Elijah Nisenboim, founder of Effiji Breath, learned a style of breathwork in 1990 in Toronto, Canada, from Tom Lodge, who spent much of the seventies in an ashram in India. The following year, Elijah followed Tom to San Francisco where he participated in his Breathwork training called Breatherapy. After his training, he went back to Toronto and for the following year and a half gave Breathwork sessions to anyone that would agree to try it. In 1994, Elijah moved to San Francisco where he opened a breath center called The Grove Center for Health and Creativity in the heart of San Francisco at Geary and Fillmore. He began working with people more publicly, keeping the The Grove Center until 2000.
During that time, Tom had a business called the International Breaththerapy Association and Elijah became his organizer and creator of trainings.The first training was in 1995 in Aptos, CA, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They continued breathwork trainings through 2000.
In 1997 Tom had a spiritual awakening at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England and the relationship between Elijah and Tom changed completely. Tom became less interested in the BREATH technique and left it to Elijah to continue the work with the public. He experimented with the BREATH, whilst Tom became the “enlightened one”. Elijah, over this time, developed the technique into what it has become today.
Tom and Elijah parted ways in 2000. After their separation, Elijah no longer wanted to be associated with Tom, and it became obvious that a new name was needed to reflect the changes in the technique he had been cultivating. In 2001, EFFIJI was born. The word Effiji came from the word ‘effigy’ which is a mask that represents something else. ‘Ji’ is a term of endearment in India like papaji or guruji. So EFFIJI became a loving way of taking off that mask.
‘Effiji’ is pronounced by saying the letter ‘F’, then a hard ‘i’, followed by the sound ‘jee’.)
From 2002 to 2009, Elijah began traveling and working with people more privately, giving thousands of private sessions. The Breathwork moved from being the center of his work to a tool he would use sporadically. He began to form the philosophy of his teaching that evolved into what is at the heart of Effiji today.
In 2009, Elijah began training people under the name Effiji and has held yearly programs in the subsequent years.
In 2012 Elijah met Sarah Charmoli, former actress and entrepreneur, who began helping him with the affairs of Effiji Breath. At that time the two wandered into the relationship having no idea what it would become.
In addition to the extensive time working with people publicly and privately, Elijah has studied Tai Chi and Qigong since 1999 with his teacher Master George Xu. In 2014, he finally began to incorporate its principles and practices in the training and programs for Effiji. With more than a dozen trips to China, he continues to work with different masters to increase the incorporation of its principles in the work of Effiji.
Elijah and Sarah sit at the center of Effiji Breath. Elijah holds the core teaching and the central guide to all those in on-going personal development and certification programs. Sarah is the Director of Operations and continues to travel, opening new territories and expanding the vision of Effiji out into the mainstream.