Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction.
An ashram would typically, but not always, be located far from human habitation, in forests or mountainous regions , amidst refreshing natural surroundings conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation. The residents of an ashram regularly performed spiritual and physical exercises, such as the various forms of Yoga. Other sacrifices and penances, such as Yajnas were also performed. Many ashrams also served as Gurukuls or residential schools for children.