Where did the name Kaya come from?

I believe in message and signs and after coming across the name a few times in my life I knew the name Kaya was calling me. I first encountered the name Kaya at 10 years old. My baby cousin at the time struggled to say may name, he pronounced it Ka-ya. I remember hearing him call me by that name and it made me feel so warm, authentic and special.

Many years later, as I began to dream of a wellness program it was important to me that it honored those that have walked this life before me, all the lessons they had learned and how that impacted and shaped my life. My name was a gift, given to me by my ancestors. I discovered when I take my first initial K. and the first 3 letters of my last name Aya, you have Kaya.

Lastly my husband and I were at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. where we discovered the American Girl doll Kaya. The Kaya doll was created in the spirt of the Nez Perce women with oversite from Nez Perce advisors to most accurately depict the experience of the Nez Perce people. Many cultures including Japanese, Turkish and African have a significance to the name Kaya, but it is the Hopi tribe that carried the most inspiring meaning for me. In the Hopi Tribe Kaya is a short form of Kakahoya and carries a meaning of “my elder little sister” implying someone who is wise beyond her years. 

It was through these moments that Kaya was evolved. Just like Kaya found me Kaya Wellness is a place to discover your sense of self and embody authenticity. Kaya Wellness is the essence of every person regardless of race, color, gender, sexuality, or ability. Kaya is the emergence of our collective wisdom and is a community of feeling, empowering, and manifesting to continue the self-healing journey.

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About Kelly Ayala
Kaya Wellness Founder


While running her own private practice in Dallas, The Branch Counseling PLLC, for the past thirteen years and cultivating relationships around the globe, Kelly now brings her passion for healing, social connection and travel to Kaya Wellness.

Since becoming a therapist, Kelly has traveled all over the USA and to over 20 countries spanning 3 continents. Her journey has taken her to peer conferences, women’s wellness retreats, fitness retreats, and in some cases, retreats where Kelly is part of the coaching team. Through these journeys Kelly has received the experience she needed to create the foundation for Kaya Wellness. Experiences she now hopes to share with women like you.

Kelly’s passion for travel and healing began at an early age when at only 12 she traveled overseas by herself as part of the student ambassador program to England, Ireland, Scotland and Whales. It was on this trip Kelly experience the freedom of escaping her conditioned life and learned how to see herself through her own eyes.