Our Team of Exercise & Pelvic Health Experts

Our team of experts unite people, movement and healthcare

Our People

Caitlin Fris

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.



  • 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 Fogarty

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.


  • 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 Horsey

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

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

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.

Laura Silk

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.

Jess Hansby

Jess graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy. She is also a certified mat, reformer and pregnancy Pilates instructor. Jess has experience in musculoskeletal private practice where she helped people recover from injuries; reducing their pain and improving their function. She also worked as a Massage Therapist for several years, and completed an additional course in myofascial release. Jess believes in a holistic approach and enjoys empowering people to enhance their health through exercise.

Alongside being at Unity Studios, Jess also works as a Physiotherapist in Pelvic Health for the Public Health sector. Her special interest has led her to do additional courses in Pelvic Health. Jess is especially passionate about supporting women before and after birth, and with pelvic floor dysfunction to improve their quality of life. She is devoted to ensuring that her patients feel safe, comfortable, and informed with effective treatment options to achieve their individual goals.

Outside of the clinic, Jess enjoys doing Pilates herself and spending time in the sunshine with her friends and family. She spends many hours training in commercial dance, which has been her other lifelong passion.

Jessica Spouler

Jessica has joined Unity to enable people to return to the things that bring them joy. She is passionate about empowering patients, through a collaborative approach to achieve successful outcomes. As a new mum to two young boys, Jessica has a new found interest in helping women in their journey in all trimesters and beyond. With over a decade in musculoskeletal practice and with a personal interest in yoga, strength training, and running, Jessica approaches therapy with a holistic and well-rounded approach.

Originally from Vancouver, Jessica graduated from Simon Fraser University (Canada) with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (2008), and subsequently graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2015 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Since graduating, Jessica has completed courses in Dry Needling, Yoga therapy and more recently, pelvic health, enabling her to create a multifaceted approach to treatment plans.

Jessica has worked as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist on the North Shore with a focus on migraines, hip, and knee pathologies as well as volunteering for local rugby and football clubs in Canada and New Zealand.

Jennifer Touzel

Jen has a wide range of private practice experience, having worked both in Auckland and the UK. This spans general sprains/strains/soreness, sports injuries, working with Superleague Netball in the UK, and rehabilitation pre/post orthopaedic surgery.

Jen has had an interest in pelvic health physiotherapy since her student days when she had a PH placement. Throughout the years she noticed a theme of women coming to see her for MSK injuries where the impact can be traced back to issues developed in pregnancy or during birth which were not addressed at the time. This only increased her interest, and fueled an indignation at the lack of education and access to health services for women regarding pregnancy/birth related recovery.

This prompted Jen to start formal PH training in the UK, and upon returning to NZ after more than 5 years abroad joining Unity Studios.

Jen is passionate about treating and empathising with the individual person – recognising that the same issues can impact everyone very differently, and nutting out the best road to recovery for whoever she treats.


  • BHSc (Physiotherapy) AUT
  • APPI Matwork Pilates levels 1-3
  • Foundations of Acupuncture (AACP UK)
  • Female Urinary Incontinence (POGP UK)

Shanelle Lenehan

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

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

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.

Linda Lauv

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

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.

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.

Zoe Lyle

Zoe is a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor with an interest in women’s pelvic health. With a previous career in the environmental sciences she transitioned to Physiotherapy graduating with a BHSc from Auckland University of Technology.

With over a decades experience in Pilates, Zoe loves using this movement modality to assist women in their journey including during and post pregnancy and beyond. Zoe teaches Pilates privately and in group classes and uses all equipment in rehabilitating a wide range of conditions.

Zoe has experience in working with women in the Public health sector and has completed post graduate training courses in pelvic health in New Zealand. She also works as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in private practice.

Outside of work, Zoe is a mum of boys and loves relaxing with her family, enjoying park walks with her dogs and spending time sailing on the ocean.

Kendal De Besten

Kendal is a physiotherapist who has wide experience in musculoskeletal and sporting injuries. She has worked with rugby, football and touch teams, building a great knowledge for managing strains and sprains.

Kendal has developed an interest in pelvic floor physiotherapy after working with multiple women’s sports teams and witnessing a gap in education for women returning back to sports after having a baby. Kendal is passionate about helping women exercise throughout their pregnancy and reach their exercise goals following birth. She is devoted to ensuring her patients feel safe and comfortable, and working with them to individualise their treatment program.

Outside of the clinic, Kendal loves to hike, spend time in the water, and run for fitness

Julie Blades

After completing her physiotherapy degree at the University of Brighton in 2014, Julie worked across a broad scope of disciplines in the UK, both in NHS hospitals and in the private sector. Through clinical practice she had exposure to patients with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and developed a passion for working with clients holistically to get the best individualised outcomes.
Julie moved to New Zealand in November 2018 and developed a special interest in pelvic health conditions through her work in private practice here. She upskilled with the completion of post-graduate women’s and men’s pelvic health qualifications and her development here has been greatly complimented by her experience part time in the Pelvic Health Physiotherapy team at Greenlane Clinical Centre. Julie enjoys empowering patients with timely education and the ability to optimise their bodies through movement and exercise at any stage in life.
Outside of work Julie is a keen footballer and gym enthusiast. She enjoys hikes, freezing cold sea dips, acting classes and playing the guitar.


  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy – University of Brighton 2014
  • PPI Pilates Matwork Level 1
  • PAANZ Dry Needling

Irene Leahy

Irene graduated in Ireland in 2013 and emigrated to New Zealand soon after where she has gained rehabilitation experience in musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain as well as teaching Pilates. She has completed a post grad cert in rehabilitation from AUT in her time here. Irene started pelvic health training in 2016 and has gained experience in treating incontinence, prolapse, chronic pelvic pain and pre and postnatal rehabilitation since then.


Post grad cert in rehabilitation in AUT
APPI Pilates training
Pelvic health training with WHTA
Female Athlete course

Courtney Ropati

Courtney is a Pelvic Health and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, who qualified in Scotland with a First Class Honours degree. She moved to New Zealand in 2017, where she completed her Pilates training. She loves teaching Reformer and Mat classes, alongside 1:1 sessions with use of the Trap Table, Wunda Chair and Ladder Barrel. She is also qualified in Sports Massage and Dry Needling.

Courtney worked in private practice in London for four years, where she further developed her Women’s Health training to treat pregnancy pain, post-natal rehabilitation alongside bladder issues.
Courtney uses a holistic approach with all of her patients and works closely to help achieve their goals.


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