Early Monographs


by Mabel Elsworth Todd

For the serious student of Mabel Todd’s original educational approach, studying these two classic monographs contemporaneously offers a distinct advantage. The First Principles of Body Balance is richly illustrated with simple anatomical drawings and images of the application of her mechanical principles, offering the reader a visual representation of the theoretical discussion presented in The Balancing of Forces.

General Description
The Balancing of Forces in the Human Being was originally published in 1929 as a class syllabus for Mabel Todd’s physical education students at Columbia University. 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.

The First Principles of Body Balance by Mabel Elsworth Todd was originally published in 1934. The pamphlet was distributed informally by Todd’s Boston and New York City studio teachers and was used to explain and illustrate the “engineering principles of the human body.”

In 2017, both of the original texts were digitized and republished as Special Editions by the Thinking Body Institute. Every effort was made to replicate the style of the original cover, typography and drawings and to improve the clarity of the anatomical illustrations.

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.”

The Balancing of Forces
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

The First Principles of Body Balance
Product Details

ISBN: 978-1-881914-02-0
Publisher: Thinking Body Institute Media LLC
Publication Date: Original 1934, Reprint 2017
Product Description: Chapbook, 5 x 6
Language: English
Number of pages: 26
Illustrations: 13 line drawings

Bundle Price: $21.50

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