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Is This the End of Handshakes? A Case for Anjali Mudra

Should we greet each other with Namaste?






According to Dr. Anthony Fauchi, the handshake is now dead.


“I think what we’re going to have embedded and imprinted in us forever is the realization that something as catastrophic as what the world is experiencing now can happen," Fauci said. “And just as a society, just forget about shaking hands. We don’t need to shake hands. We’ve got to break that custom because, as a matter of fact, that is really one of the major ways that you can transmit a respiratory-borne illness.” 



Fear of the Other


While it is important for us to remain safe, a significant concern is that out of this Covid crisis that fear of catching a virus is breeding fear of the other. Fear is a sinister beast and often discuises itself as practicality or safety. It is so easy to convince ourselves that we are simply "being safe," when we are actually panicking out of our minds, and doing actions not out safety but out of a need to calm our anxieties.


Statements like Dr. Fauchi's, breed unnecessary fear. This Covid situation is temporary, not permanent. The qualities of shaking hands, from the firmness of the handshake to the eye contact are natural and important way for people to connect upon meeting. We are far from banning the handshake for the rest of eternity. Perhaps for a few months.





Anjali Mudra


So during this time of separation, our favorite option for greeting people during this time is Ajnjali Mudra along with the yogic mantra, "Namaste."


Anjali Mudra is a traditional hand mudra practiced in yoga. One time this is used is in Samasthitih in Ashtanga yoga during the opening and closing chants. All mudras have an energetic quality of channeling the body's energy in a particular way. Anjali mudra has the properties of uniting both sides of the body by pressing the palms together over the heart.


Anjali - Salutation

Mudra - Seal

Namaste - The divine in me bows to the divine in you


This state is not our new normal. It is a temporary time during which we are required to adjust. Let's try to drop some of our fear and look for the divine in each other.


Namaste



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