Answer by Sanjay Sabnani:
I suggest you use our Indian anti-hug move.
Around Indians and other Asian cultures (Buddhists) the "namaste" salutation implies love, welcome, and friendship but does so in a way that does not require an intrusion into someone's private space. I am always confused as to when I should or shouldn't hug people in social settings, so I use this quite regularly. The great thing about this position is that it makes hugging almost impossible.
For bonus points, you should also learn Yoga and get a cool Hindu name to introduce yourself with after the namaste.