Mabel Todd’s The Thinking Body (1937) still stands today as the classic study of posture and movement that established many of the founding principles of somatic movement education. The book proposed an approach to “structural hygiene” and “bodily economy” based on “the concurrent study of physics, mechanics, anatomy, and physiology.”
The Thinking Body expanded upon Todd’s 1929 college syllabus, The Balancing of Forces in the Human Being, which set forth the human “psycho-physical mechanism involved in the organic reaction to the problem of resisting gravity in the upright position.” Throughout her career, Todd refused to codify her educational method in order to “prevent the premature appearance of a ‘school’ or ‘system’ which so often spells the end of creative processes.” In the late 1970s, the term Ideokinesis became associated with Todd’s approach.
Since the original edition of The Thinking Body became part of the “public domain,” several companies have satisfied the demand for the book by offering a variety of reprints. In 2021, as part of the educational mission of The Thinking Body Institute, TBI Media developed a meticulous reproduction of Todd’s classic text with features that are not found in other editions, including:
- An introduction to Miss Todd’s life and career written by Pamela Matt as the Preface to the TBI Media Special Edition.
- A cover design that incorporates elements from Todd’s original book jacket.
- Advanced typesetting techniques that resulted in more readable print than text produced with facsimile or photocopy methods.
- The use of state-of-the-art imaging software that enhanced the original anatomical illustrations and clarified the labeling.