People come to Yoga for various reasons. The overwhelming majority come to the practice to address health concerns, followed by a few who come to the practice to address mental concerns. All paths which lead the practitioner to Yoga are valid.
Today I was thinking about the Solar system and how it relates to this concept. Imagine the Sun represents the merging of Purusha (the True Self) with Ishvara (God). Each planet represents our motivation to come to Yoga practice and how far away we are from the “Sun.”
Pluto is the farthest planet from the Sun. It is so small that there is a debate among astronomers whether it should even be classified as a planet. This can be representative of the student who is motivated to do Yoga because it is a means of making quick money.
The next closest to the sun is Neptune. It is a large planet, but still far away from the Sun. This can be represented of the student who is motivated to do Yoga because it is the latest fitness trend.
This is followed by Uranus. The next closest planet to the Sun. This represents the student who comes to the practice because of health concerns and that there are no other means of bring relief to his/her ailment aside from Yoga.
Then comes Saturn. Mighty planet with large rings made from ice. This represents the physically healthy student who comes to Yoga to develop refinement in his/her physicality.
Next is Jupiter, the largest planet of the solar system. This can represent the student who realizes that Yoga can address mental stress in addition to it’s physical benefits.
Then comes Mars, the red planet. This can represent the student who comes to Yoga because he/she is curious about the philosophical aspects of Yoga.
Our planet Earth is next. This can represent the student who comes to Yoga for its traditional aspects.
The next plant is Venus. This can represent the student who comes to Yoga to gain wisdom.
The last planet closest to the sun is Mercury. This is for the student who comes to the practice to be be closer to God.
Lastly, the Sun. This represents attainment in Yoga and realization of the practitioner.
Our Universe is much larger than we originally thought. There are an estimated 100-200 billion galaxies. Some of those galaxies merge into one. This shows that the practice goes beyond what we can comprehend or perceive.
The point of the essay is that our motivation changes with continued practice. The more we practice Yoga, the more we get a “glimpse” of our True Selves and hence get a step closer to the Sun. May you all one day “merge” your True Self with the divine in your practice.