Most of us are taught to prostrate before our parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet.  The elder in turn blesses us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads.

Prostration is done daily or on important occasions. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify.

Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength through the transfer of energy during blessing. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.

Other forms of showing respect are :

  1. Pratuthana – rising to welcome a person.
  2.  Namaskaara – paying homage in the form of namaste.
  3.  Upasangrahan – touching the feet of elders or teachers.
  4.  Shaashtaanga – prostrating fully with the feet, knees, stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground in front of the elder.
  5.  Pratyabivaadana – returning a greeting.