With its slow, gentle movements and well-documented health benefits, tai chi is a popular form of exercise for the elderly and the infirm.
But tai chi is not just for those of advancing years. More and more young people are turning to the traditional Chinese system of exercise to stay fit, improve their health and lower their stress levels.
Where Western methods of exercise (and other Eastern martial arts) focus on vigorous physical exertion, often to the point of exhaustion and injury, tai chi - sometimes described as martial arts in slow motion - emphasises gentle, flowing movements, deep breathing and controlled stretching. The movements look easy, but are designed to exercise every muscle in the body.
Illawarra Kung Fu Academy teacher Alan Baxter runs tai chi classes at the Kiama Mind Body Spirit Centre and says its benefits are threefold - physical, metabolic and mental.
"From a physical point of view, whatever age the person is, tai chi is excellent for balance, co-ordination and joint strength," he says.
"The younger you are when you build and develop those things the better that sets you up throughout life.
"As well, tai chi is really good for improving your immune system and for reducing stress responses and for general internal physical health.
"And from a mental health point of view, learning to focus the mind and the calming nature of the practise, the moving meditation aspect of it ... can assist all sorts of things from general disposition to helping with anxiety and sleeplessness."
In her 19 years as an Australian Academy of Tai Chi (AATC) instructor Margaret Dean has taught people aged from four to 97.
Speaking at a weekly class she runs in Wollongong, Dean said tai chi was popular with office workers as a way to manage stress and problems caused by a sedentary work life. AATC also holds classes in Dapto and Albion Park.
"The younger ones, when they come in from work, the first thing we do is calm everyone down."
"They have problems with stress, with posture. We give them things to do throughout the day to relax."
While older people appreciate the calmness and slowness, it can be a hard thing for energetic young people to master.
"I taught students at a high school from Year 7 to Year 10," Dean says. "The hardest thing is to slow down the movements."
Teaching younger people to master the slow movements has its own benefits, argues Baxter.
"In some ways that is one of the best things about it - it helps younger people to slow down while still using their physicality," he says.