Meet Our Teachers, Space Holders, & Change Makers

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Founder & Program Director

Sydney Hughes-McGee


Registered Yoga Teacher 500,

Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (NC #1243)​

is a somatic educator and bodyworker.   She has been teaching yoga and experiential anatomy and doing bodywork for over 25 years.  Her goal is to help people feel at home in their bodies, to support them in the healing of injury and trauma, and to aid those seeking a more body-aware and nature connected way of being.


She works with the understanding that each of our bodies is a crossroads where the natural world meets our personal history and the history of our ancestors and culture.  We are "places" and much of our pain, both physical and psychological, is a result of subtle ways we disconnect from our home in the body and larger natural world.  The goal of her work is the conscious reinhabiting of lost places through movement, sensory awareness, touch, and energy work, as well as the conscious re-creation of a more compassionate and embodied culture.  How this unfolds is unique for each individual.  It requires that both practitioner and client listen below their thoughts to follow the body's lead.


To make an appointment or register for a class please contact Sydney at or 336 775 7313.


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Program Assistant

Marla Gene


Marla is a multipotentialite ebbing and flowing on their various paths. They are a writer, singer, maker, facilitator, healing guide, and student of decolonizing herbalism, food, & land. Their focus is navigating & healing trauma while reconnecting us with our bodies through creative wellness. 


As a queer Black biracial nonbinary femme and neurodivergent person living with invisible disabilities, Marla brings knowledge to the collective around disability justice, gender and sexuality, familial & cultural racial trauma, as well as a practice of radical self-love.


In 2018, after participating in Michelle Cassandra Johnson’s Skill in Action Yoga Teacher Training 200hr program, Marla committed to a continued education that centers antiracism within different healing modalities, such as decolonizing herbalism with Root Work Herbals: People’s Medicine School and Hood Herbalism, or learning about somatic abolitionism with Resmaa Menakem.

Marla's work at 18 Springs involves a bit of miscellany, including generating clear & growth-inspiring ideas, editing, consulting, tech wizardry, coordinating systems, and managing communications with teachers, partners, and the public.


May we look to our ancestors who come from all beings, lay gifts before them and breath to honor them. Let us tend to our hearts as we tend to Spirit. Let us know rest, joy, purpose, and ourselves.


social justice, wellness, yoga