1. Gayatry Yoga Centers (http://yoga-center.kz) Come ready to chant, smile, stretch and sweat. Both downtown locations are exceptional, with the 7th-floor studio on Furmanova featuring stunning sunset views of the city and steppe beyond. The Shevchenko studio has plenty of parking to make a 6:30 p.m. class after work, and two beautiful studios. If you get there early, lounge on a sofa in the comfy reception area and pick up one of the latest yoga journals. A seasoned team of yoga instructors lead classes in a variety of styles of yoga. The center also regularly offers weekend seminars, retreats, and even vegetarian cooking classes.
2. Golden Bridge Yoga (www.goldenbridge.kz) Golden Bridge, located in the futuristic looking NurlyTau office complex, holds its own to any studio in the world in terms of décor and ambiance. A large sitting area featuring ornate teak wood chairs, tables, and plenty of throw pillows is the perfect place to relax after class and enjoy a tea or sweets from the club’s vegetarian café. Two yoga studios, showers, a massage and changing rooms, and sweeping city views make this one of the must-sees for yoga enthusiasts visiting or living in Kazakhstan. Pricing is on the higher side, but you pay for the atmosphere and expertise. While kundalini is the signature style at Golden Bridge, the club also offers hatha, Iyengar, yoga for pregnancy, and women’s yoga. Public transport is tricky, so best to go by taxi or walk there. You can’t miss the building.
3. YogaDom (http://www.yogadom.kz): Popular among Almaty’s eco-conscious crowd, YogaDom has classes and levels for everyone: from therapeutic somatic classes to intensive advanced level asana courses, the studio also offers workshops including Thai massage and acroyoga. The top-floor apartment complex location on right off of centrally located ‘Old Square’ and class schedule ranging from early morning to late evening make the center a convenient choice to accommodate a wide range of schedules. Visitors are welcome to hang out before or after class in the carpeted lounge area right beyond the reception desk.
4. Sunrise Yoga Center (http://sunrise.com.kz): With two spotless yoga halls, a beauty salon and massage services, and a window opening to a view of nearby rose gardens, the studio lives up to its reputation for top-notch instruction and services. Instructors have 10+ years of experience teaching with an emphasis on alignment-based Iyengar and therapeutic styles of yoga; several can use English in their lessons. The studio’s convenient downtown location offers an extensive array of classes including hatha, Iyengar, prenatal, and yoga for kids.
Almaty is situated at the base of the spectacular Tien-Shan mountain range, and provides a perfect setting to go to the mountains and practice yoga any time from spring to fall. The steppe that goes for hundred of kilometers up throughout the country is sprinkled with lakes , valleys and canyons, also providing stunningly rich settings for taking a day-long or overnight yoga retreat.