Work IN: Design Inspiration
From the beginning, I knew Work IN had to be a visually immersive book — helping to invite athletes into the pages and practices. The book relies on strong visuals, dynamic photography, and innovative graphics to translate the concepts into accessible actions for modern athletes. I'm incredibly visual, and bringing imagery from my mind to the page has felt a bit like interpreting a dream. Now as I hold the final proofs of Work IN, it's like a dream come true, and I'm super proud of how my vision of helping athletes use yoga to achieve their goals is coming to life in this book.
Early on in the process of writing and designing Work In, I stuck this mantra to my wall: Relax as I work. While a major book project, like any big effort, isn't particularly relaxing, this intention made the project akin to meditation — working on it felt like medicine, preventative and regenerative. This really gets to the heart of what working IN — and real recovery — is all about.
Conveying this visually was a big goal. As I started to conceptualise the experience I want athletes to have when they read Work IN, I knew I didn't want to cue up a bunch of boring yoga photos because this isn't just another yoga book. I wanted show athletes on their own turf to illustrate how to work IN not just over the weekend or after the big race is done, but in the daily moments when we need them most. The distinct moment of relief when the run is done, the simultaneous agony and ecstasy of completing an effort that literally collapses you, the two minutes of anticipation for the day ahead while you wait for your coffee to brew — these are the moments that inspired Work IN, and the moments I believe have the ability to make the greatest impact for athletes if they pay attention and use them to full advantage.
More on how we accomplished this from the photographer herself down below...
The book has four sections. The first is a deep dive on why recovery matters and how we as athletes can make it work harder for us. The middle sections guide you through mental focus training and physical relaxation practices, and helps you overcome common challenges and understand how to use these tools to work in. Most vital, the book concludes with a monthlong plan to help you put what you've learned into practice and, ultimately, create your own plan to continue and get results.
The pages are designed to bring you in. Featuring full color spreads, clean text over images, and plenty of space, each page conveys clear concepts and actions — aimed at leaving you feeling open and inspired, ready to take action.
The Work IN color palette leans on black, white, and red, giving the concepts space to breathe, and facilitating a calming experience that mirrors what happens when you work in. Accompanying graphics are clear and modern, designed to convey understanding at a glance because it's the "why" that ultimately motivates us to do things, and to do them right. You'll find circles throughout the book, which allude to a a concept I developed early in the process: That working in is a new "world" to be explored. It's uncharted territory — open and expansive, yet right in front of our eyes. It's the convergence of the familiar and the unfamiliar, of working out and working in, that is the key and where winning lives. It was super fun to explore the intersection of these two "worlds" in the design and I think the results are compelling.
I remember a writing professor in college (I studied journalism) saying that you have to "love the process." I thought about that often throughout the many stages of producing Work IN. And let me be clear: While I really enjoyed this project, it was also very uncomfortable at many points. Meeting the discomfort of discovering gaps in my knowledge, second guessing my approach, triaging design problems, many many many rounds of revision, and just plain old trying to meet deadlines with no childcare wasn't necessarily fun, but by staying with it my love for the process and the product have grown.
Executing my vision was a team effort. I worked closely with my publisher, VeloPress, including their brilliant design team lead by Vicki Hopewell and my editor Renee Jardine to articulate and fine tune our strategy for the design and presentation of Work IN.
Photographer and dear friend Claire Pepper was instrumental both in conceptualising imagery and bringing it to life. Her vision lit this book up. Claire and I have worked together since I moved to London three years ago, and her depth of Jasyoga knowledge based on hours and hours of planning and shooting together, plus her own experience doing Jasyoga as a badass athlete herself, made working together on this project fluid and so fun. It's our most exciting collaboration to date. Here's Claire's take:
"We wanted the photography for Work In to complement the book's design direction by using bold yet simple compositions, clean lines, and graphic shapes created by shadows and architecture. Within the compositions we wanted to play with negative space and give a feeling of simplicity and spaciousness, so looking through the book would never feel rushed or busy.
We felt that it was really important to show the routines in Work In in a 'real' environment, rather than just a yoga studio. An athletics track seemed like the obvious place, and Edwards Stadium in Berkley couldn't have been more perfect, with it's concrete bleachers and distinctive yellow track. In addition, we created a home/studio space for the second half of the shoot with a concrete floor in keeping with the track location.
To convey the feeling of simplicity, we dressed the athletes in a colour palette of red, grey, black and white, and chose props within this colour range as well. We kept the lighting simple and fresh to simulate a feeling of natural light in the studio. The mood on set was very laid back, and our athlete-models certainly felt quite chilled out sitting and lying in the various restorative poses all day. Hopefully this comes across in the shots and will inspire you to try them as well!"
I hope that when you read Work IN you go for it — go into recovery with the same enthusiasm you bring to your workouts — and that these pages and all their thoughtfully designed elements inspire you to commit to real recovery.
PREORDER WORK IN
Work IN ships in December 2017, but when you preorder, we'll email you an exclusive guided audio meditation from the book, and mail you limited edition Work IN swag. Find out more and preorder now! Just click the button below.