Nayla is a documentary filmmaker, yoga instructor, and adventurer. Presently, Nayla is working on her film, Return to Kyrgyzstan, which is focused on raising awareness about a Kyrgyz community that is dramatically changing local children’s lives by breaking down engrained social norms through skiing. It also tells the compelling story of Nayla’s own return back to Kyrgyzstan 4 years after a catastrophic accident there left her on the brink of death.
Nayla specializes in organizing adventure expeditions that few even dream of, with a focus on producing social related stories of interest in such far off corners of the world. Most recently producing the first all female lead sail to ski expedition in the Arctic waters off the coast of Svalbard.
A graduate of UCLA, she has been featured in several media outlets including but not limited to Rolling Stone Magazine, The Huffington Post, Backcountry Magazine and Outside TV.
Born in the French Alps to an Egyptian father and French mother, Nayla has been a devout traveler for her entire life. She presently serves as a Deputy to the Los Angeles Honorary Consulate General to Nepal, a role she accepted in the wake of the 2015 earthquake during which time she supported intense, on the ground operations as well as cross-country aide.
After enduring PTSD from a near death experience, followed by several years jumping from one intense environment to the next, Nayla felt her emotions and inner well being headed towards a meltdown. It was at this point that she first landed in Costa Rica and discovered the healing energy of the beaches of Santa Teresa. The pull to stay still, and ground herself was undeniable, so she took a step away from her usual extreme lifestyle and relocated to Santa Teresa. During this time she formed a deep relationship with the ocean, surfing and dove deep into a daily yoga practice- culminating in a 200 hour YTT.
She hopes to continue to live her best life by inspiring and encouraging others to step outside their comfort zones and welcome vulnerability in order to find connections between opposing views, allowing the realizations that deep down we are all the same on this journey called life.
“The ocean brings up all the reminders of my body not being 100%. All my doubts that I will never be able. Yet, the ocean teaches me persistence, patience, breath, and being okay with discomfort. It teaches me to take up space. We are just a speck in the Big Blue. I am a woman of the water. Gather your courage, leave your ego, walk tall and come take up space with me. Truth be told we are all children of the water.”
Get inspired and connect with her @naylatawa