Yoga enhances symptoms of comprehensive anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic worry and nervousness, suggesting the popular practice may be supportive in treating anxiety in some people.

As per the researchers at NYU Grossman school of medicine, a latest study found that yoga was significantly more effectual on stress management, but not effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the gold standard form of structured talk therapy that assists patients identify negative thinking for better responses to challenges.

“Generalized anxiety disorder is a very common condition, yet many are not willing or able to access evidence-based treatments,” says lead study author Naomi M. Simon, MD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. “Our findings demonstrate that yoga, which is safe and widely available, can improve symptoms for some people with this disorder and could be a valuable tool in an overall treatment plan.”

After 3 months, both yoga and CBT were found to be considerably more efficient for anxiety than stress management. Particularly, 54 percent of those practice yoga on daily basis met responses criteria for meaningful improved symptoms compared to 33 percent in the stress – education group. Of these treated with CBT, 71 percent met these symptoms improvised criteria.


The study engrossed an proof – based protocol for CBT treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, comprising psycho education, cognitive interventions (concentrated on indentifying and adapting maladaptive thoughts and worrying), and muscle relaxation techniques.

Kundalini  yoga comprises of physical postures, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, yoga theory, and meditation/ mindfulness practice.


“According to researchers, generalized anxiety disorder is a common, impairing, and undertreated condition, currently affecting an estimated 6.8 million Americans. While most people feel anxious from time to time, it is considered a disorder when worrying becomes excessive and interferes with day-to-day life. CBT is considered the gold standard first-line treatment. Medications, including antidepressants and sometimes benzodiazepines, may also be used. Yet, not everyone is willing to take medication which can have adverse side effects and there are challenges with accessing CBT for many, including lack of access to trained therapists and long waitlists.”

“Many people already seek complementary and alternative interventions, including yoga, to treat anxiety,” says Dr. Simon. “This study suggests that at least short-term there is significant value for people with generalized anxiety disorder to give yoga a try to see if it works for them. Yoga is well-tolerated, easily accessible, and has a number of health benefits.”

According to Dr. Simon, future research should aim to understand who is most likely to benefit from yoga for generalized anxiety disorder to help providers better personalize treatment recommendations.

“We need more options to treat anxiety because different people will respond to different interventions, and having more options can help overcome barriers to care,” she says. “Having a range of effective treatments can increase the likelihood people with anxiety will be willing to engage in evidence-based care.”