Yoga of Liberation | Bio
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Jill Abelson

Who am I?


I was born, adopted and raised in Miami, Florida. The curious circumstances of my birth meant that from a very early age I asked the eternal question: “Who am I?” I was obsessed with questions about God, fate and identity, and would stay awake till all hours of the night, contemplating big thoughts for a little girl. You might say I was destined for a spiritual path. At age 27, I undertook a search for my birth family, a life-changing experience that reaffirmed my belief in karma and the power of self-inquiry.


I found yoga through my lifelong study of classical dance, and these two pursuits continue to dovetail in interesting ways. My yoga mentors include Lex Gillan, Michael Yoganand Carroll, David Swenson, and Shiva Rea, among others. But it was in the worldwide Jivamukti Yoga community where I truly found my home, and further developed my craft under the expert spiritual tutelage and ongoing support of my primary teachers Sharon Gannon, David Life and mentors Vanessa Kennedy and Nicole Nichols. Advanced Certified in the Jivamukti lineage, I served as a Mentor at Teacher Training in May 2016, bringing 50 new teachers out into the world. My dance training continues with extraordinary teacher, Lee Wei Chao, at Alonzo King/Lines Ballet in San Francisco. My other bright lights are my Sanskrit/meditation teacher Manorama D’Alvia in New York and spiritual teacher H.G. Vaisesika Dasa in Silicon Valley, CA.


World View


Alongside yoga, I work in the field of environmental communications,  and over the years have supported companies and organizations making progressive strides in sustainability and climate protection — including Impossible Foods, Nestle USA, Johnson + Johnson, EOS Climate, the Environmental Defense Fund, California EPA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Greenpeace.  In Northern California, the groups I like to support are WildCare, the Marin Humane Society and Sonoma Land Trust.


A brush with cancer (2014-2016) informed my spiritual journey like nothing else could, and has taken my teaching to surprising new heights. In Yoga I continue to find strength, healing, inspiration and challenge.


As a Jivamukti teacher, I’m lucky to be part of a worldwide satsang.  I live, work, write, teach and mentor teachers from my home base in San Francisco, California.



500E-RYT – Yoga Teaching Certifications:

Jivamukti Yoga 300 hour (2005) + 800 hour Teacher Training (2008) + Advanced Certification (2012)

Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Shiva Rea (2001)

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training with David Swenson (2001)

Art of Assists Studies with Yoganand Michael Carroll  (2003) + Raja Yoga Studies with Stephen Cope (2002) both at Kripalu Center for Yoga

Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Lex Gillan (1999)