Vyayam (physical exercise) is the training system developed by wrestlers and Pahlawan to become strong and muscular. It's function however is not merely to focus on the physique and health but also develop, intellectual, spiritual and moral strength.
It has similarities with yoga in that a union between body and mind is met to aid in self realisation. However, where yoga is relatively static, Vyayam incorporates dynamic action and exertion.
There are many exercises in Vyayam, many coming from yoga such as the surya namaskar (sun salutation). As well as exertion, rest and diet (Khurak) are integrated into this system. Massage is a regular occurrence in the Akhara happening at least once weekly.
Devotion to one's guru (teacher) is important to the development of any wrestler, for the guru will disseminate their training routines based on the individuals age and capabilities. The gurus of the Akhara are highly respected having earned their rank through hard years of dedication and training. Their depth of knowledge towards their art coming through experience gained over a lifetime.
Devotion must also be paid to Hanuman, God of the AKhara. Every person who enters the Akhara pays respect to the God of strength, many offering items of food (Prasad) and lighting incense sticks. Before commencing training a bell is rung by the individual to signal that they are dedicated body and mind to the task at hand.
The diet (Khurak) of the strongmen is also incorporated. Centuries of dietary information being passed down from one champion to the next all in accordance with Ayurvedic lore.
Some of the hardest working wrestlers and Pahlawan's are celibate. Through the practicing Brahmacharya (celibacy and self control) they believe that by storing their semen they can keep with in themselves the essence of life and thus gain great strength and vitality. Celibacy is considered the first of the 4 cycles of Hindu life. With arranged marriages still common, it is only when they are wed that Brahmacharya is put aside.
Though Vyayam is a system of physical culture it is much, much more. It is a union of mind and body but these are not considered separate in India. They are one and the same. By making ones body strong ones mind and spirit also becomes strong. The trainees becomes stronger as a person which benefits not only their health but contributes to their families well being as well as society as a whole.