Raquel Gunsagar is the principal creator of Tava Organics, the parent company of 4th & Heart. Born in Brazil, she moved to California when she was just six, where she continues to live with her family. Outside of running a successful business, she is a devout Ashtanga Yogini, snowboarder and lover of food. All of her passions tie perfectly into her company that sells small batches of ghee made in downtown Los Angeles. The ghee product line includes Original Ghee Butter, Ghee Butter with Truffle Salt (which we literally drool over) and Ghee Butter with Madagascar Vanilla Bean (say what!). Each product is made with love and organic ingredients, and the best part is that a portion of the income generated is donated to Yoga Gives Back, an organization that gives microloans to women in India so they can pay for their daughters to attend school.
We caught up with the entrepreneur to ask her to share the seven things most inspiring her life at the moment. This is what she said:
1 | CALM Magnesium — When I wake and before I sleep I stir in a teaspoon of CALM into room temperature water and toss it back. Not only is magnesium amazing for muscle recovery, it’s also a digestive aid. I literally can’t live without it and even when traveling will use the travel packs. I highly recommend adding CALM to anyones daily routine.
2 | My Manduka Yoga Mat — I practice yoga at least three times a week and found that my standard mat I was using quickly began to wear and tear with all those Ashtanga Yoga jumpbacks. My Manduka Black Mat is the Ferrari of yoga mats, and when I travel I bring my Manduka Travel Mat. Manduka mats are sturdy and make me feel balanced and strong in arm balancing poses.
3 | Cryotherapy and Thermal Sauna — Being an entrepreneur is taxing in and of itself. But being an entrepreneur while juggling kids, work and an unpredictable schedule is undoubtedly the most intense life I’ve led to date. Cryotherapy and Thermal Sauna help me to unwind. Cryotherapy is essentially like an ice bath. My muscles are almost constantly fatigued from running and yoga, so cryo helps muscle recovery, boosts metabolism and is generally a daily lift up! Thermal Sauna does the same thing, but with heat. Before and after travel I’ll spend an hour sweating out the toxins I take in. The combination is a win/win and I recommend trying it at least once! My favorite place is Coast Cryo in Culver City.
4 | Ashtanga Yoga at Omkar 108 — In Ashtanga Yoga you’re to practice Monday through Friday and on Sundays, however, you should never practice on Saturdays or during the new or full moons. The unique nature of the practice requires discipline because of its challenging nature. It’s a love-it-or-leave-it style of yoga but the benefits outweigh the pain endured to make it through. Each practitioner starts in 1st Series then goes to 2nd, 3rd and, if you can make it, 4th Series. Much like karate, only a guru or advanced teacher can tell you when you are cleared to advance, so as an avid Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, I need to practice with a teacher who is knowledgeable and can get me into all my intense pretzel-like poses and help me with my arm balances. Jorgen Christiansson at Omkar is the most patient and solid teacher in LA! I highly recommend challenging yourself and heading over to your local Ashtanga Yoga studio for the challenge of a lifetime. Ashtanga.com is the best source to find a studio near you.
5 | Clover Juice Detox — In Los Angeles there are hundreds of juice detox programs to choose from, but my favorite is the Clover Juice program. First of all, Clover is the longest standing fresh pressed juice company in LA, and Cassandra, their founder, is a leader in the space and is committed to ingredients sourced by local farmers. She has held Clover true to creating a consistent, fresh, farm-forward product I can easily stand by.
6 | Banyan Botanicals — Ayurveda is a part of my daily routine and I can’t go a day without taking my cocktail of herbs by Banyan Botanicals. Their herbs and tinctures are all 100% organic, sustainably harvested and tested for quality to ensure they are free from heavy metals commonly found in herbs sourced from India and Asia. My cocktail is Manjistha (lymph node support), Triphala (balance and digestion) and Yogaraj Guggulu (joint and muscle support). As a #mompreneur who constantly fires on all cylinders, taking herbs helps me maintain balance, health and keeps my body revving at a steady state. I can’t live without them!
7 | SoHo House Malibu — I spend many of my days traveling for work, so being home for a stretch of more than seven days feels like a luxury. While I’ve put outright vacations on hold for a while to focus on 4th & Heart, I like to live life stealing small moments between meetings, kids, calls and travel. Part of that is hitting the beach to run, pulling a paddleboard into the water at early hours, and taking a couple days a month to work from SoHo House in Malibu. My favorite time to go is weekdays when there are barely any members there and all I hear are waves crashing and seagulls squawking. In between emails I enjoy watching the surfers at Surfrider in Malibu make waves out of their days.