Light yoga stretches may be helpful at work, if done discretely, since sitting at a desk all day can result in a number aches and pains. However, yoga and mantra work may also be a tool for dealing with a stressful or hostile work environment, particularly workplace bullying.
Stresses in work may range from someone constantly stealing your pens to a legally actionable form of harassment or discrimination. Stress can also be caused by actions that rise to the level of workplace bullying. While pervasive, workplace bullying is not a cause of action for a law suit in most states. This leaves a target of the bullying at a legal disadvantage. Targets have less legal protection and also are left to their own devices to deal with the emotional impact of this behavior.Targets of the bullying behavior are likely to be receiving the message from the workplace that they are to blame for everything that has happened to them. As a tool for coping with the bullying situation, Gary and Ruth Namie in The Bully at Work suggest mantra work. While they suggest reciting a mantra silently during the bully's attacks, responsive mantra work is also appropriate for the yoga studio.
While loving-kindness and forgiveness meditations are great for cultivating compassion and acceptance of yourself and others, consider using a more issue targeted mantra that is responsive to criticisms or actions that you are encountering. Mantras may include thoughts such as the following: “I am confident” for situations where you feel your work is constantly devalued; or “I am not alone” in situations where you feel, or have been, isolated at work.
A good approach in coping with a hostile work environment is also to make a point to attend your favorite teacher’s yoga class or to attend a yoga class with a friend or family member. Any yoga class will bring benefits, and attending in an environment that you feel particularly comfortable or with a friend or family member will be a good counter balance to the negative messages that are being forced on you at work.
Other suggestions for specific yoga poses and kriyas for Kundalini yoga practitioners are available here. Working through these situations requires more than yoga and mantra work, but these will be useful practices to compliment other actions as you move forward.
More information on workplace bullying is available at Workplace Bullying Institute.