Joseph Stingley: Finding Freedom
Dallas Yoga Magazine is thrilled to introduce you to Joseph Stingley. His unique journey is passionate and inspiring. He has extensive training in yoga and meditation and carries his spiritual message to his students. His uplifting style of teaching is encouraging and motivational. Take the time to learn more about Joseph’s life’s voyage leading him to where he is today.
DYM: Where are you currently living and where are you originally from?
Joseph: I currently live in Carrollton, Texas. I was as born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. I also lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a few summers while in college and I also worked for Honeywell Bull.
DYM: Tell us about yourself and your spiritual journey.
Joseph: I had my first encounter with God through angels when I was five years old. I got a glimpse of what I would consider my “Guardian Angle.” The being was around 8 or 9 feet tall and muscular. When I shared this information with family, they didn’t believe. Yet I know what I saw, and I believe my parents knew also and kept this information close to their heart. This was the beginning of my spiritual journey and the earliest that I can remember.
DYM: What was it like for you growing up?
Joseph: I started working a summer job at the age of 13 because my father could no longer provide financial support for me. He told me I had to buy my own clothes and future car, but he would provide shelter and food. I didn’t take offense from his statements. Because I knew he meant well, and he was only repeating what he experienced as a child.
DYM: You are very well educated in many areas. Tell us about your education.
Joseph: I felt a desire to go into the ministry in 1976, attended seminary school from 1978 to 1983. I graduated with a certificate of Pastoral Ministry and Counseling. I also graduated from Jackson State University in 1979 with a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Math.
DYM: We’ve heard you have a very diverse career path.
Joseph: Yes! I worked and held various Information Technology positions from 1978 to 2003, including teaching college courses at North Lake College starting in 1986 to 1996. While at the same time, being very active in church activities such as helping with church plants, evangelism, assistant pastor, pretty much all areas of the church.
In 2003, I left the corporate IT world to become a personal trainer. I was certified through the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas as a Personal and Special Population Trainer. In November 2003, 24HF allowed me to train with 2 of their senior yoga instructors and in April 2004 I was given 5 yoga classes to teach. The first class I taught had 5 people in it and I ran 3 of them away! (Smiling)
The beginnings were somewhat of a challenge because I was so “green” with knowing about and teaching yoga. As time went on, I learn, trained, and was given many opportunities to teach the practice of yoga to 1000s of students per week.
The teaching of 1000s of students per week didn’t come until I surrendered my will that I would use teaching yoga as a platform to show my classes a God that they had never experienced. I wanted to show them a God with unconditional love, loving them right where they were in life, with no judgment, no religious expectation, no prejudice, no do’s and don’ts, mainly without words — allowing students to experience unconditional love by being in my presence. And, I have taught this way going on for 15 years, and don’t have any plans to change this method.
I moved to Texas in the fall of 1983 and have pretty much lived in Texas since. I have two wonderful and amazing sons Jeffrey (age 38) and David (age 31). I also have 2 grandchildren, Jackson and Reese who are Jeffrey’s children.
DYM: What was your first yoga and meditation experience like?
Joseph: My first yoga experience was in November 2003 when I was assigned to train under two yoga teachers. One, the gentle yoga teacher, I took class with her during the mornings. And, the other, the power yoga teacher, I took in the evening. I practiced with them both, 5 days a week, for several months.
The experience was fun yet challenging at times for me. I knew this was my next path. I didn’t have the details of it all. I only saw a few feet of light in front of me as I took this journey. And I was fine with that. I stayed sore for several weeks. Because my body had not experienced such movements or it had been a while since it had moved that way.
Right from the beginning of this experience I also knew I was born to practice and teach yoga/meditation and a host of other topics relating to how the mind and body works.
DYM: What was your first meditation experience like?
Joseph: My first meditation experience I can recall… if you can call it meditation… was listening to a series of tape cassettes from Deepak Chopra “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” I would take 1-2 words from each part and use them as a focal point. Back then I labeled focusing and or repeating the words as “confession” but later concluded that I was using “mantras.”
I was able to relate the information in the series with some of the Biblical understanding I had. The series actually gave me detail insights on what I already knew and had experienced. So, I guess I can say I started meditating and using mantras when it probably was not main stream in society as we know it to be today. To say the least, it changed my life for the better.
DYM: When did you decide to become a yoga and meditation instructor?
Joseph: It was November 2003 that I made the decision to become a yoga instructor and I would say it was probably several years later when I made the decision to become a meditation instructor. I felt becoming a meditation instructor was important because I saw many of my students were protecting the physical practice of yoga, yet they were still quick temper, fearful, stressed, anxious, and had periods of depression on a regular basis. I knew what meditation and mantra meditation worked for me. As I started to train and teach yoga teachers, I knew this would be a way to introduce meditation to many people, as they CYT (certified yoga teachers) would go out to teach.
DYM: Other than yoga and meditation, what do you enjoy in your spare time?
Joseph: I enjoy traveling as much as possible. I love taking day trips to various cities in Texas, especially Austin. Austin always gives me a feeling of belonging and “I’m home” whenever I travel. I also love to read books, listen to audible books, and writing blogs, books and ebooks. I truly enjoy being out in nature like natural trails and near lakes and oceans. The water also gives me the feeling that this is where I belong, a sense of “I’m home.”
DYM: You help students to overcome challenges and live their life to their fullest in your yoga/meditation classes? Can you share this process with us?
Joseph: The physical and mental (spiritual) practice of yoga has allowed me to help, speak, and impart into countless lives of students attending classes I teach, including blogs, and social media posts.
However, the most impactful method along with yoga and meditation has been what I label as “freedom” sessions. In these sessions, we look at the origin of events of past life (not past life regression, a totally different topic) that can bring freedom to their current and present life.
There is spiritual work in this process that the individual has to do. The work can be instantaneous and progressive as they move forward. Each session is generally 75 minutes long.
DYM: That sounds amazing! Explain to everyone the unique meditation you offer called Biblical Mediation?
Joseph: This form of mediation has been practiced perhaps for at least a couple of thousand years. It is a meditation that is so powerful that God promises everything we touch and do will prosper if we practice this type of mediation day and night. This form of mediation is not based on dreams but on promises that are found in the Scriptures. I do believe that many have a misunderstanding about Biblical meditation, such as being unrealistic, too spiritual, or too exhausting for them. When we use Biblical meditation, we are to think on God’s acts, character, order, principles, and promises.
DYM: How has adding biblical references to meditation made a change in your life and your students?
Joseph: The result has been successful, just as God has promised all of us if we meditate on Scripture. There has been times at night when I couldn’t sleep due to situations and challenges. I would meditate of God’s goodness and promises. Help would come in various forms such as solutions, peace, and calmness, to name a few. Then, there are times I would use my imagination and speak (mantra) God’s Word over them.
DYM: What has surprised you the most about being a yoga/meditation instructor?
Joseph: The unlimited opportunities to:
- Serve others with or without words.
- Show and impart unconditional love to others.
- Create a space for individuals to come and know that they are safe, spiritually and physically.
- Let individuals know that they are NEVER alone in our world. There will always be seen and unseen angels and guides to minister and serve them, especially during the challenging moments of their lives.
DYM: What do you find most challenging about what you do?
Joseph: There are no challenges about what I do. I love what I do. It’s my calling, my mission, my dharma. When we are willing accept and surrender to our dharma for this life then life is easy and there is joy in what we do. Joy is an inside thing.
DYM: What do you find most rewarding?
Joseph: When I look in their eyes and see that they “Got it.” They understand anything outside of love is just an illusion. When we meet or see others, we will either do one or the other. We will judge or love them. We can’t do both. However, the most important reward I experience on a regular basis is students see that . . . God sees them!
DYM: What do you see people having the most difficulty with in meditation? What guidance do you give them?
Joseph: I see individuals trying to pick which style or type of meditation they should learn or practice. Because of the unlimited choices, they can get confused. I tell them the simplest practice is focusing on their breath. If their mind wanders or thoughts come, to go back to their breath. Some can do it instantly while others practice will be progressive as they stay with the practice.
DYM: Some people often have problems sitting for long periods of time on the floor or with pillows because their legs fall asleep, what would you suggest?
Joseph: I tell them there is no “right” way to meditate. They can stand or walk around in a close area. They can also practice a “Walking Meditation.” I do this often. I have advised busy mothers that they can find a way to meditate if they are stay home mothers. For example, while they are doing certain things around their home, such as washing dishes, ironing or putting away clothes, and the list can go on and on.
DYM: There has been a lot of controversy about yoga in the news lately, what do you wish everyone knew about yoga and meditation?
Joseph: That the practice of yoga is controlling the modification of mind, using the breath and the physical practice (asana) of yoga. That meditation is a method of quieting our mind, which will help with the quieting of our body (stillness). Meditation is a universal practice that can be found in various religious setting, including Hindu, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish to name a few.
DYM: Tell us about someone who has influenced you on your path?
Joseph: There are so many that have imparted and influenced my life from childhood up to the present. The one person that I can truly say has made such a huge influence is “Joan of Arc.” I had a deep meditation session with my “Soul Coach” in 2016. During the meditation I received a prophetic message in which Joan of Arc appeared to me and had told me to “Speak your truth, Joseph.” I knew exactly what she meant with those words. And my life has been forever changed since then.
DYM: That is so inspiring! We often get yogis asking who to go to for teacher training, since you had the Soul Motivation Yoga School, what guidance would you give them for choosing a teacher certification program/school for yoga?
Joseph: I believe there must be a spiritual connection with the director/instructor of the yoga teacher training school. I would suggest individuals visit several schools to get a feel of the energy of the school, to get a feel of the individual(s) who will conduct the training. Their decision of which place and individual to take the training with has to be a “Yes” or it will default to “No!” It can’t be maybe, nor gray areas in their decision.
DYM: What program would you recommend for becoming certified to teach mediation?
Joseph: I highly recommend the following individuals:
- Jack Kornfield: https://jackkornfield.com
- Davidji: https://davidji.com
- Deepak Chopra: https://chopra.com/meditation
DYM: What advice do you have for a person who has been practicing meditation for a long time but seems to need a little more extra something to their practice?
Joseph: Go back to the basic of meditation of when they first started. I call this . . Going back to their “First Love.” Something so simple can renew and ignite the excitement and joy just like when they first started meditating.
DYM: What advice would you share with a person who is just starting meditation?
Joseph: Start with breath meditation, which in my opinion, is the easiest path for beginners. And to not condemn nor judge themselves if they hear voices and have thoughts that they are not doing it right. Be kind, loving, and patience with themselves.
DYM: Great advice! Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Joseph: Several weeks ago, I created a free ebook called “Mustard Seed Faith.” It is one of many free ebooks I’m currently writing. This book has 3 different types of meditations that individuals can practice. The creation of the free ebooks are a way for me to give back to society, helping them conquer life’s challenges.
Here is the link for Mustard Seed Faith:
DYM: Do you have any special workshops or events coming up you would like to tell us about?
Joseph: I have partnered with a former YTT teacher and student and we are hosting a yoga retreat “Fearless: An International Yoga Retreat” in Puerto Morelos, February 7 – 10, 2019.
Here is the link for additional information: