How does one take the steps back and bow at the end of Shmoneh Esrei?
How does the Alter Rebbe say and how did the Rebbe do it? Is a lefty different? And do you step forward at the end?
After finishing reciting Shemoneh Esreh, it is important to take three steps back, just as one would when leaving the presence of a king, and then say farewell. Neglecting to do this is the same as not reciting Shemoneh Esreh at all.
It’s important not to incline your head while stepping back; instead, bow first and take the three steps in one bow. While still bowed, bid farewell to your left and right before straightening up.
You should begin by inclining your head to the left, which is to the right of the Shchina that is before you as you leave your place of prayer. Then, incline your head to the right, which is to the left of the Divine Presence.
This means that when you say “Oseh shalom bimromav,” you should incline your head to the left, and when you say “Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,” you should incline your head to the right. This is how it is brought in Shulchan Aruch.
In Sefer Haminhagim, however, the order is as follows: When you say “Oseh shalom bimromav,” you should incline your head to the left, when you say “Hu” hold your head in the center, when you say “Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,” you should incline your head to the right, and when you say “Val . . amen” hold your head in the center.
The Rebbe would do as follows: “Oseh” to the left, “Shalom” to the right, “bimromav” in the center, lift his head and say “Hu . . amen”.
The lefty would bow in the same order.
See here as well:
A lefty would take the first step back with their right foot.
After you take the three steps back, you should stay there until Kedusha. If you are not Davening with the Minyan, you should stay there for the above amount of time.