Instructors
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Our teachers have been rigorously trained over several years in a broad and in-depth curriculum that encompasses studies in eastern philosophy and yoga history, biomechanics, anatomy, detailed postural alignment, therapeutics, and the art of teaching yoga.

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." Albert Einstein

Rajakapotasana IV Dragonfly Baddha Trikonasana Vasisthasana

Stacey Millner-Collins, E-RYT 500, YACEP, Certified Anusara Yoga Instructor

Founder & Director

“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay
 
Yoga invites you to engage life fully to become skilled at being yourself.
 
I was born a seeker and a bit of a renegade. I first came to my yoga mat in 1994 as way to unite a dedicated physical discipline with a spiritual one. Having earned a degree in Art History, I understood the universal experience of Beauty as Joy. For me this implies that when we experience something in life that inspires indescribable wonder, awe, delight…be that through art, music, nature, relationships, yoga…then we are more connected (yoked) to this precious day, to each other, and to our vital essence: our Bliss. A yoga mat is a mirror of who we are--and yoga, like life, asks for devoted practice, a quest for integrity, and a healthy dose of self–reflection.
 
I have had and continue to study with numerous respected teachers, to whom I am most grateful, but my greatest teacher has been life itself. The deepening of my own practice impelled the spiritual explorer in me to undertake a “heroine’s quest” to Nepal in 1996 and, with my young family, to India in 1997 to study where the yoga tradition began. I learned a lot from those many months of challenging travel, but mostly, I grew into myself and appreciated the power of yoga as a daily practice on and off the mat. This experience inspired me to pioneer yoga in Columbia, SC by teaching classes for several years in kindergarten rooms, ballet schools, gyms, and church basements until our community grew to such a point that I opened City Yoga in 2003. With further in-depth and rigorous study, I became certified in Anusara Yoga in 2006 and, simultaneously, embarked upon the practice and study of philosophy, meditation, and Ayurveda.
 
My classes, workshops, and trainings encourage the inquisitive student to step into his/her own empowerment through a vigorous practice firmly rooted in the evocative philosophical teachings upon which yoga grew. Over my years of teaching I have seen all types of students, bodies, and issues…and I have come to appreciate that we ALL wish to be healthy, content, free, and fulfilled. My own yoga journey helps me to get up when I feel knocked down, to bring clarity to confusion, and to cultivate courage when I feel I have none. I want this and much more for my students no matter where they may be on the path of self-discovery.
 
Contact Stacey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions or to set up a private session.

  

Adrian Addison, Ph.D., RYT-200

I became a practitioner of yoga in the summer of 2011, one year after my knee surgery. I was looking for a new form of exercise that would be less taxing on my joints. I took my first class under Stacey Millner-Collins and was hooked. Not only did yoga provide me with what I was looking for physically, it helped me grow mentally. I acquired a mental freedom from negativity and anger by simply learning how to better deal with the ups and downs of life. As my studentship grew, through the tutelage of my teachers Stacey, Dara Brown, Annie Wright, Kelley Gardner, Sarah Faircloth, Allison Brewster Modaferri, and Sari Weston, my desire to dig deeper grew. With each class, workshop, and immersion, my curiosity turned into a passion to teach what I had learned to others so that they too can grow.

In 2014, I completed the 200-hour teacher training with the Rasika Yoga School. Here I learned not only how to become a teacher but a better student of yoga. One of the things I would like to provide my students with is a vessel to navigate their own path in this vast ocean I call "life." I learned during the training, that one of the best ways to provide this vessel is to establish a connection between my students and myself by letting my personality and experiences be reflected in my teaching. I want my students to continue to learn and grow with me during this journey.

When I am not on my mat, I enjoy spending time with my lovely wife, Veronica, and my two boys, Darian and Diego. I like hiking, drawing, and reading. I am a huge movie buff and love trivia. I have a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of South Carolina and just love learning about how things work, from ants to the universe.

 

Allison Foster, Ph.D., RYT-200

"Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking."- Antionio Machado

I found my way to yoga in June 2007 when I intuitively knew I needed it, even as I didn't really know what it was. As former ballet dancer and current psychologist, I was quickly hooked by the rich teachings at City Yoga that synthesized mind with body, effort with ease, individual with community...who knew all that could be packed into an exercise class! Through the asana, I steadily grew to understand how much yoga provided "off the mat," and I continue to love the work and play of finding healthy alignment in poses and life itself. I often fail spectacularly, but I have the rest of my life to keep trying.

In 2016, I completed the 200-hour teacher training through Rasika Yoga School. The process strengthened by foundational knowledge, expanded my community of friends and deepened my capacity to find equanimity. When I take the seat of the teacher, my goal is to help you meet yours, a little bit more with each practice.

 

Allison Terracio, RYT-500 & Certified Anusara Yoga instructor

In Allison's classes, you can expect to share a creative and artful experience, to feel your body's potential for healing and expression, and to have some time to receive and reflect upon the gift of your life and breath. She is continually inspired to step up as a teacher and student and can't believe that she still loves to do this even after over fifteen years of practice and a decade of teaching. She loves the conversation of yoga and does her very best to keep good company with her teachers, including Douglas Brooks and Paul Muller-Ortega. Allison's teaching has been called 'evocative' and 'poetic', and she is known for her skill in sequencing toward poses in a way that feels subtle and yet powerful.

In addition to playfully approaching the more advanced postures, she is also an incredibly skilled and patient teacher of beginners, she adores pregnant ladies, and has a skilled eye and hand for therapeutic applications of yoga. She is grateful to the students of her former studio in Louisville, KY, who were there for her first 10,000 hours of teaching. It was there that she developed these skills, learned to be more curious, and continually asked "Is this possible?"

Allison lives in Columbia with her husband and son, where she puts the practice of yoga into her daily behaviors. She has a real 'country girl/city girl' vibe, and has interests ranging from what's happening at Fashion Week to biodynamic farming. She is currently reading Alignment Matters: The First Five Years of Katy Says by Katy Bowman, M.S., alongside the New Yorker and the Vogue.

 

Alma Dunnavant, RYT-500

Originally from Guatemala, Alma moved to the US as a child at the age of 5.  She grew up in California before moving to South Carolina with her family later as a teenager.  Alma is married to Paul M. Dunnavant, CPA, CFP and has a son Jacob as well as two stepsons, Paul and Preston. After learning and practicing Yoga for 8 years, Alma became certified to teach the practice of Yoga in 2012 from the Asheville Yoga Center and is currently registered with Yoga Alliance.  In addition to her passion for teaching, Alma has never forgotten her “first love” and continues to practice yoga as a student on a regular basis.  Going to classes and attending workshops are some of the many ways she seeks self-improvement.  Currently Alma conducts classes as well as private and semi-private sessions in the Columbia, SC area. 

Dara Brown, M.P.H., E-RYT 500, YACEP

I started practicing yoga during college to counter my gym crazed workouts. It was always a way for me to find a little bit of myself every time I stepped on my mat – so important during the hectic years of my early young adulthood. I still find comfort on my mat – and laughter and tears.  In my years of teaching, I’ve taught a wide variety of people, from those in wheelchairs to athletes. My biggest joys in teaching come from not only sharing the practice itself but also a bit of who I am with the world. I hope people walk out of my classes feeling better, with a broader perspective, and actually apply what they learn on their mat into their lives.

Now the formal stuff: I’ve dedicated my life to helping others find healthy balance. I received a Master’s Degree in Public Health from USC. I am a formerly licensed and certified Anusara Yoga Instructor. I also have specialty training in adaptive yoga. As a former YogaFit master trainer, I’ve travelled all over the east coast teaching and sharing the practice of yoga.

 

When not on my mat, I enjoy the usual – friends, food, wine, good conversation, and a great movie (sometimes all at once). I’m always down for dancing around my living room in my pajamas.  My cat runs my house. I’ve been known to “talk” to my television when my favorite shows are on. I LOVE good music. Finally, my dry sense of humor extends into everything that I do…be forewarned.  

 

David Moscowitz, RYT 200, Ph.D.

When someone asks me how long I have practiced yoga, it is an easy answer since my first class was at 8 a.m. on an icy Saturday morning in Indianapolis a few weeks before my son was born over a decade ago. The more that I do yoga, though, the more it feels that I’ve practiced it for much longer. From breathwork as response to my asthma to physical therapy as response to my flat feet, I have come to learn and preach that yoga is simply about sitting with ourselves—mind and body—and breathing, observing, listening, and remembering that the word practice should not be underestimated. My practice is a blend and balance of routine and experiment, meditation and body awareness, silence and music. I did my 200 hour RYT in mindful vinyasa at Mission Yoga in Charleston and am eternally grateful for the warmth and welcome that space provides whenever I return. Other loves of mine include food, film, tea, the water, hiking, slam poetry, music of many kinds, and any travel I can get with my super cute family. 

 

Ginger Doughty, E-RYT 500 & Certified Kundalini Yoga instructor

Ginger Doughty has been practicing and teaching yoga for over ten years through her company called “Begin Within Yoga and Wellness LLC.”  She is an alignment based Hatha Yoga teacher, deeply rooted in the Universal Principles of Alignment.  The benefits both physiological and psychological have motivated her to pursue a deeper understanding and a determined intention to share that knowledge with others. The path has lead to a teaching certification from International Yoga  Warrior, which specializes in trauma sensitive yoga.  She received advanced training in iRest Yoga Nidra from Richard Miller, which is a researched-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that releases negative emotions and calms the nervous system.  She also studied with Doug Keller for 5 years and continues to follow this advanced yoga therapy, which provides skillful tools that use yoga therapeutics to realign the body from disease, injury and surgery.  Last year she received a Kundalini teacher certification from 3HO, which provides a deep understanding of breath, movement and the endocrine system with its links to mental health and well being.  The last three years have been spent working at Moncrief Army Medical Hospital, as a yoga therapist to warriors with PTSD, TBI and those who are physically and mentally challenged.  She has been and continues to a student of Healing Touch International School of Energy Medicine.  All of these pursuits have lead to a 500-ERYT recognition with the Yoga Alliance, a position as a yoga therapist with the US Army and a senior teaching position at City Yoga of Columbia S.C. 

 

Jan Smoak, M. Ed., RYT-200

I began my yoga journey out of curiosity. Piqued by yoga's place in popular culture, I took my first class at the University of South Carolina over 10 years ago and was hooked. When I met my teacher, Stacey Millner-Collins, I became committed. My first workshop was with Sommer and Paul Sobin, and I found it so fulfilling that I wanted to learn more. I started to attend workshops, and I’ve studied with John Friend, Christina Sell, Desiree Rumbaugh, Douglas Brooks, Betsey Downing, and Martin Kirk. 

 

Feeling pulled to share yoga with others, I completed the 100-hour Anusara Immersion of the Carolinas in 2008, and Carolina Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2010 and received my RYT-200 status, spending two years as a mobile yoga teacher, primarily at USC’s Green Quad.  In addition to Stacey, I have to give a big shout out to Sarah Faircloth and Kelley Gardner – all three were instrumental in my becoming a teacher. In terms of my practicing and teaching yoga – backbends are my favorite, and I enjoy teaching students of all ages and abilities, but especially those with a sense of humor – I love to make my students laugh!   

 

Outside of yoga, I am a Gamecock junkie: I am an administrator at the University but also an alumna, having completed both my bachelor’s degree in print journalism, and my master’s degree in higher education at USC. I love working with college students and use my understanding of yoga philosophy at work.  My husband is Scott, a United Methodist pastor, and my daughter is Kate. 

 

Jemme Bethune Stewart, LPC, RYT-200

I find teaching a rich and rewarding experience and am particularly interested in the intersection of traditional psychotherapy interventions with asana, meditation, pranayama, and yoga philosophy. In addition to teaching Gentle Yoga classes at City Yoga and developing yoga psychotherapy workshops and series with fellow instructor Dr. Annie Wright, I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist who is Board Certified by the American Nurses Association and a Licensed Professional Counselor.  My love of yoga and commitment to its healing possibilities permeates my life and work and culminated in 2012 with my opening, along with a colleague, UPSTREAM of Columbia: A Center for Mindfulness Practice and Holistic Mental Health. 

 

I began studying yoga with my teacher and mentor Stacey Millner-Collins in 2005. She continually inspires me with her knowledge of and commitment to the path of yoga, and I am humbled to be part of City Yoga, a true community of the heart. I am a graduate of the 200-hour RYT Carolina Yoga Teacher Training Program. I am also certified in the Yoga Warrior method and teach yoga for military personnel and their families. Other studies and trainings include workshops and courses with John Friend, Betsey Downing, Professor Douglas Brooks, Professor Bill Mahony, and Professor Paul Muller Ortega.

 

 

Jenny Prather, RYT-200

 

"I’ve been intrigued by yoga for much of my life. My first class with Stacey, at City Yoga in 2009, was when I became truly hooked. My yoga practice on and off of my mat has seen me through some of life’s incredible challenges, and that is a gift and a path I am passionate about sharing with others. I have had the opportunity to practice with leading teachers such as Stacey Millner-Collins, Sarah Faircloth, Kelley Gardner, Betsey Downing, Christina Sell, and more.
 
I earned a B.S. in exercise science from USC in 2007 and am director of wellness at a Columbia-based continuing care retirement community, as well as a certified personal trainer through ACE. I have experience teaching group exercise to seniors on land and in water and have learned a lot about working with people of various activity levels and with special needs. After graduating from the 2010 Carolina Yoga Teacher Training, I have been teaching chair yoga to seniors at the retirement community where I work, as well as regular classes at City Yoga of Columbia.
 
I have always enjoyed a very active lifestyle, including a love of running. One of my favorite ways to share the practice of yoga is to teach other athletes how to find balance in their physical body and in their training mentality. I know firsthand how practicing yoga with skillful alignment can improve your experience in whatever your sport. After a car accident, I thought I would not be able to run distance anymore without running through pain and actually stopped running for a long time. Since practicing yoga I have trained for and completed several half marathons, a full marathon, and two ultra marathons (so far) all pain and injury free.
 
I am constantly inspired by the strength and bravery of the human heart. When I'm not on my mat, I enjoy hiking, camping, cooking, running and loving my beautiful family." Jenny is currently on maternity leave

 

Jessica Barnes SmithRYT-500

Jessica completed her 230hr Yoga Teacher Training in May of 2012 through the Asheville Yoga Center under the guidance of Stephanie Keach. Jessica is currently pursuing her 500hr certification through Asheville Yoga Center.  Jessica began teaching yoga to children in 2011 after she attended two yoga for children trainings.  Jessica is also a mother of two girls, an early childhood educator and an artist with a BFA from Winthrop.  

“Yoga inspires self discovery and it is fun! I was drawn to yoga in 2000 after a knee injury. Yoga helped to transform my body back to my pre-injury state but it also transformed much more.  Yoga allows a space to explore movement in a beautiful way as well as  permission to find the stillness that is necessary to explore the deeper layers of self.  My hope is to share what I have learned in order to light the path of self awareness for others.”

 

Juliet Hewitt, E-RYT 500

“Yoga does not choose the qualified, but qualifies the chosen.” – Christina Sell

I often say that I’m an “accidental” yoga teacher.  After 10 years of teaching fitness classes, my path to yoga started in 2000 when my Columbia YMCA supervisor convinced me to take a weekend teacher training program.  I am so grateful that the hand was extended, the invitation to the dance given, and that not knowing what I was in for I said “yes,” because that weekend program sparked my passion to learn more about yoga and share what I had learned with others.

 

Since then, I have had the great fortune to study with many amazing teachers and have completed teacher certification programs with Holy Cow Yoga in 2003 and Carolina Yoga in 2009. I held an Anusara-Inspired certification from 2007 until April 2012, and am now a Yoga Alliance, RYT-500 certified teacher.

 

I teach an alignment-based yoga practice with an emphasis on taking the body through a full range of motion to find freedom and an enhanced sense of well being.  I’ve successfully used yoga to minimize the effects of my own scoliosis and I am passionate about teaching others how to use yoga to feel good in their bodies.  I have studied therapeutic yoga extensively with my primary teacher, Stacey Millner-Collins, as well as with Doug Keller and Martin Kirk. I have also trained with Elise Browning Miller on yoga specifically for scoliosis.

For more information about my classes or to schedule a private session, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Madhan Durai, Certified Sivananda Yoga instructor 

Madhan grew up in India, in a humble home, with his parents practicing yogic values, in-grained in the Hindu culture. As a child, he would wake to his dad practicing Hatha Yoga in the early hours of the day. Vedic mantra chanting would follow Hatha Yoga. His father grew up in a Gurukulam, in South India, during his formative years.

However, Madhan's calling for 'yoga' came only in 2006. Going through years of depression and search for healing, Madhan attended his first couple of yoga classes in Kansas. Very soon the practice of yoga became a habit.

In 2009, Madhan went to the Sivananda Ashram in Kerela to study the timeless 'Vedanta' and Hatha Yoga. In 2012, through the guidance of his guru, he was initiated in Kriya Yoga, an ancient technique of spiritual evolvement, brought to the West by Sri Pramahansa Yogananda. Later, Madhan became a certified Hatha Yoga teacher to serve people and to learn through the practice of serving.

 

Marsha Harris, E-RYT 200

From my first class, I was hooked on the physical practice of yoga. Eventually, I became acquainted with the philosophy of yoga and realized there was much more to yoga than just getting on the mat to “strike a pose.” 

 

I completed the 200-hour teacher training at Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, SC under the direction of Trace Bonner. During this training I discovered City Yoga right here in Columbia, fell in love with their style of yoga, and completed the 100-hour Anusara Immersion with Stacey Millner-Collins. My interest in anatomy then led me to a workshop with Daivd Keil, where I was introduced to the Mysore Ashtanga Style; I recently completed the Ashtanga Teacher Training with David Swenson. And I continue to practice with one of my first yoga teachers, Amy Sizemore. With these teachers as my models, I teach fun, light-hearted classes with options for everyone.

   

Nicole Kish, M.S. & RYT-200

I first came to my mat in 2012, drawn to yoga by a simple desire for increased flexibility after having spent the previous twelve years a competitive swimmer. As I walked out of my first class, taught by Stacey Millner-Collins, I realized I had stepped into a rich spiritual, mental, and physical tradition that would allow me freedom from chronic anxiety and ultimately change my life. In 2016, I completed my 200-hour teacher training through Rasika Yoga School, led by Stacey Millner-Collins, Sarah Faircloth, Kelley Gardner, Sari Weston, and Allison Modafferi Brewster.

Outside of yoga, I'm a total nerd! I hold a Bachelor and Master's degrees in Marine Science, work as a technician in an ecology lab, and often have my nose stuck in a fantasy or sci-fi novel. My class themes are often inspired by ideas found in nature, literature, science, art and music. My hope is to blend an informative teaching style with a playful atmosphere to create classes that challenge and nourish the mind, body, and spirit.

 

Rick Widdifield, RYT-500 & member Integral Yoga Teacher Association (IYTA)

“If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.” Eubie Blake (1883 - 1983). 

 

A mid-life detour to graduate school led me to look for an alternative to martial arts, which I had been practicing and teaching for years. Fortunately, I discovered yoga. It not only helps me to deal with the stress of working full time, raising kids, and going to school, but it was also the therapy my body needed to rehabilitate old injuries acquired during years of strenuous training. Like Eubie I just didn’t know I was going to live this long! I’m now thankfully retired from a career in Information Technology and slowly getting used to the ‘wisdom discount’ at the grocery store. I was certified to teach through a program at Holy Cow Yoga Center in Charleston, SC (Yoga Alliance 200 hour) in May 2004, and continue to be a teacher and a dedicated student.  

 

The body-mind is endlessly fascinating, and I love yoga’s breadth and depth, its power to heal, its ability to reconcile the body-mind and spirit, and its essential message of surrendering to what is. I have a special interest in anatomy and am constantly intrigued by how we are all amazingly alike and yet anatomical variations abound. This is a physical practice supported by some very old philosophical ideas which resonate with me and yet you don’t have to study yoga philosophy to benefit. Just show up on your mat with an open mind and willingness to explore. I try to offer classes that challenge everyone who shows up while encouraging each student to honor and respect their boundaries and have some fun. I especially love introducing yoga to people and seeing the positive effects that come from a steady practice. Yoga is for everyone. It is highly therapeutic when practiced with attention to good alignment, and it can help you to know yourself a little better. It’s a great way to take better care of yourself (just in case!). 

 

Tina Cundari, J.D., RYT-200

I have been practicing yoga at City Yoga since 2005. I began practicing for the physical benefits but soon discovered that yoga had much more to offer. Yoga has helped me develop balance, strength, and flexibility both on and off the mat. It has has taught me to slow down, notice my breath, and appreciate life. It has been an invaluable source of support to me in my career as a lawyer.

 
In 2014, I completed the 200-hour teacher training with the Rasika Yoga School, co-founded by my primary teacher, Stacey Millner-Collins. I decided to teach because I wanted to share the empowering properties of yoga. My hope is to be a good steward of this practice and to help students experience the many benefits of yoga.
 

Sharon Bass, RYT-200, RN

I began my yoga practice in 2007 when a coworker said "if you have back problems do yoga!" My first class was with Annie Wright at City Yoga. I just listened to her voice...I paid no attention to what was going on around me...I listened to her delicate, sweet instructions, and did what she said to do and I was hooked from then on. I realized very quickly that Yoga was more than just moving my body.

An RN for 35+ years, pursuing many roles in the field, I retired in June 2015. While still in an administrative nursing position I pursued a certificate in Primordial Sound Meditation from the Chopra Center, Carlsbad, CA under the direction of Deepak Chopra in October 2014. I completed the Rasika Yoga Teacher Training in November 2015 to become a Register Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level. I consider Stacey Millner-Collins my primary teacher. I want to INSPIRE anyone I encounter to the benefits of yoga and meditation.

 

Sally T. McKay

Yoga is a way of life for me, because I think yoga is life.  I see the mat as a playground and asana as an opportunity to explore balance, humility and possibility...and to have fun doing it.  I'm playful as a teacher and practitioner of yoga and love to laugh with my students even as we bring a focused intention to each practice.  

 

I bring 11 years of practice to my teaching, as well as my experience as a professional speech coach and public relations consultant.  My more distant background of teaching and dancing ballet, tap and jazz also influences how I look at yoga:  as a life-long dance that constantly reminds me that I don't always lead... my husband, Walker and sons Walker and Mitchell might like for me to remember that a little more often!

 

Stacey Millner-Collins has always been my primary teacher, and watching her grow City Yoga over the last decade has been a particular pleasure for me.  Thanks to Stacey, I have been exposed to and practiced with many other teachers from around the country and have been teaching for about eight years.

 

I often ask students why they practice yoga and encourage them to revisit that question each time they come to the mat.  I've learned over the years that the "why" of my practice is far more significant than simply maneuvering my body into different shapes.  The poses are a beginning, not an ending, and it is with that mindset that I approach every class I teach.

 

Zsofia Jilling, RYT-200

 

In my practice and in my teaching, I am most interested in how yoga can deepen and heighten our experience of being in the world, and help us live more fully in the present. It believe strongly that the time we spend practicing yoga reverberates into our daily lives—helping us cultivate self-reflection, find joy, and carve out spaces to pause, reflect, and be still.

My classes are taught primarily in a vinyasa style, composed of a flowing sequence of poses. I emphasize the synthesis of mindful movement, breath awareness, and precise alignment. I am also trained to teach restorative yoga, and I often incorporate ideas from this more restful practice into even my most vigorous vinyasa classes. I strive, in my teaching, to nurture a light-hearted and compassionate atmosphere, and I embrace the opportunity to learn from my students.

I have been practicing yoga for the last fifteen years, and teaching for the last five. I completed my first teacher training at Om Yoga Center, in New York City, and have since taken workshops with many wonderful teachers, including Rodney Yee, Ana Forrest, Schuyler Grant, Dana Flynn, Sadie Nardini, and Rolf Gates. I love exploring each of the many styles of yoga. I am grateful to my original teachers—especially Kirsten Collins, Cyndi Lee, Joe Miller, Heidi Sormaz, Sarah Trelease, and Margi Young—whose example continues to guide and transform my own practice.

 

Instructors

 

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