Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage or a monastery in Hindu Philosophy. Today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Hindu Philosophical activity such as yoga, scripture study or religious instruction. The word ashram (also ashrama) comes from the Sanskrit root srama (श्रम) which means “to toil”, the “a” prefix indicates the negative, therefore ashram means “not to toil”. An ashram would traditionally, but not necessarily in contemporary times, be located far from human habitation, in forests or mountainous regions, amidst refreshing natural surroundings conductive 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 gurukulas, residential schools for students under the guru-shishya tradition.