Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental disorder characterized by severe, ongoing anxiety. Several studies indicate the effectiveness of therapies like yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, and stress education in the treatment of GAD. The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of yoga and CBT for GAD.

This randomized, controlled, single-blind, 3-arm clinical trial included a total of 226 participants. The participants were randomly assigned in a 2:2:1 ratio to Kundalini yoga (n = 93), CBT (n=90), stress education (n=43). The primary outcome of the study was acute GAD response after 12 weeks.

Out of 226 participants, 155 completed the posttreatment assessment. The completion rates among the three groups did not differ (Kundalini yoga, 60 [64.5%]; CBT, 67 [74.4%]; and stress education, 28 [65.1%]). The response rates were significantly higher in the CBT group (70.8%) and the Kundalini yoga group (54.2%), as compared with the stress education group (33.%). The noninferiority test indicated that Kundalini yoga was not as effective as CBT.

The findings suggested that both CBT and Kundalini yoga were more effective in the treatment of GAD, as compared with stress education. However, Kundalini yoga was found to be less effective than CBT.