About Kelly Ayala
Kaya Wellness Founder
While running my own professional mental health practice in Dallas, The Branch Counseling PLLC, for the past thirteen years and cultivating relationships around the globe, I now bring my passions to Kaya Wellness.
From an early age I was curious about people , wellness and the excitement of travel. My passion for wellness has taken me to peer conferences, women’s wellness retreats, fitness retreats, and in some cases, retreats where I was part of the coaching team. I have journeyed all over the USA and to over 20 countries spanning 3 continents. Through these experience I developed the foundation I needed to create Kaya Wellness. Experiences I now hope to share with women like you.
But just like any journey it starts with a story. My story peaked when one morning I looked in the mirror and I couldn't recognize myself. It was like I was staring into a hollow shell. Felling, life, pleasure, self-love had somehow escaped me.
All the years of people pleasing had caught up to me. My authenticity had been squashed by a mound of worries and anxieties I had been giving attention to. I knew I was somewhere in there and I had to find my way back to me.
While it helped, not even all the graduate school I had been through could think my way back to feeling my authentic self. So I decided to do something different. And it wasn't particularly easy and some days I still struggle but the bottom line was I needed to show up for me.
I started to meditate, then I learned yoga, and form there I started a relationship with my breath. Then I started to set boundaries and felt the discomfort of denying my people pleasing beliefs. I survived and then I thrived.
A wellness journey is not about achieving a state of being or getting better. What I learned is that it's about being aware of my body, listening to what it needs and making decisions to care for myself.
Kaya Wellness is a community where you can learn strategies, connect with like-minded people, retreat and immerse in the wellness journey. Professionally led, Kaya Wellness experiences are curated with intention and great thought to provide the enriched spaced need to support a wellness journey.
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 cousin at the time struggled to say may name, he pronounced it Ka-ya. I remember when he would call me by that name there was a comfort to how it sounded that has lasted with me since.
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 while visiting the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. I 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.
What is Kaya Wellness?
Kaya Wellness provides professional coaching, wellness events and retreats all over the world. Though the location may change, Kaya's aim is to provide a community of like minded people and wellness opportunities that support and empower one another.
What is a wellness journey?
A wellness journey starts with observing life's circumstances, checking in. It's a journey that asks each person to face the pain of life and begin the process of healing by taking responsibility to compassionately care for ourselves. Part of moving through a wellness journey is remembering who you are, what you like, don't like and harnessing your autonomy.
How do I know if I'm on a wellness journey?
Some signs you might be on a wellness journey:
-talking with a therapist
-tending to your feelings instead of ignoring them
-working on loving your body and self acceptance
-seeking out wellness practices
-setting boundaries and being ok saying no
-trying to find balance in what others need from you and what you need from you
Is Kaya Wellness a mental health or counseling service?
Kaya Wellness is not mental health counseling or therapy services. Kaya is a wellness space where each individual has the opportunity to participate in retreats, yoga/movement, wellness workshops, excursions and group activities. Professional Wellness Coaching and Private One on One sessions are available with Kelly and retreat hosts based on their area of expertise.
What makes Kaya Wellness retreats different than others?
Kaya Wellness retreats are about creating community and offering experiences that support self discovery and empowerment. Most importantly, Kaya Wellness takes us out of the everyday and introduces you to new places, cultures and experiences; all while providing opportunities for you to nurture you mind, body and spirit in a community of likeminded people.