The Balancing of Forces in the Human Being:  Its Application to Postural Patterns


by Mabel Elsworth Todd

In 1929, Mabel Todd prepared this monograph for physical education students in her Columbia University course, “Basic Principles of Posture.”  The book was used as a syllabus for the lecture component of the course and “emphasis was laid on the psycho-physical mechanisms involved in the organic reaction to the problem of resisting gravity in the upright position.” Todd expanded upon the ideas that were presented in this text when she developed her classic work, The Thinking Body.

General Description
The Balancing of Forces in the Human Being was originally published by Columbia University as a syllabus for Mabel Todd’s “normal class” students who were preparing to become physical education teachers.  It provided a description of the rationale and the goals of her method of posture teaching which she characterized as a “procedure for thinking,” rather than a system of remedial exercise. In 2017, the monograph was digitized and republished as a Special Edition by the Thinking Body Institute. Every effort was made to replicate the style of the original cover, typography and drawings. Plates from the Spalteholz-Spanner Hand Atlas of Human Anatomy were scanned and enlarged for purposes of clarity.

About the Author

Mabel Elsworth Todd (1880-1956) developed a system of education called Natural Posture in the early 20th century to help students discover improved “postural patterns.” Her approach was taught privately in Boston and New York as well as in the physical education departments of east coast colleges and universities. Professional performing artists became interested in Todd’s ideas in the 1930’s.   Two of her  protégés, Barbara Clark and Lulu Sweigard, advanced the approach among dancers and actors in the mid-twentieth century. Their students continued to develop the teaching in the postmodern era. Currently, the educational legacy created by Todd is best known by the title, “Ideokinesis.”

Product Details
ISBN: 978-1-881914-01-3
Publisher: Thinking Body Institute Media LLC
Publication Date: Original 1929, Reprint 2017
Product Description: Softcover, 6 x 9
Language: English
Number of pages: 68
Number of illustrations: 2 line drawings, 6 anatomical plates
Price: $17.50

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