Who Was Christina Phipps?

    

     That she was an extraordinary yoga instructor is how most will remember her - and probably how she would have wanted to be remembered. But "extraordinary" is just not an adequate description. To the scores of people she brought some rare comfort and to the many more for whom she was an inspiration, she was something beyond extraordinary. Her classes were an opportunity to share her love of yoga and to experience her remarkable ability of making every person she was with believe that they were Christina's very favorite person.

 

 

     At the time she was diagnosed with breast cancer, in late 2005, she was a professional "personal chef." She had been operating a successful business, Comforts by Christina, for several years. For fun and fitness, she had been conducting yoga classes and other physical fitness programs. When she started chemotherapy, she found that she was better able to deal with the treatment, both emotionally and physically, than any of her fellow patients. She attributed this to yoga, and she felt that she could make the treatment easier and rehabilitation more successful by providing cancer patients with personalized yoga.  Already a certified instructor, she began setting up classes, while continuing with her cooking. Eventually her yoga classes became her main focus.

 

     Christina was also a Navy wife. Her husband, Gregory Crum, served on a succession of surface warships out of Mayport. She was a food columnist for the Jacksonville Beach Examiner, appeared on cooking shows on Jacksonville's Channel 4, was a leader in the "turtle patrol," and a patron of the Beaches Historical Museum. She loved "the Beaches" and Jacksonville and considered the area her home. She was a native of Tallahassee and grew up on the Lake Hall property her family had owned for a century. Her parents began bringing her to Ponte Vedra Beach when she was a toddler, and she chose Flagler for college. Eventually, she transferred to the University of Georgia from which she graduated. She was able to move, permanently, to Neptune Beach in 1997.

 

     Christina died on 15 June 2010. She was still conducting yoga classes a week before her death.

 

To learn a little more about Christina in her own words, visit Christina's Blog,

"Peaces of Christina."

 

To read an exerpt of Christina's writings in the

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, visit

"Christina's Spotlight Story."

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