I don't tend to bother with utpluthi much anymore, at least not where it appears in Ashtanga, right there at the end. I'm with Manju on this. Why, once you've calmed your mind and body down through the finishing sequence, chuck utpluthi on at the end? I tend to move on into an extended pranayama and meditation practice after my asana so really don't want to start on the back foot. There's an argument that if your going to skip pranayama, pratyahara, meditation and get on with your day then utpluthi can give you the little kick to get you going again after the calming head and shoulder stands but I'm not sure I buy it, besides most tend to spend time in savasana at the end anyway, it's a puzzlement.
I tended to go with David Swenson and do 100 quick kapalbhati breaths in my utpluthi ( Hey, I'm at home. I hear though that kapalbhati irritates some in the shalas who perhaps are having trouble attending to their own practice), now though I tend to do my 108 Kapalabhati as Ramaswami taught it, in, one of the meditation postures and with three different hand positions, as a lead in to pranayama. I prefer virasana ( in half lotus in this video).
I do practice utpluthi occasionally, in Vinyasa Krama Lotus sequence for example. I included it yesterday and made a point, as I have recently in so many postures, to follow Richard Freeman's direction and tuck the coccyx under, drop the pubic bone back to meet it and draw the sit bones together while slurping up mula bandha. For some reason bringing the hip bones together recently has been feeling more like rolling them in and under and up (same with the the coccyx and pubic bone, like a digger scooping action), kind of like the feet in badha konasana. What's interesting is that it create a sense of lift, perfect for utpluthi (kukkutasana too).
It makes a nice difference in your jump back too and really does feel like you've created a chair for yourself in those long extended stays in ardha utkatasana found in Vinyasa Krama or the Rishi series.
So yesterday utpluthi felt so good (with this rolling in sit bone/chair tip) that I decided to film another 25 breath one to post, especially as I haven't posted anything on practice or asana in ages.
Two utpluthi's in ten minutes? Don't recommend it, that was me pretty much done for the day
But of course it's completely wrong to have your head up, don't explore it, not once, never. No really, don't, there are reasons, medical reasons and if not, don't worry we'll think of one. There are reliefs on temples that go back hundreds of thousands of years and they all have their heads down, don't even be tempted to look straight ahead, the cave painting in Slough you vaguely remember hearing about where the eyes look straight ahead? Western cave yogi's, didn't know what they were doing.
Ramaswami introduces it this way in the lotus sequence...
"Now for some fun vinyasas. In the lotus position, keep your palms by your sides. keep your back straight, and stay in this position for three long inhalations and exhalations. Then, after a very complete smooth exhalation, hold your breath out, and pressing down through your palms (without pressing the shoulders up), lift your trunk and balance on both hands. If you can, you may stay in this position for three breaths." p204 The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga
On the what to call it tolasana, utpluthi or lolasana, he has this to say,
" This is tolangulasana, or the balancing pose in lotus. This is also called utpluthi, or the pumping (lifting ) vinyasa in lotus pose. ....(if0 you spread your arms wider. You may choose to swing forward and backward with your body in the air-this is swing pose (lolasana)".
UPDATE: 1st Aug 2016
It was pointed out to me that on Danny Paradise's notes written on the original 1973 Ashtanga syllabus in the 1980s ( see my most recent blog post http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2016/07/original-ashtanga-syllabus-as-teaching.html ), he has bhastrika in tolasana (utpluthi at the end of the practice.... or middle if including pranayama and a Sit). This ties in with David Swenson practicing 100 kapalabhati breaths in tolasana/lolasana/utpluthi mentioned above. New post to come on this.