What is Tantra? Here Are 3 Pointers From the Spiritual Practice, Via Gwyneth Paltrow of All People

She of untamed bikini line infamy has tossed us another nugget of information regarding her, uh, lady bits: Gwyneth Paltrow is all about tantra, that spiritual intimacy technique made famous by Sting’s widely cited reference to his marathon sex sessions. In a recent newsletter from the lifestyle website, GOOP interviews Michaela Boehm, a relationship counselor and educator, and an expert in tantra. And because few of us even know what tantra is, Boehm establishes up front that it’s not exclusively about doing the dirty for hours on end.

In fact, she says, sex is merely a small piece of the tantric pie. “There is a much larger tantric discipline that deals with allowing all feelings to be met with equal acceptance,” she adds, “and for each person to become deeply sensitive to what they are feeling.” She explains that tantra is actually a study of how to experience pleasure in relationships, but again clarifying that it’s not always a physical pleasure that’s missing in relationships. So basically, tantra acts as a full relationship makeover for behaviors, attitudes, and mindfulness. Here are three of Boehm’s tips for deeper intimacy:

1. Define the purpose of your relationship

Boehm notes that all relationships serve a purpose, whether it's sexual intimacy, partnerships, child-rearing, etc. By making the purpose of your commitment to one another clear, you enable your partnership to better fulfill your mutual intentions for each other.

2. Relax

Boehm notes that the single greatest “passion killer” is strain. By being calm around one another and being open to humor, a more loving environment will be kindled. “Relationships and sex are not perfect and the need to “get it right” and 'perform well' keeps us from being creative and uninhibited,” she adds.

3. Create a sacred space

“Put some creation into the space you are going to be intimate in,” says Boehm. This doesn’t necessarily mean new curtains or potpourri, she adds, but a concerted effort to ensure that you will not be interrupted by unplugging devices and allowing yourselves to commit to one another.

Most certainly this was the “Magic” referenced on that last Coldplay album. Read all of Boehm's tips for a sexier love life over on GOOP.