Connect
To Top

Inspiring Conversations with Kaia D’Albora

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaia D’Albora.

Hi Kaia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in Seattle, WA to a loving family. I’m the oldest of two, with the sweetest younger brother who is two years younger than me.

I grew up loving adventure and make-believe. All of childhood memories involve some sort of imaginative experience in some way – from my fairy friends whom I’d build mini playgrounds for, to the games we’d play during recess, to the plays we’d write to perform for our parents.

I loved being enveloped in someone else’s story – or a story I created.

As I grew up, that love for adventure and make-believe transitioned into more formal outlets. I got lost in trying to see myself the way others saw me. Constantly worrying how I was going to be perceived by anyone – but specifically, the boys that I thought were cute.

I found confidence through my style and through moving my body. Which brings me to my fitness journey.

I grew up as an active kid, always on a sports team or in dance class – though to me, it was more social than exercise. As I got older, it became more of a workout and I enjoyed sweating and moving my body. It felt freeing. But at the same time, I started to tune into how society saw women’s bodies. How I compared myself to the other girls on the dance floor or on the swim team and yearned after a change to my body.

Throughout the next decade – from high school through college and then into my mid-20s – I looked at fitness as a tool. As the way for me to control my body, reach the external validation I was yearning for, and love myself.

But I was overexercising. Pushing my body in ways, it didn’t want to be pushed. I wasn’t showing myself love. I wasn’t respecting myself. My mindset was that working out was a punishment for my previous behavior (especially around food).

That was until I got injured.

I had been exercising 1-2 times a day, seven days a week – focusing on high-intensity workouts that had me burning a significant amount of calories, according to my Apple Watch. One virtual kickboxing class November of 2020, I had thrown one too punches and my neck and shoulder started to spasm. I had limited mobility – lying down even was painful. I decided that this time I was actually going to listen to my body and rest.

Stop working out for a while until I healed.

That rest changed everything.

I actively listened to the way my body wanted to move. It was low-intensity – mostly walking and stretching – and took my Apple Watch off. My attachment to that device had grown incredibly unhealthy and I was equating my worth to my workout and my workout worth to the calories burned.

As I started to slow down, I found more intuitive ways to move like Pilates and Yoga – formats I had rolled my eyes at before as “not hard enough”.

As I changed my relationship with my body, I realized that teaching fitness and helping other women find this peace and respect for their bodies was something I was passionate about. I had been actively posting on Instagram, building a community of wonderful women through sharing my experiences and thoughts around my body and growth, and the more I engaged with my community, the more empowered I felt to start my own business where feeling at home in your body was the main goal.

I use Instagram as an outlet for expressing myself. For saying what others may be thinking about themselves. It ties my childhood love for adventure and make-believe in some ways with my innate love for helping others find themselves.

Which is why Instagram is such an integral part of my business at this point.

I launched Kaia D’Albora Health in April of 2021. It’s a health and wellness brand that focuses on intuitive movement, community, and athleisure wear. Basically combining all of my passions. It’s the most “right” I’ve ever felt.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
After college, I pursued my dreams of being a famous photographer in LA. In college, I had been a heavily invested sports photographer, working as the Photo Editor of our school newspaper, shooting our D1 Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Baseball teams that lead me to joining Major League Baseball’s marketing team, taking photos for social media stationed at Safeco Field in Seattle, to then being scouted by the Seattle Seahawks marketing department to do the same.

I left Seattle with the dream of success in doing something “cool” and came to LA with absolutely no plan whatsoever.

I had just met my boyfriend who lived in San Diego and used falling in love as a distraction for chasing a dream I didn’t actually want anymore.

I was afraid of failing without control, so I forced myself to fail – though, by the time I moved to LA, I was actually done with pursuing photography as a career, anyway.

After a year and a half of driving down to San Diego every other weekend, feeling fed up with the traffic of LA and the feeble friendships I had made, I decided to pick up everything and relocate to the most beautiful city on the west coast.

I moved to San Diego in February of 2019, feeling lighter than I had been in a while. I felt free and excited and surprisingly not afraid of the craigslist roommates I now had.

Though I was closer to my love, my friends, and a clearer mind, I was still lost as hell.

In 2019, I had six jobs – Wag & freelance photography on the side of Facebook Ad Marketing (lasted two weeks), Canvassing outside of grocery stores (lasted five days, it was awful), nannying (lasted five months), fitness studio front desk and eventually manager (5 months). I was searching for my purpose while trying to make ends meet away from home.

At the end of 2019, I ended up getting a job as an intern for a friend who worked at a Marketing Agency that became my home for the next 14 months. I climbed the ladder there pretty fast, as it was a start-up and needed “man” power. Through quarantine, I spent my days glued to my computer, working 60-80 hour weeks, feeling proud of my title but empty with everything else.

Toward the end of 2020, I realized I needed more. I needed more for me. I needed something that lit me up. And the little entrepreneurial voice in my head started to whisper. I started investing in virtual workshops – the first one focusing on Social Media. I started to feel a little more empowered in myself and my wants and needs for the first time in a while.

As 2021 started, I realized that over the last year I had been depressed. My mood had changed – I was more irritable, stressed, anxious, with little to no libido. My boyfriend and I had moved in together right before COVID hit so spending that year at a low point – as wonderful as he is – was not the ideal first year of living together experience.

I started therapy in February 2021. In my first session, I decided to quit my job.

In March, I finished my Instructor Training and in April launched my business.

My biggest struggle until now has been finding confidence and love for myself. Once I did that, the rest came easy.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Kaia D’Albora Health is a health & wellness brand that pushes for you to connect to your body over any other external validation. I started this business after I came out of my decade long “slumber” of looking at fitness as a tool. As the way for me to control my body, reach the external validation I was yearning for, and love myself.

But I was overexercising. Pushing my body in ways, it didn’t want to be pushed. I wasn’t showing myself love. I wasn’t respecting myself. My mindset was that working out was a punishment for my previous behavior (especially around food).

Now, I actively listen to the way my body wants to move. I move in more intuitive ways that feel good to me like Pilates and Yoga – formats I had rolled my eyes at before as “not hard enough”.

As I changed my relationship with my body, I realized that teaching fitness and helping other women find this peace and respect for their bodies was something I was passionate about. I had been actively posting on Instagram, building a community of wonderful women through sharing my experiences and thoughts around my body and growth, and the more I engaged with my community, the more empowered I felt to start my own business where feeling at home in your body was the main goal.

I created a format I call Strength Flow, a format that is inspired by Barre, Pilates and Yoga that incorporates challenging spicy movements with grounding rests.

I believe that weight loss comes from a much deeper place than working out and eating right. Which is why Kaia D’Albora Health does not preach fitness as a means to lose weight. Obviously, there is cause and effect but there needs to be a deeper connection and respect for self before you start moving your body for anyone else but you.

The Virtual Studio at KDH is a place for you to challenge yourself and ground yourself. I teach five classes a week, with an abundant OnDemand library for those members who prefer a more flexible workout schedule. Mondays are a restorative stretch to help wake the weekend up from your body and set you grounded into your week. Tuesday through Thursday, I teach Strength Flow, my signature format. Each class is designed to challenge you and center with some spicy grounding movement. I finish each class with an oracle card reading – a message from the universe – to bring you that calm and peace before you start or finish the day. And Fridays, I teach HIIT (high-intensity interval training), the sweatiest and sweetest way to finish out your week and launch you into the weekend.

Rest is hugely encouraged in my community. Because if we can’t listen to and respect our bodies, how can we be truly healthy?

Community is a huge part of KDH so I’ve made it a necessity to create a space for community by offering opportunities to work with my friends – other incredible professionals in the mental health space – as often as possible. From guest coaches like my Mindset Coach Meghan to Intuitive Sessions with my Psychic Masha, my community has opportunities to learn about themselves in ways they hadn’t reached yet.

To combine community and movement, every other month at KDH we host Resets. Resets are two-week intensives built to reset your mind and body during that time of year. Each Reset has a specific theme – in January, it’s Intionality in November, it’s Gratitude – and we focus each meditation, community call and journal prompt on that theme. Attendees get access to the live class schedule for two weeks, daily journal prompts sent to them, access to all recorded classes, and weekly community calls for activities like mood board building or mindset group coaching calls. It’s a pretty amazing experience and truly resets your mind and body.

The final arm of KDH is Shop KDH – where feeling at home in your body is about wearing clothes that feel like home to you and that become staples in your closet. It is a huge passion of mine that I cannot wait to see grow. Shop KDH is the athleisure brand with the iconic Health & Wellness crewneck design that you can check out on my website kaiadalbora.co/shop and look for the latest drops coming in 2022!

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Trust your gut. Money flows – it will come in and out with ease as long as you feel at ease around it. Take other people’s advice as a grain of salt. Trust yourself. To be successful, you must actively be healing yourself – it’s a fun and challenging journey. Understand what you define as success and adjust accordingly. Enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All photographs taken by Emma Lauren Photography!! She’s the best. All graphics designed by me.

Suggest a Story: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories