Sometimes classes can be so demanding that you simply want to sit down in place after the session has ended, lay out on your back, and wonder how your survived. Sometimes classes aren’t as taxing. Either way, having a good post-class routine can be very valuable for the student.
If you’re not totally spent after class, a few good things to do are to crank out a three or four sets of push-ups and sit-ups. Often there will be a group of students circled together to get these done because they are very important to your physical strength and your martial training. Also, take this time to practice anything you’re working on – be it something you were recently taught or something that needs extra attention. Ask one of your kung fu brothers or sisters to work with you, if needed, and don’t hesitate to ask the higher rank for assistance. Last, but certainly not least, spend some time stretching your body if stretching wasn’t included at the end of class. Hard training places a great demand on your muscles, particularly your leg muscles. Keeping them loose and limber via stretching (after class) helps to prevent tightness that leads to aching joints and strained muscles.
If you’re totally spent after class, relax yourself with some gentle stretching. No need to press too hard if you don’t feel it – listen to your body. Let your heart rate stabilize and even feel free to close your eyes to soak in and reflect on the class. The higher rank will really grasp this sentiment as they are typically pressed throughout the class. Again, focus on some stretching and regaining energy before heading to get some water and move on with your day. If you feel up for it, go ahead and try exercises and/or working on things you want to work on, but don’t press too hard.