Religion is the specific activities, rites, services, and trappings that men use to relate to their God. (or gods) You cannot have one without the other.
Now keep in mind that some people use the word "religion" as a pejorative, that is, because they didn't like something about someone else's "religion" they therefore condemn "religion" as a bad thing.
But to separate them is absurd.
In most "religions," the specific rites, services, and practices, are prescribed and defined by God anyway. Muslims are intensely religious, they pray five times a day. They would consider that an absolute and necessary part of their religious devotion, and they do it because Allah told them to. And a Muslim would say that praying five times a day is what brings them near to Allah. Jesus told his disciples how to pray, and how to do sacraments. When He taught the Lord's Prayer, he was specifying a religious practice. Hence, if you pray the Lord's prayer, you are carrying out religion as it was commanded. And every religion has practices and rites of this kind.
But let's be as broad as we possibly can. Let's pretend that you have your own set of beliefs that utterly reject whatever it is that you call religion. How do you then relate to your God? Do you read something? Meditate? Pray? Sing? Whatever you do to relate to your God is your religion - it is how you relate to your God.
Now, maybe you don't like the way other people relate to God. Maybe you don't like candles, or organs, or prayer books, or choir robes, or prayer mats, or specific days, or whatever. But you still have a religion that you follow. I have known very devout and Godly people who worship in ways that would put me to sleep. That doesn't make them wrong or that those people are substituting religion for God.
Maybe the correct question to ask is: why do some people's religious practices seem to be meaningless to me.