Unexpected, Unplanned, Unexplained


For many having a preemie baby is unexpected, unplanned, unexplained.  Without warning an unbelievably tiny wonder enters the world disrupting everything you imagined parenthood to be. Stroller rides and tummy time are replaced with feeding tubes and incubators. The golden hour becomes a race to rescue your tiny warrior safely to her incubator, and you await the precious time where you get to hold your baby skin to skin.  Pregnancy books don’t cover the third trimester without a baby in your belly, and parenting books don’t cover the two and a half months before your baby is born. In the most beautiful cases, preemie babies and their parents survive those first few months, but not without fear, support, and an unbelievable amount of love. 

When Channing was born I put a simple post in an Atlanta moms Facebook group, “The Mom Posse” asking if there were any fellow preemie mamas that might lend some advice. While I was hopeful to meet another mom or two, I never expected the outpouring of support I received. Within hours my inbox was filled with heartfelt testimonials, offers to bring clothes and help with meals, and even mamas who simply wanted to come visit us in the NICU. Having so many people offer notes of encouragement and support was unfamiliar to me. As a yoga studio owner, my role has always been in cultivating a supportive community for others, boosting others up, and in offering others what they need to hear.


So often in yoga class I remind my students; each individual person has an impact on the class, each body generates heat, each breath creates the breath of the room, each worry is the worry of another. Without each other the class would be empty and the energy sparse. Whether or not our students realize the impact they have on each other, I’ll never fully know, but I can tell you the impact they have on me. A supportive breath, a supportive smile, and a supportive message all show love for one another.

John 13:35: “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Disruption provides opportunity for vulnerability. Vulnerability provides an opportunity for authenticity. Authenticity makes genuine connections. Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected, unplanned, and unexplained.


Carly Grace Milyo

Born in New York City,  Carly Grace grew up in Atlanta and graduated from The Westminster Schools.  Carly received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech in 2012. During her college career, Carly began practicing yoga as an escape from her intense ACC Cheerleading training. The rigor and requirements Carly upheld as an ACC athlete combined with the social expectations and action packed schedule expected of an Alpha Phi left Carly depleted both physically and mentally.  Before Carly found yoga, she used running, partying with friends, and restricting her diet to maintain a sense of control in her life. It was Carly's true desire to find more purposeful and authentic friendships and to invest her time in cultivating her greater well-being and spirituality that lead her to yoga. 

The creativity and physical challenge of yoga captivated and inspired Carly. Yoga was the first thing Carly practiced where the perfect-ten mentality was not required; in fact, perfection is the antithesis of yoga principles.  After hanging up her poms poms and retiring from her ACC Cheerleading career, Carly quickly found herself  invested in the In Balance Yoga Community in Blacksburg, VA.  With encouragement and affirmation from Studio Owner, Becky Crigger, Carly set out for New York City to train with Dana Trixie Flynn at Laughing Lotus Love Skool.

Yoga Alliance 200 E-RYT, Carly has studied and practiced with many influencers and teachers all over the United States.  Carly currently teaches Thunderbolt Power Yoga®;  a powerful alignment based vinyasa flow inspired by some of her greatest influencers including, Dana Trixie Flynn and Baron Baptiste.  Carly infuses creative ideas and sequencing into her classes. Her purpose as a teacher is to inspire people to move like themselves. Carly is committed to helping students be audaciously playful in both their practice and in their lives. 

You can catch Carly Grace teaching at her studio Thunderbolt Power Yoga, at off-site events such as the infamous FIT Yoga Series with Carly Grace at W Atl Buckhead, at music festivals, corporate conferences, and more!  Be sure to look out for Carly's quarterly Boombox Power Yoga® Class offered alongside a live DJ, accompanied by her pink boombox, and enhanced with a 16 inch disco ball. 

In the mean time, you can follow her adventures on instagram (@yoga__barbie) or give her a wave when you see her drive by in her infamous pink jeep!