About Rukaiya

(Michelle Christine):

Rukaiya (Michelle Christine Garza) has been working creatively with individuals and groups through the healing arts, yoga, meditation and counseling for over 15 years. Beginning in 2000, she has lived and worked in various places in the world where she studied Tibetan buddhist meditation, shamanic healing, Asthanga & Kundalini yoga, organic and sustainable farming, and various emotional and energetic healing tools. Rukaiya has had the great joy of applying all she has gathered and learned over the years as a volunteer in emergency crisis situations, in working with children with special needs and behavioral issues, and with women who are seeking to empower and awaken their lives.

Rukaiya's two greatest loves/inspirations are a living, healing relationship with the earth and exploration with conscious music/sound. Part of her studies in Creative Arts Therapy included an in-depth study of Cymatics, Vibrational Medicine and Sound Healing, which led her to an extraordinary experience in field research with the last aboriginal shaman ('Mun') of the Lepcha tribe in the Himalayas in 2005. Rukaiya has been writing songs and performing for 20 years; each year and each experience bringing her to a deeper level of understanding of the powerful and lasting effect that gratitude and generosity, combined with the vibration of the voice, has in a group dynamic. 

Certifications and Degrees

B.A. Creative Arts Therapy, Rosemont College, 2005

Ashtanga Yoga 200h, as taught by Baba Hari Dass, 2006

EPT (Emotional Polarity Technique), 2007

Shamanic Reiki Master 2008, 2016

Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, KRI 2015

Professional/Voluntary Experience

Musician/Team Support for Amritnam Sarovar - 2014-Present

Fire Keeper/Crew for Carl Big Heart - Spring 2008-Present

                       Gatherings in Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, and Omega Institute

Musician/Composer/Producer 2009-2016 

                    Albums: ‘Reach’ & ‘Morning Sadhana (Live from a Yurt in North Holland)’
Workshop Assistant for Carl Big Heart at Omega Institute - 2011, 2015

Kitchen Manager: Large (40-150 people) Group Gatherings, Ashokan, NY 

                                                                           - Labor Day Weekends 2009-2014

Yoga Instructor - March 2007-October 2013

Music Therapy Volunteer - 2003, 2005, 2008-2011

Volunteer Emotional Healing Support for staff at Omega Institute - Summer 2011

Children’s Music and Movement Teacher - 2009, 2010

Vocal Coach, Piano Teacher - 2009, 2010

WWOOF(World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) - Spain, Hawaii 2006, 2008
Volunteer: Hurricane Katrina Aftermath - November 2005-April 2006

Continuing Education

Ongoing workshops & classes in Kundalini Yoga with

                                                   Various Master Teachers - 2000-Present

Ongoing attendance and support, Inipi Ceremonies & Women's Teachings with

                                                   Various Elders/Sisters - 2002-Present

Ongoing attendance of Group Study of The Resonance of Allah,

                                          M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, RA. - 2008-2011 

5 Day Intensive with Carl Big Heart at Omega Institute - 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015

5 Day Intensive with 13 Grandmothers at Omega Institute - 2011

4.5 month Intensive: Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Sikkim, India - 2005

Field Research: Aboriginal Shamanism, Sikkim, India - 2005

3 Day Intensive with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Sikkim, India - 2005

Weekend Intensive: International Gathering of Shamans at Omega Institute - 2004

Weekend Intensive: Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep with

                                            Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche - 2002, 2004

Meditation Evening with Thich Nhat Hanh, NY, NY - 2003 

Fine Arts Study in Siena, Italy - Summer 2002

5 Day Intensive with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa at Omega Institute - 2001, 2004, 2009

5 Day Intensive with Iyanla Vanzant at Omega Institute 2000, 2001

And more...

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