Lada Kopřivová

Lada Kopřivová is a somatic therapist and a member of International Association ISMETA. Originally qualified as a stage designer, Lada moved into the therapeutic field in 2012. She first trained as a dance movement psychotherapist at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. With a particular interest in somatically informed practice, she undertook further studies in modalities such as Somatic Psychology and Holistic Anatomy and Physiology and completed a professional training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

Her clinical experience covers work with children, adults, families, people with learning difficulties, people with physical disabilities and ethnic minority women. Currently, she has a private practice offering one-to-one somatic movement therapy and craniosacral therapy. She also runs experiential movement workshops and nature-based retreats for small groups of adults.


In this presentation, we will look at the relational dimension of Breath and its role in verbal and non-verbal communication, attunement and co-regulation. Our lungs and heart play central role in our “felt ability” to connect to another. It is known that in close proximity with a trusted person, our respiratory rhythms and heart rates are capable of syncing with those of the other person. Not only through our senses, but also through our lungs and heart we read the emotional state of another as well as “emanate” our own feelings. In the interplay with our muscular tone, gestures, facial and vocal expressions our breath has a power to affect the psycho-physiological state of another being. What implications does this have for therapeutic relationships?

With a reference to Stephen Porges´s Polyvagal Theory, we will have an opportunity to appreciate breath as an integral part of so called “social nervous system” and explore its applications in a clinical practice. We will look at how mindfulness of breath and “vagal toning” can help therapeutic practitioners self-regulate and communicate cues of safety to their clients. Furthermore, we will discuss somatically informed approaches that can help our clients regulate when at hyper or hypo-aroused states and return to a state of presence and connection.


In the workshop, we will have an opportunity to explore our social nervous system somatically. Through breath, voice, touch, movement and our “felt sense” we will journey along the ventral vagus nerve and somatize the organs and tissues that play vital part in our ability to orient, relate and communicate.

We will first explore the communications within our internal ventral circuit (ref to ventral branch of vagus nerve). Then we will gently allow our social nervous systems to make connections with one another. With Breath as a central theme to our explorations, we will each map our own ways of engaging with the world. Breathing in – breathing out we will investigate how to move fluidly between our internal and external worlds, staying connected to both self and another.