The names used for the Saptarishi change over time, depending upon the current yuga (era). Currently, they are Kashyapa, Atri, Vashista, Vishvamitra, Gautama Maharishi, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja.
A common belief in India is that the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper constellation represent the Seven Sages. These sages are said to bring down to Earth the knowledge and energy needed to guide people through periods of transition.
The Hindu god, Shiva, himself was said to have taught these great sages about yoga. They were then entrusted to pass on this knowledge and tradition to others.