Our Team

Our team of experts unite people, movement and healthcare

Our People

Caitlin Day accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Caitlin is a highly skilled physiotherapist with postgraduate qualifications in women's, men's and pelvic health. She has extensive experience in pelvic floor physiotherapy, treating a wide range of pelvic floor dysfunctions in both men and women. Caitlin also loves working with pregnant women, ensuring they are comfortable, healthy and safe during their pregnancy, and helps to guide them through recovering after childbirth, in the safest and most effective way possible.

 

Her other interests are sexual pain rehabilitation, post-prostatectomy continence rehabilitation, post gynaecological surgery rehabilitation, helping women returning to sport after childbirth, chronic pain management such as endometriosis and helping men and women with bowel problems such as fecal incontinence or constipation.

 

Caitlin is also a certified pilates, yoga and spin instructor and has experience as an aqua aerobics instructor for pregnant women. Caitlin met Sophie in Auckland and immediately  bonded over the dream of opening a functional movement studio.

Education

  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy - University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy - University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health Physiotherapy - University of Melbourne
  • APPI and DMA Pilates training
  • Power Living 200-hour yoga teacher training
  • Spin instructor training
Sophie Lax accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Sophie is a highly skilled physiotherapist from London with over a decade of industry experience. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked in the NHS and private sector developing her skills in women’s health and musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

 

Sophie is passionate about empowering women to keep fit and healthy throughout their pregnancy and the years beyond. She has extensive experience in the treatment of back and pelvic pain, diastasis recti, bladder and bowel dysfunction, prolapse and pelvic floor problems in women of all ages.

 

Sophie is an advocate for Pilates as a tool for rehabilitation. She is certified through Polestar Pilates and APPI, and trained with leading experts in London. She uses these skills to treat spinal pain and sports injuries, and has developed an expertise for helping new mothers regain strength and confidence. She teaches private and group Pilates classes on all equipment.

 

Utilising these skills, Sophie has helped hundreds of women through their rehabilitation journey, minimising the stress and pain that can accompany pregnancy and menopause.

 

Sophie moved to Auckland with her kiwi fiancé in 2019, which is where she met Caitlin and found an ally in all things women’s health, a partnership that would lead to the creation of their shared dream, Unity Studios.

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy – Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Certified Pilates Rehabilitation Practitioner with Polestar Pilates
  • Certified APPI Pilates Instructor
  • Ashtanga and Hatha 200-hour Yoga Teacher training
Rachel Velvin accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Rachel graduated from the University of Southampton in 2007 with over 13 years experience, predominantly in MSK injuries and pathologies. She worked in NHS hospitals and with sports teams for 3 years in Wales, before travelling from Wales to New Zealand. She has worked for the last 10 years in rehab clinics, pilates studios, schools and with elite athletes.

 

Rachel first trained with Polestar Pilates in 2013 and is passionate about Pilates and fitness. She loves taking one on one and group Pilates classes, Spin classes and running group classes.

 

Rachel is a certified Pilates Instructor and Trigger Point Dry Needling therapist. She uses exercise as part of a healthy mind-body approach to maintaining mobility, gaining strength and feeling healthy inside and out. She believes an all round approach to Physiotherapy is key.

 

Since becoming a Mum of two boys she has developed a greater passion towards helping and empowering pregnant women, new Mums and well practiced Mums using education, manual therapy and Pilates. Running around after two active pre-schoolers has highlighted the importance of keeping mentally and physically strong and healthy

Juliet Bartholomew accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Since graduating in 2000, Juliet has worked with representative Rugby and Netball teams, which allowed her to develop extensive experience in strength and rehabilitation that she now draws on for supporting Women to return to sport and running post-partum. Juliet has focused on Women’s Health for the last 10 years has run her own clinic PlusOne Wellbeing. She has completed several Post Graduate Pelvic health courses in New Zealand and Australia.

Her focus is on supporting Women to enjoy their pregnancy and have optimum recovery post-partum. Juliet has experience in treating pelvic floor disorders, prolapse, diastasis recti, sexual pain, c-section rehab and a full range of musculoskeletal disorders. She believes in treating Women holistically to help them return to the activities they love.

  • Bachelor of Health Science Physiotherapy
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Acupuncture
  • Masters of Health Practice (Musculoskeletal Therapy) (Hons)

Juliet has two school aged children and outside of work she is enjoying learning pottery and enjoys skiing and snowboarding.

Larrisa Botherway accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

 

Larissa graduated from AUT in 2002 and her interest in Women’s health has led her to further her education in Women’s Health physiotherapy. She has completed several Post Graduate courses in New Zealand and Australia. Larissa has extensive experience in Musculoskeletal and Sports physiotherapy. Larissa is passionate about helping women enjoy their pregnancy through to their recovery after child birth and back to the activities that they love.  She has experience is treating a wide range of Pelvic Floor issues, including stress incontinence, prolapse, diastasis recti and pelvic girdle pain. She believes in working collaboratively with her patients to help them achieve their best outcomes.

  • Bachelor of Health Science Physiotherapy
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Acupuncture
  • APPI Pilates Mat Work 1

Larissa has two young children and is a keen runner. She loves F45 strength and conditioning that she supplements with Pilates.

Roisin Tiernan accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

 

Roisin graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. She worked in Ireland, predominantly in musculoskeletal and sports settings, before moving to New Zealand nearly 4 years ago. Since moving to New Zealand, Roisin has continued to work in musculoskeletal settings, with experience in ergonomics and exercise prescription.

Roisin believes in a holistic approach to treatment and has worked within many healthcare teams, working together to provide an effective patient experience. Roisin is a certified Trigger Point Dry Needling therapist.

She enjoys incorporating Pilates into her treatment and designing patient specific exercise programmes. Roisin’s passion is to help women regain control of their bodies and get back to doing what they love.

In her spare time she enjoys travelling as much as she can, running, going to the gym and Pilates. She is also trying to tick as many hikes as she can off her list in New Zealand!

Laura Silk accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Laura graduated from the University of Otago in 2009 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. With 10 years of physiotherapy and pilates experience, Laura worked in private practice in New Zealand and Sydney and then in London for 5 years. She has experience in manual therapy, acupuncture and exercise rehabilitation and prescription.

 

She completed her clinical pilates training in 2010 and is highly experienced in mat and machine based pilates. Laura’s approach to helping her clients is holistic. She strongly believes that combining mindful exercise with other physiotherapy skills, is key to restoring physical health and function as well over well being.

 

Laura has a special interest in pelvic health and has completed post graduate Women’s Health training. She is particularly passionate about empowering women to maintain their strength and get back to what they love to do postnatally. She has experience in treating pelvic floor dysfunction and Diastasis rectus rehab.

 

Having lived overseas for the last 8 years Laura is a bit of a travel addict. When she is not doing pilates she also loves yoga, running and any activity near the beach.

Shanelle Lenehan accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Shanelle started practising Pilates as a client whilst undergoing her dance training in 2004. After graduating she danced full-time professionally, alongside practising and exploring the Pilates method and studying anatomy and biomechanics. Shanelle completed her formal Pilates training with Stability Plus Pilates in 2008 in Mat, Reformer, TrapTable, Wunda Chair and Ladder Barrel, completing a total of 200 structured hours and 1000 hours of practice, observation and apprentice teaching by 2009.

 

After completing her training she worked at Peak Pilates Newmarket before opening the new branch Peak Pilates and Physiotherapy Grey Lynn as a manager herself. She managed a busy team of physiotherapists and Pilates instructors, providing ongoing training and professional development to staff as well as instructing group classes and private sessions for clients. Since her initial training in 2008 Shanelle has danced full-time and continuously up-skilled her Pilates knowledge completing numerous additional workshops and training modules over the years.

 

Shanelle loves teaching and respects her clients hard work and commitment. She is inspired everyday to make herself and her clients more spontaneous and alive through cultivating ease and freedom of movement. Shanelle is now a mother to her daughter Portia born in 2015, and is a comprehensively certified Polestar Practitioner and Mentor with Polestar NZ. She has educated and instructed at many studios in Auckland, and is happy to currently be part of the team, and studio manager here at Unity Studios.

Penny Metcalfe accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Penny has had a love of sport and fitness since school. She holds a Bachelor of Physical Education and has held a variety of roles within this domain.  She discovered her love for Pilates after just one session and is Polestar Pilates qualified, Barre and TRX trained.  Penny loves passing on her enthusiasm and knowledge for both Pilates and movement. She teaches a variety of Mat, Reformer and Equipment classes, as well as private and small groups. She keeps up to date with continuing education, and has a keen interest in running, and recently re-discovered tramping and challenged herself to her first adventure race.

 

Penny enjoys seeing her clients achieve their goals and class participants feeling better after a positive movement experience. As a busy working mum taking time to exercise for oneself is key to physical and mental well-being, and including strength, balance and mobility as we age is really important.

 

Penny relates to Joseph Pilates's quote .... "Change happens through movement and movement heals”.

Pamela Sidhu accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Pamela was first introduced to yoga during her professional dance training at the New Zealand School of Dance. During her studies, and since graduating in 2012, she has worked with Black Grace Dance Company, The New Zealand Dance Company, The Lion King (Australian Tour) and The Lion King (Netherlands).

 

Throughout her career Pamela developed a strong and personal yoga practice which she believes has sustained the health of her body and mind. Preventing injuries; assisting with muscle recovery; and offering a place of refuge, from the fast pace of everyday life, to slow down and reconnect.

 

To take her practice further she completed a YTA 200hr vinyasa yoga teacher training in Spain with Frog Lotus Yoga. She taught in Amsterdam for two years before returning home to Auckland in 2018. Along with her artistic endeavours she has continued to teach and loves that she gets to invite and guide others to journey on the same thoughtful enquiry of their bodies and minds.

Jacqui Wide accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Jacqui is passionate about all things health and wellbeing, which flows into every aspect of her life. She became certified in mat pilates through Suna and later with Inferno Hot Pilates, teaching mat and HIIT pilates classes in her local community. Outside of her pilates teaching, Jacqui is studying Health Science at the Naturopathic College of New Zealand.

 

Jacqui’s classes aim to strengthen your body and mind. Whether you are looking to sweat it out in her HIIT Pilates or work on your form during her mat classes.

Samantha Veitch accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Sam's love of movement stems from a place of seeking movement that is both mindful, stimulating, expressive and allows space for growth both physically and energetically.

 

Whilst undertaking her 200hr yoga teacher training, Sam found she naturally wanted to incorporate elements of her own Māori culture within the depths of her classes to create a fusion of ancient indigenous knowledge combined with the art of asana.

 

From here she has furthered her interest in movement through different types of training incorporating Pilates, yin and strength.

 

Sam believes we all seek movement for different reasons but the ones where we can forage a deeper connection to the self within are the ones that leave an imprint on us. Sam hopes to support and aid a deeper connection to the inner self for anyone who arrives in a space with her.

Linda Lauv accordion-plus accordion-minus

 

Linda's discovery of Pilates began after experiencing various injuries from being a keen hockey player and runner. She found that Pilates allowed her to have a deeper connection with her body through the awareness of movement and patterns she had built over the years of playing sports.

 

Her passion is teaching and educating and she feels fortunate that Pilates allows her to work with clients from all backgrounds with varying needs; to facilitate movement that can help them live a more comfortable, happy and active life.

 

Linda completed her Pilates training through Studio Pilates International and Polestar Pilates. She is also a certified 200 hour Yoga teacher and loves how Yoga and Pilates complement each other so well with the connection of the mind and body.

Natalie Thomas accordion-plus accordion-minus

Natalie is a holistic therapist and qualified yoga instructor with a special interest in maternal yoga. She gained her yoga teaching diploma in 2009 and her certificate in prenatal and postnatal yoga teaching specialisation in 2017. Over the past 14 years, she has taught yoga in gyms, at pregnancy circles, festivals, studios, in people’s homes, community centres, and outdoors in both New Zealand and Brazil. She believes there are no barriers to practising yoga and she advocates for yoga to be accessible for people from all walks of life. Natalie also has a degree in psychology from Massey University.

Her classes are designed to nourish every layer of our being – mind, body, emotions, and spirit as she believes that wellbeing must be cultivated holistically. She brings mindfulness and loving-kindness (maitri) to the practice so her students can reap the full benefits of this incredible, ancient, health system. From her ongoing studies, Natalie has found that yoga provides tools to balance the nervous and endocrine systems, manage stress and anxiety, improve body positivity, gain strength physically and mentally, create more energy, and go beyond limiting beliefs to feel more alive, joyful, and purposeful.

When she is off the mat, Natalie loves being in nature and around animals, creating art and crafts, translating, enjoying time with her partner and two children, and discovering new places and activities to satisfy her curious Aquarian nature.

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Unity Studios
1a Rocklands Ave, Balmoral, Auckland
+64 21 246 4070