literature. Choreographer, Dancer, spiritual master in Yoga, Teacher of Indian Classical Dance Bharata Natyam, Dance movement therapist GDTR Senior, Creator and Director of Shantom House of Culture.
After graduating in Paris, France ((Dipl. Licence Es Lettres Paris IΙΙ Sorbonne), where, among others, she studied yoga, modern dance, ethnology and humanistic psychology, Leda Shantala travelled to India following a powerful inner call. She stayed and studied in Chennai. For three years she was trained in the art of classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam (dance, expression, music, rhythms, singing) graduating from the Indian Dance Academy «Bharata Kalanjali» and the Indian School of Exression «Abhinaya Sudha» in Chennai, where she still returns for the creation of performances and for artistic collaborations.
She studied yoga, theory and practice -deeply delving into the ancient texts of Indian philosophy- in the most distinguished schools of India. She is a graduate of the “Kaivalya Dhama Υoga Research Institution”, in Lonavla (Pune) and was a disciple of many contemporary yogis and sages.
Her teachers were sri Rocketti, Arnaud Desjardins (France), Leopoldo Chariars, (Argentina), Baba Khan (Egypt), Swami Satyananda, B.K.S Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikatchar, sri Chandra Swami Udason (India). She is still in constant contact with the latter and visits his ashram Sadhana Kendra with every opportunity.
She studied Dance Movement Therapy with Dr. Marcia B. Leventhal (of New York University) as well as the African “Mombwiri” dance therapy of the Mitsogo tribe in Gabon. She is the only Western student who was accepted by the Pygmies to learn with them this primeval healing method.
After her return in Greece in 1985, Leda Shantala brought the Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam to the Greek public. In the same year, she created the Mandiram Centre, the only institution in Greece for Indian dance and artistic/anthropological research in the culture of ancient civilizations, while also offering regular lessons in Yoga, Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam, and later on, Dance Movement Therapy sessions. In 1987 she founded the Leda Shantala Dance Theatre, through which she has been applying her multicultural research to dance-theatre performances.
In 1987 she founded the Leda Shantala Dance Theatre, a unique culturally diverse dance company, which presents innovative multimedia productions combining the art of Bharata Natyam with the art of theatre and the contemporary dance idiom with the ancient Greek art form of the Muses.
In 2003, with her mother Smaro Stefanidou, she created the Shantom House of Culture, which she is still heading. A three-storey modern multi-purpose building in Kato Halandri, of multi-cultural scope, hosting regular courses in yoga, dance movement therapy, many kinds of dance, martial arts and fitness methods from all over the world.
In 2006 she co-wrote, with Irene Maradei, the book "Bharata Natyam", in Greek, about the Indian classical dance.
In 2022 she was chosen by the EICBI (Europe India Centre for Business Industry) among the 60 European people, 60 legends who EICBI believes have played a key role in influencing EU-India relations over the past 60 years and included in the publication EUIndia60 Legends Coffee Table.
She is the daughter of singer Vassos Seitanidis and actress Smaro Stefanidou.
After 30 years of teaching, she has developed a personal way enabling her to approach her students in a direct and personalized manner enriched by her personal experience and daily practice. Experiences which enable her to see and interpret the above studied system drawing from her personal source of wisdom.