Metta translates as the practice of extending loving kindness to all beings.
It is a meditative practice in which we use a repeated phrase, prayer or mantra.
Metta comes from the Buddhist tradition and relates to cultivating the heart and mind towards feelings of unconditional love without expectation in return. The process is first one of softening, breaking down barriers that we feel inwardly toward ourselves, and then those that we feel toward others.
Metta is central to the practice of Yin Yoga. As we begin to practice kindness, compassion and acceptance of the self, it helps us to drop judgements and expectations, allowing us to begin to accept things (and ourselves) exactly as they are in this moment. Once this loving kindness is directed to ourselves and truly felt it can then be directed to all beings.
Here is one of my favourite Metta prayers from Biff Mithoefer. It’s important to repeat the mantra until you feel compassion, kindness and acceptance towards yourself.