Religion Vs. Atheism. This is one of those hot potato subjects that I don't understand why we even have a debate about it. Maybe it has to do with control and the culture war we are going through. I guess there are some who like to have control and push their worldview on to others. In a perfect world (queue sparkle music) I think we would get to the point where we could at least leave each other alone to live our own lives as we saw fit, but were still able to have civil discussions. I partially blame the infusion of emotion into debate, rather than relying on logic and common sense.
So can one do Yoga and not believe in God. My answer is, of course you can. Anecdotally, I know of many people that do some sort of meditative practice and adhere to no religion what so ever. We can even break Yoga's moral rules down into basic ethics, which the basics can be found in multiple religions. It comes down to weather you are willing to look for similarity or difference in things. I personally am wired to find similarities, which is why I look for scientific explanations to what may be involved with the Yogic process.
The problem I have seen, all to often, is that people in the mystical fields tend to try to fit their practices into some sort of pseudo-scientific template in order to get validation from a skeptical community. Some skeptics, on the other hand, will never bother to explore something with an open mind.
The issue is that Yoga and spirituality in general is a personal experience and at best, you will get anecdotal evidence that will never stand up to traditional scientific scrutiny. Spectral imagining equipment has gotten better pictures of brain activity in certain states of consciousness, so there is something going on at the biological level. Traditional Yoga is woven into the Vedic tradition, which inevitably involves Hindu deities. The question you have to ask yourself is: Can you see past that in order to work with it at it's fundamental level. I try my best to keep my posts as secular as possible, but in some instances, I have to use God because it fits into my own understanding of what I perceive, however, I try to keep an open mind to the fact that it might be all invalidated.
So, if you are reading my blog and are a natural skeptic, thank you for being there. Spiritualists need to be kept in check because I have seen all to often the pliable state a spiritual seeker can be in. People who are sincerely seeking answers to life's greatest mysteries are prayed upon by huskers all the time. Too bad. There is so much out there that is good.