Holding still means to remain motionless one's current body pose or position. Holding still is advisable or necessary in many situations, such as:
- whenever body movement would be disturbing, e.g. during a formal event or celebration
- while modeling for an artist
- while taking a photograph with a long exposure time
- during meditation or prayer
- for relaxation
- while hiding, so you will not be discovered
- when a shy animal is near, so you will not scare it
- when a dangerous animal is near, so you will not cause it to attack
- forced holding still for punishment, e.g. when kneeling, sitting or standing in time-out
- whenever somebody else does something to one's body or clothing, such as:
Telling someone to hold still
Young children, in particular, tend to fidget and find holding still very difficult, which is why they often have to be (sometimes repeatedly) told to hold still whenever this is required. Older children, teenagers and adults typically find it much easier to hold still and will often do so by themselves without having to be told.
Depending on the pose, the command to hold still may be:
- "Don't move"
- "Hold still"
- "Remain still"
- "Sit still"
- "Stand still"
- "Lie still"
Holding still is particularly difficult (and thus requires particular will and discipline) during an uncomfortable or painful situation in which one is particularly tempted to squirm or otherwise leave one's position. An alternative, popular mainly in judicial corporal punishment, prison corporal punishment, military corporal punishment and in BDSM, is to use restraints to keep the subject fixed in position during his or her punishment.