Esquiva lateral will probably be one of the first capoeira esquiva that you learn when you first go to a capoeira class. The reason is that the esquiva lateral is very simple and is a natural extension of the ginga. Esquiva lateral is a great for beginners because it is a very easy esquiva to understand, and also follows the principle of dodging in the same direction of the attack.
From the lateral position with both legs slightly more than hip width and your knees bent, you want to squat all the way down as if you were sitting on a chair. There you can bring your chest to either your left knee or your right knee and cover your head with one of your hands. If there is an attack coming from your left side then you would bring your chest to your right knee. If the attack is coming from your right side, then you would bring your head to the left knee. If you do esquiva lateral to the left side, then it will be your right hand that covers your chin and the side of your face.
It is executed while the feet are in a parallel position. The escape is simply bringing the torso down and to the left or right (depending on the direction of the other player's kick) and reaching the hand over the head The hand can also be placed in front of the face for protection. Some academies will place the hand that is not guarding onto the floor to get even lower.